Mueller helps Bayern beat 'Gladbach, stretch Bundesliga lead

Mueller helps Bayern beat 'Gladbach, stretch Bundesliga lead
Players celebrate Bayern's Thomas Mueller, center, after he scored the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayern Munich in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Sunday, March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press

 

BERLIN (AP) — Thomas Mueller scored on his 250th Bundesliga appearance to stretch Bayern Munich's lead to 13 points with a 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.

Bayern, which has lost only once in the league all season, took a big step toward an unprecedented fifth straight title after Leipzig's surprise defeat at Werder Bremen on Saturday. There are nine rounds remaining after the international break.

"We knew what the situation was. We wanted to win the game," said Mueller, whose side is unbeaten in 19 matches across all competitions.

Bayern quickly settled into a pattern of trying to break through while 'Gladbach was restricted to a couple of long-range efforts that failed to trouble Manuel Neuer.

'Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer was much busier, denying Robert Lewandowski and Mueller.

Bayern went closest before the break when Arjen Robben struck the left corner of the goal-frame after cutting in from the right, and Sommer pulled off an outstanding reflex save to deny Lewandowski from the rebound. Lewandowski had also displayed great athleticism to make the header.

Just as the home side was displaying more bravery and Raffael went close after the hour-mark, Mueller struck when Thiago Alcantara played him in with a brilliant ball lifted over the defense. Mueller took one touch to control it and another to finally beat Sommer. It was just his second league goal compared to 20 last season.

"I don't know if you can call it 'typical Mueller' but I got a goal," the Germany forward said. "Of course it's a nice day for me."

Bayern's defense held firm as midtable 'Gladbach pushed hard for an equalizer.

Robben was visibly unhappy to be taken off with five minutes remaining.

"Footballers are still people. Even with a 13-point lead there's dissatisfaction there with one or two things. That's why we're ahead and I find it super," Mueller said.

___

MAINZ 0, SCHALKE 1

Sead Kolasinac's second-half strike was enough for Schalke to claim just its second away victory in the league.

Kolasinac struck five minutes after the break, playing a one-two with Guido Burgstaller when he was surrounded by defenders before running on to shoot inside the right corner.

The goal settled the visitors while Mainz was forced to risk more going forward.

Pablo De Blasis sent Jhon Cordoba through but Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann gathered the ball.

Nabil Bentaleb should have wrapped it up late but failed to get the better of Jonas Lossl in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Schalke moved ninth while Mainz stayed 12th, among four teams just two points above the relegation zone.

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