Bayern Munich beat Mainz, stretch lead to 18 points

Franck Ribery scored Bayern’s first goal against Mainz

German champions Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to 18 points with a comfortable victory at Mainz.

Winger Franck Ribery sweetly struck the opener from the edge of the area, before midfielder James Rodriguez drilled in the second.

 

On-loan Liverpool striker Divock Origi scored his fifth goal of the season in Wolfsburg’s 1-1 draw against Stuttgart.

Meanwhile, two ex-Premier League players netted in Hertha Berlin’s 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim.

Former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric opened the scoring for the visitors from the penalty spot in the first half, before Chelsea old boy Salomon Kalou levelled in the second half.

READ: Aubameyang score on debut as Arsenal thrash sorry Everton

Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen drew 0-0 at Freiburg in an ill-tempered match which saw seven home players booked by the referee.

Ruthless Ribéry, sparkling James

The 34,000 capacity crowd at the Opel Arena saw an open and entertaining contest between two attack-minded sides.

Tolisso’s effort from long distance skidded wide before the very industrious Frenchman took aim for a second time, the ball flying just over the bar.

Mainz midfielder Alexandru Maxim cut inside at the other end, his curler going wide.

Bayern drew first blood after the half-hour when a corner was cleared but Ribéry was on hand at the edge of the Mainz box.

The Frenchman smashed a wonderful volley into the far corner of the net.

Bayern soon had the away faithful on their feet for a second time, and the champions put all their individual quality into the second goal.

Tolisso whipped in a perceptive pinpoint cross that found James. The Colombian brilliantly cushioned the ball with his chest and crashed home, before match official Sören Storks blew for half-time.

Scorching heat in wintry weather

The pace was stunning after the restart, with gilt-edged chances at either end.

Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner proved equal to a Wagner effort before Bayern shone with fine combinations in and around the hosts’ box, but two Tolisso efforts were blocked.

Sandro Schwarz’ troops went looking for a reply now, and there was danger in the Bayern box following a stray pass by Ulreich, but the keeper immediately atoned for the mishap when he made a fine save from Mainz sub Robin Quaison.

The visitors staged a counter, and Ribéry had only Zentner to beat thanks to Tolisso’s fine pass, but the angle was too tight for the Frenchman after he tried to round the keeper.

Ulreich soon beat Yoshinori Muto to a dangerous throughball before Mats Hummels cleared Abdou Diallo’s shot off the line.

Tolisso sprayed another fine pass to tee up the charging Müller, but the native Bavarian miscued his effort.

A Quaison effort went just wide before Zentner denied a deflected James shot.

Mainz did have the ball in the back of the net when Muto tapped in a rebound, but the linesman’s flag was raised for Quaison’s initial effort, and Storks blew for full-time.

The result means Bayern have 53 points from 21 Bundesliga matches, 18 points clear of Leverkusen before Frankfurt cross swords with Augsburg on Sunday.

The Reds are back in action in just three days, when they travel to face Paderborn in the cup before entertaining Schalke in the Bundesliga next Saturday.

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