Berlin: Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to 13 points as Thomas Mueller capped his 250th league appearance with a rare goal in Sunday`s 1-0 victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
After second-placed RB Leipzig crashed to a 3-0 win at Werder Bremen on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti`s Bayern took the chance to go further ahead in the table as they edge ever closer to a fifth straight league title.
This was Bayern`s sixth straight win in all competitions in a dominant display as they created 18 shots on goal, to Gladbach`s 14, and enjoyed nearly 70 percent possession.
Thiago Alcantara was the architect for Mueller`s winner, flicking his pass over the Gladbach defence for the Germany star to fire home his 93rd Bundesliga goal from close range on 63 minutes.
“We knew it would be hard to get a win here, so we stepped on the turbo after the break,” Mueller told Sky.
It was only Mueller`s second league goal this season — having scored 20 in 2015/16 — and his first since December, but he has turned provider in this campaign with 11 assists in the league.
“After this season, I don`t know what a `typical Mueller` goal is any more, but it`s fun to play with the lads. It`s been a good day,” he replied after a reporter commented he had scored a “typical Mueller” goal.
Bayern created numerous chances before Mueller`s breakthrough as Arjen Robben hit the post in the first-half and Robert Lewandowski forced Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer into a point-blank save with a header.
Lewandowski endured a frustrating afternoon and could not add to his 21 league goals in his race to be Germany`s top-scorer with Dortmund`s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has 23.
The only down side for Ancelotti was Xabi Alonso`s yellow card, his fifth of the season, for a foul on Andre Hahn which means the defensive midfielder is suspended for Bayern`s next game at Augsburg on April 1.
The hosts, who drop to 10th after the defeat, piled on the pressure at the end and had their chances to sneak a point as Swiss striker Josip Drmic was only denied by good defending by Bayern`s Javi Martinez.
Earlier, Schalke 04 climbed two places to ninth as masked Bosnia defender Sead Kolasinac produced a superb individual goal after 50 minutes in their 1-0 win at Mainz.
The 23-year-old was wearing a mask after breaking his nose last month.
But he showed great vision to finish a move he started, swapping passes with striker Guido Burgstaller, then dribbling into the area and firing home.
Schalke`s second-half replacement Nabil Bentaleb could have added a second goal at the death when he broke free of the defence, but could not beat Mainz`s Denmark goalkeeper Jonas Loessl.