Created on 03-03-2013 at 00:00 AM
Bayern knew they faced a fight away to relegation-haunted Hoffenheim on Sunday afternoon, and the strugglers did indeed make the runaway league leaders work hard for a narrow but ultimately merited victory courtesy of Mario Gomez’ first-half strike.
The 30,1550 capacity crowd at Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim saw the home side more than hold their own against the reshaped visitors for the first quarter of the match, but FCB found another gear after that and Gomez duly struck a 38th-minute opener.
Both sides enjoyed periods of ascendancy after the restart, Bastian Schweinsteiger crashing a 70th-minute free-kick off the bar and then hitting the inside of the post barely five minutes later, but Munich looked increasingly assured against the tiring home side and safely saw the game through to the close.
Bayern’s 20th victory this term sees the champions-elect onto another new record of 63 points from 24 league games, with an equally imposing goal difference of +5X. FCB, who maintain their 17-point lead in the standings over champions Dortmund, are in action again next Saturday afternoon at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf, before Arsenal visit the Allianz Arena in the Champions League the following Wednesday.