Football: Bayern go 11 clear, extend Hertha's 38-year wait

Bayern Munich players celebrate after the second goal.
Bayern Munich players celebrate after the second goal.AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Bayern Munich went 11 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 2-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin, who have now gone 38 years without a win at the German giants.

With second-placed Borussia Dortmund hosting VfB Stuttgart on Sunday, Bayern took the chance to extend their lead with first-half goals by Germany forward Thomas Mueller and France Under-21 winger Kingsley Coman.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola praised his side for their resiliance with star wingers Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa all currently injured.

"We have a few injuries and only Kingsley Coman to play on the wings," said Guardiola.

"We did well in the first-half, we wanted more control in the second half and to stop them counter-attacking.

"I know how hard it is for the players to be ready to play every three days."

Despite their schedule, Bayern show no signs of loosening their iron-grip on the Bundesliga title.

They picked up their 13th win from 14 league games to give them 40 from a possible 42 points and this was the first time in eight home games that Bayern failed to score at least four goals.

With 13 goals in 14 league games, Mueller had already equalled his tally for the whole of last season with less than half the campaign gone.

Guardiola experimented with the starting line-up by pushing Germany centre-back Jerome Boateng into a midfield role, which led to their second goal.

They took the lead at Munich's Allianz Arena when Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal's cross found Medhi Benatia, whose shot was heading wide, but Mueller was on hand to head home on 34 minutes.

Bayern doubled their lead on 41 minutes when Boateng lobbed the ball into Javi Martinez, whose pass found Coman and the French winger did the rest to make it 2-0 at the break.

Hertha, who last won in Munich in 1977, are in fifth place after Borussia Moechengladbach leap-frogged them into fourth with a 3-3 draw at Hoffenheim.

Gladbach's head coach Andre Schubert preserved his nine-game unbeaten record in the lead since taking charge two months ago.

Borussia took an early lead thanks to USA international Fabian Johnson, who then scored their equaliser to rescue a point.

Hoffenheim, chasing their first win since September, took a 3-1 lead just after the break thanks to goals by Steven Zuber, Eugen Polanski and Nadiem Amiri.

But Swiss striker Josip Drmic pulled it back to 3-2 for Gladbach before Johnson claimed his second with a superb shot three minutes from time.

Hamburg are up to sixth after their 3-1 win at Werder Bremen in the north German derby.

Hamburg raced into an early 2-0 lead as Croatia midfielder Ivo Ilicevic scored on their opening attack, then striker Michael Gregoritsch doubled their lead on 26 minutes.

Nigeria's Anthony Ujah pulled a goal back for Werder on 62 minutes, then Germany forward Nicolai Mueller made it 3-1 to Hamburg on 68 minutes when Ilicevic's final pass put him in behind the hosts' defence.

Hanover eased the pressure on coach Michael Frontzeck with a 4-0 thumping at home to Ingolstadt which lifted them up to 14th and pulled them away from the relegation zone.

Japan striker Yoshinori Muto scored his seventh goal of the season in Mainz's 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

His forward partner Yunus Malli added their second to claim his eighth while Frankfurt had captain Alex Meier sent off for a second yellow card.