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VfB Stuttgart 1 Bayern 2

Gomez brace seals victory over ten-man VfB

Former Stuttgart hero Mario Gomez condemned his former club to defeat on Sunday with a pair of well-taken goals for visiting Bayern, but the men from Munich were not firing on all cylinders and made heavy weather of it at times against a side reduced to ten men after less than half an hour. The FCB camp will not worry unduly about that, as the result sees the Reds move three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga standings.

The 60,441 capacity crowd at the magnificently renovated Mercedes-Benz-Arena saw Christian Gentner open for the home side after just six minutes, but Gomez levelled before the quarter-hour. Stuttgart were reduced to ten men on the half-hour when Cristian Molinaro was dismissed for his second crude foul of the afternoon, but the leaders were unable to exploit their numerical advantage before half-time.

That changed on 57 minutes when Gomez completed his brace after a spell of sustained FCB pressure, and Jupp Heynckes’ men were content enough to protect their lead until the final whistle, despite a slight loss of concentration at the end and a touch of niggle which produced seven yellow cards in addition to the sending off.

The result means FCB now have 34 points from 16 matches, and following Dortmund’s 1-1 draw at home to Lautern, and Schalke’s 2-1 win against Berlin on Friday, extend their lead in the Bundesliga to three points. The Bavarians are next in action at home to in-form FC Köln next Friday in the final league fixture prior to the winter break, before rounding off their 2011 programme away to Bochum in the DFB Cup the following Tuesday.