Dortmund and Munich win ahead of their Bundesliga showdown
By John Bagratuni Apr 7, 2012, 15:33 GMT
Berlin - Borussia Dortmund won 3-1 at 10-man VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday to take a three-point lead into next week's Bundesliga table topper against Bayern Munich, who defeated Augsburg 2-1.
Robert Lewandowski struck twice and Ilkay Guendogan got the other as the title holders Dortmund stretched their unbeaten run to 23 games.
Munich had to fight harder than expected against Augsburg after going 1-0 up 24 seconds into the game from league top scorer Mario Gomez, but the Germany forward tapped the winner on the hour.
Dortmund have 66 points and Munich 63, with Schalke on 54 ahead of a Sunday date with Hanover and Moenchengladbach on 52, seemingly running out of steam after being held 0-0 at home by second bottom Hertha Berlin late Saturday in their fourth game without victory.
Munich have the chance to dethrone Dortmund at the top, owing to a superior goal-difference, if they win on Wednesday. If Dortmund win, they would be six points clear but face Schalke and Moenchengladbach in the next games.
'As far as I know there are still four games left afterwards (the Wednesday game) ... so Wednesday will not all but decide the title,' said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp.
Dortmund were held 4-4 at home by Stuttgart in their last game but rebounded on Saturday at Wolfsburg, who had won their last four games to get into Europa League contention.
Lewandowski netted from short range off a left-wing cross from the lively Ivan Perisic in the 22nd and Ilkay Guendogan doubled the lead four minutes after the restart with a curling 14m effort.
But, having thrown away a 2-0 and 4-3 lead against Stuttgart, they had to sweat it out after Mario Mandzukic's header revived Wolfsburg's hopes in the 61st - until the hosts had Alexander Madlung sent off for a second bookable offence in the 83rd and Lewandowski wrapped up matters in the dying seconds with his 19th season goal.
'We did well, played our game after conceding the goal and were awarded with the third,' Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller told Sky TV. 'We are looking forward to the game with Munich. It will be a great game.'
Munich had a perfect start into their Bavarian derby with Augsburg when Gomez' shot crossed the line off the left post and the bar after goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch had saved his initial attempt.
The Champions League semi-finalists had to swallow the equalizer from Koo Ja Choel's 14m drive in the 23rd. But they raised their game after the break and Gomez restored the lead with his 25th goal of the season, tapping home Arjen Robben's low cross.
'The victory was important. It is not easy at the end of the season. We have five tough games left and want to win all of them,' Gomez told Sky.
Stuttgart bolstered their Europa League ambitions with a 4-1 comeback victory against Mainz, with Tamas Hajnal's curling effort, a double from Vedad Ibisevic and a harsh penalty from Zdravko Kuzmanovic reversing Mainz' lead from a second-minute spot kick by Andreas Ivanschitz.
Lowly Cologne drew 1-1 with Europa League hopefuls Werder Bremen which helped neither side. The visitors led from Markus Rosenberg, Ammar Jemal headed Cologne's equalizer in the 39th.
Freiburg rallied from 2-0 down to a 2-2 draw against fellow strugglers Nuremberg and bottom club Kaiserslautern are 10 points away from safety after crashing 2-1 against Hoffenheim.
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