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Bayern extend lead
Berlin (dpa) - Thomas Mueller was the match-winner as Bayern Munich earned a 1-0 victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach to go 13 points clear at the top of the German football Bundesliga on Sunday. Mueller, recently often a substitute, was picked from the start by coach Carlo Ancelotti for his 250th Bundesliga game and struck in the 63rd minute for only his second league goal of the season.
The goal was created by Thiago Alcantara's chip into the area, with Mueller timing his run into the area, controlling the ball with his right foot and firing a left foot shot past Yann Sommer in goal. It was Mueller's 93rd Bundesliga goal but only his second this term following his previous effort on December 10 in a 5-0 victory over Wolfsburg.
"We knew what the situation was. We wanted to win the game and really put our foot down," Mueller told Sky television. Asked if it was a typical Mueller goal in the area, he said: "I don't know whether you can talk about a typical Mueller. I scored a goal. That I still have it in me I know." Arjen Robben had gone close just before half-time with a typical cut in from the right and left foot shot from outside the area which hit the angle of bar and post. Robert Lewandowski followed up to head the rebound which Sommer kept out with a dive to his right.
Champions Bayern are now on 62 points and seemingly unstoppable on their way to what would be a 27th league title and the fifth in a row. RB Leipzig, who crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Werder Bremen on Saturday, are second on 49 points, three ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who beat Ingolstadt 1-0 on Friday.
Schalke meanwhile earned a 1-0 win at Mainz to keep alive their hopes of returning to the Europa League next season. Sead Kolasinac scored the only goal five minutes after the break for a win that moves Schalke to ninth on 33 points, four adrift of a European berth. It also prevented the Gelsenkirchen club being dragged down into a tight battle near the relegation places. Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl said: "Compliments to my team, that was a great effort. We still had Thursday's (Europa League) game in our bones but we defended the goal with everything we had." Mainz, after a third game without a win, stay on 29 points, alongside Werder Bremen, Augsburg and Wolfsburg. SV Hamburg are two points further adrift in the relegation/promotion play-off spot.
Schalke, who reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday, could thank defender Kolasinac for the three points. He carried the ball out of defence and then combined with Guido Burgstaller down the left before finding the far corner of the net with an angled shot. Mainz coach Martin Schmidt said the match data looked good for his team, but not the result. "We will take up the fight and continue to work solidly. The constellation in the table is very hot for seven or eight teams," he said.