Augsburg claim away win at Düsseldorf
South Korea midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol netted on Sunday to help Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg pick up only their second league win of the season with a 3-2 victory at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Koo, 23, gave Augsburg a 2-0 lead at the break when he scored from a tight angle on the stroke of half-time by firing across Fortuna's luckless goalkeeper Fabian Giefer to claim his third goal of the season.
Giefer was exposed twice as he first allowed Augsburg striker Sascha Mölders a simple tap in after the ball rolled through his legs on 40 mins. Mölders then added Augsburg's third when he charged down Giefer's 71st-minute clearance kick which flew into the Fortuna net. Australia midfielder Robbie Kruse helped pull a goal back for Fortuna when his 73rd minute pass was converted by striker Stefan Rensinger, who then netted a second on 91 minutes to set up a tense finale.
Earlier Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart made his first Hamburg appearance since November to help his club secure a Bundesliga point at Nuremberg in a 1-1 draw. Hamburg were only denied three points after South Korea striker Son Heung-Min hit the post seconds before the final whistle with Nuremberg goalkeeper and captain Raphael Schaefer beaten.
Former Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur star Van der Vaart, 29, has endured a difficult few months after tearing his hamstring in November, then injuring his thigh, but looked sharp playing behind strikers Son and Artjoms Rudnevs.
Hamburg took the lead on 70 minutes when Latvia striker Rudnevs headed home, only for Czech Republic striker Tomas Pekhart to level for the hosts five minutes later. The point moves Hamburg up to ninth while Nuremberg, whose coach Michael Wiesinger was taking charge of his first Bundesliga match, are 15th, just above the relegation places.
Business as usual
After the euphoria of Pep Guardiola's appointment as head coach for next season, Bayern Munich returned to Bundesliga action on Saturday with a 2-0 win at home to bottom side Greuther Fürth. "We're pleased we won and also kept a clean sheet," said Bayern's current coach Jupp Heynckes, who will stand down at the end of the season.
"Our game was tenacious and not so fluid as we are used to, but perhaps that is a positive, as we know what we have to work on." Striker Mario Mandzukic scored either side of half-time after Bayern pulled off a coup for the German league on Wednesday by announcing 42-year-old Guardiola, who won 14 titles in four years at Barcelona, will take charge from July 1.
Fuerth have just one league win all season and Bayern enjoyed more than 75 percent ball possession to dominate their Bavarian neighbours at the Allianz Arena. With Germany striker Mario Gomez left on Bayern's bench until the last five minutes, Mandzukic added to his tally of 11 league goals as he first volleyed home on 26 minutes with some help from Fuerth goalkeeper Wolfgang Hesl.
The second came on 61 minutes when the Croatia star headed home a Toni Kroos corner having slipped marker Christopher Noethe to keep Bayern nine points clear of second place Bayer Leverkusen. "It's not important whether I score, only that we won as a team," said Mandzukic. "We have worked hard in recent weeks. We didn't play as well as we can, but we're satisfied."
Bayer Leverkusen enjoyed a 3-1 win at home to fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, although the first-half was briefly held-up at the 15-minute mark after away fans lit flares in their block. Bayer bolted into a 2-0 led with two goals in as many minutes as Poland defender Sebastian Boenisch slotted home on 31 minutes after Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp failed in his attempt to parry the shot. Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling, the league's top scorer, took his tally to 13 shortly after when he tapped into an empty net after midfielder Gonzalo Castro had drawn Trapp out of his goal.
Germany forward Andre Schuerrle made sure of the three points with the third on 58 minutes, before Frankfurt midfielder Alexander Meier scored a 78th-minute consolation, his 12th of the season, as defeat left Eintracht fourth.
Third-placed defending champions Borussia Dortmund stayed in touch with the leaders with an emphatic 5-0 victory at Werder Bremen on Saturday night in sub-zero temperatures. Germany midfielder Marco Reus curled in a ninth minute free-kick, international team-mate Mario Goetze slammed in a shot off the crossbar ten minutes later before centre-back Felipe Santana headed home three minutes after the break. Poland pair Robert Lewandowski and his national team captain Jakub Blaszczykowski completed the rout with goals in the last ten minutes as the Bremen defence collapsed.
Mainz were held at home to a goalless draw by Freiburg after German-American striker Shawn Parker was sent off for the hosts after earning his second yellow a minute from time. Hoffenheim remain in the bottom three and seven points from safety after a 0-0 draw at home to Mönchengladbach.
On Friday, Schalke 04 earned their first win in seven league games, dating back to November 10, with a 5-4 win over Hanover to give new coach Jens Keller his first Bundesliga win. Tottenham Hotspur-bound Lewis Holtby created two goals and scored Schalke's fifth as eight goals were scored in the second-half.