Bayern extends lead to 14 points with win at Mainz

Updated 03 February 2013
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Bayern extends lead to 14 points with win at Mainz

BERLIN: In-form striker Mario Mandzukic scored twice to steer Bayern Munich to a 3-0 victory at Mainz 05 yesterday and increase their runaway lead at the top of the Bundesliga to an enormous 14 points.
Bundesliga top scorer Mandzukic, who also scored one goal and set up another last week, struck twice in seven minutes early in the second half to take his league goal tally to 14 as Bayern won their 16th out of 20 games so far.
Thomas Mueller had given the visitors a 40th minute lead against the run of play with his 11th goal of the season.
Bayern, who set a new record after winning nine of their 10 away games this season without conceding a goal, are on 51 points with second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, on 37, facing champions Borussia Dortmund today.
Schalke 04 new signing Michel Bastos scored on his debut but it was not enough as the Champions League last 16 qualifiers slumped to a 2-1 defeat against bottom-placed Greuther Fuerth thanks to Nikola Djurdjic’s last-gasp goal.
Schalke are stuck in sixth place while Fuerth celebrated their second win this season, their first success dating back to August.
Mainz, in fifth on 30 points, were the livelier side at the start as they took the sting out of Bayern’s game with incessant pressure and quick breaks, coming close with Shawn Parker and Yunus Malli in the first half.

It took a quick move from the visitors themselves to take the lead when Mueller beat the offside trap after chasing down a fine Toni Kroos pass and rounding keeper Christian Wetklo to slot in from a tight angle.
Mandzukic, again picked to start ahead of Mario Gomez, added Bayern’s second five minutes after the restart when he tapped in a low David Alaba cross following the Austrian’s run down the left.
With Mainz now playing catch-up, Bayern had far more space available and it did not take long before they made it count.
Mueller sent captain Philipp Lahm through on the right and his cross was met by Mandzukic at the far post to head in Bayern’s third goal of the afternoon in the 57th.
Fortuna Duesseldorf stunned VfB Stuttgart 3-1 with two goals from Australian Robbie Kruse to move up to 13th place and away from the drop zone while Hoffenheim lifted themselves into the relegation playoff spot courtesy of a 2-1 win over Freiburg.
Relegation-threatened Augsburg continued their good start to the year, remaining undefeated for the third straight game with a 1-1 draw at VfL Wolfsburg.


‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay

Updated 20 June 2018
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‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay

  • A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half gave Uruguay a 1-0 win
  • Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance

ROSTOV-ON-DON: Good, but not good enough.
That was what Juan Antonio Pizzi stated as he declared himself pleased with his team’s performance in the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Wednesday night.
But he lamented his side’s lack of firepower as they exited the World Cup after just two matches.
Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance in Rostov-on-Don after losing their opening game 5-0 to hosts Russia in Moscow last week.
The Argentine got his wish with a display that saw the Green Falcons fight throughout and edge possession against a Uruguay side ranked 14th in the world.
A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half after poor goalkeeping from Mohammed Al-Owais, however, was enough to hand the Green Falcons a 12th successive World Cup defeat.
The result means that even with a win against Egypt on Monday, the Green Falcons are no longer capable of progressing to the knock-out stages from Group A.
“We had a lot of ball possession and were able to impose our style of play and distribution,” said Pizzi. “We conceded a goal from a random play and didn’t have the weapons or tools to try to equalize. We kept the ball well and weren’t really troubled defensively, but lacked that ability to score.”
Indeed, for all their possession, Saudi Arabia have managed just three shots on target in 180 minutes of football. Against Russia, they failed to muster a single effort on target and the managed just three against Uruguay, two of which came in the final minutes when they knew they had to score or face elimination. None of the three shots came from a striker.
“This is our weakness. We have good ball possession, but no effectiveness. We lack the depth and skill required to win these games,” Pizzi added. “We have that deficiency and have looked for solutions, but we haven’t quite come up with one yet. But that is one of the reasons great forward are in high demand and are the elite players in world football.”
Pizzi had made four changes ahead of the match, dropping goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf in favor of Al-Owais and introducing Ali Al-Bulayhi at the heart of the defense alongside Osama Hawsawi. Further upfield, Hattan Bahberi came in for Yahya Al-Shehri and Fahad Al-Muwallad replaced Mohammed Al-Sahlawi. The changes, particularly the inclusion of Bahberi, seemed to give the side more impetus in midfield.
“The difference between the performance in the first game and this game is enormous,” Pizzi said. “The only way to compete at this level is to play at the level we did here. And even then it was not enough even to get a draw. Undoubtedly there were other factors aside from the pressure of playing in the opening game that made a difference, but it’s true that the difference was enormous.”
Many critics had predicted a deluge of goals from the likes of Suarez and Cavani, yet both were kept at bay. Save for a couple of half-chances early on, neither came close to scoring until the 23rd minute.
A corner from Carlos Sanchez sailed into the area and when Al-Owais came for it but failed to connect with his punch, Barcelona forward Suaréz was left with the simplest of tap-ins. He was so caught off-guard, he actually looked surprised as he reeled away in celebration.
“I believe you cannot be relaxed in any match,” Suarez said when asked by a Uruguayan journalist whether he had taken it easy against the Saudis.
“We wanted to win and to progress to the knock-out stage and this game simply showed how difficult it is. That’s the World Cup for you though and we are obviously delighted with how we have performed so far to progress.”
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not share his striker’s sentiments.
“Saudi Arabia wanted to excel and give a better account of themselves after losing to Russia,” he said.
“They did that very well and we have to respect them. But what surprised me the most is how we played. We underperformed.”