Bundesliga: Bayern Munich ease to victory at Hoffenheim
Last Updated: 18/04/15 7:17pm
Bayern Munich bounced back from their 3-1 defeat to Porto in the Champions League in midweek by taking another step closer to a third straight Bundesliga title, thanks to a 2-0 win at Hoffenheim.
Sebastian Rode scored the opening goal for an injury-depleted Bayern, who added a second through an Andreas Beck own goal to take maximum points and extend their advantage over Wolfsburg, who play on Sunday, to 13 points with five games to go.
Given the Bayern line-up, Hoffenheim will be ruing themselves for missing an opportunity to strengthen their own claim for a place in Europe next season, although they simply created too little danger to test Guardiola's men.
It had been a difficult week for Bayern with first the defeat in Portugal and then the resignation of their medical staff.
Boss Pep Guardiola was still deprived of several key players due to injury, yet the choices of Mitchell Weiser and Gianluca Gaudino in his starting XI were not necessarily dictated by injuries as the Catalan coach named a weakened side in view of the second leg with Porto on Tuesday.
Hoffenheim were unlikely to face Bayern in such a formation, yet even what may be classed as a second-string Bayern side lived up to the standards set by the regular first-teamers, dominating possession and the game.
The biggest surprise was how long it took them to take the lead with 38 minutes on the clock when Rode struck into the top right-hand corner after Thomas Muller's shot was parried by Oliver Baumann, and Robert Lewandowski set up the German midfielder.
A reaction was expected from Hoffenheim in the second half, but Bayern continued to sustain the pressure with Thiago Alcantara going close to doubling their lead, were it not for a good save from Baumann to deny him.
When it seemed like Bayern were taking their foot off the pedal towards the end of the game, they struck again with Beck diverting Muller's low cross into his own goal with his knee with the last touch of the game, to complete Bayern's win.