Arturo Vidal

AP Photo/Michael Probst

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern’s walking away with it (again)

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Remember when the Bundesliga threatened to give us a title race? Those were the days.

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Bayern Munich won again on the road, improving its goal differential to 24 and stretching its table lead thanks to draws for RB Leipzig, Schalke, and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Maybe next year.

Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Werder Bremen

Soon-to-be 21-year-old Maximilian Eggestein saw his early goal canceled out by — who else? — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie restored the visitors’ lead in the 65th minute and BVB wouldn’t find an answer.

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Bayern Munich

The hosts had been rather stingy, but Arturo Vidal found a break through to give Jupp Heynckes’ men another win. Bayern is now eight points clear of the pack after another win.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Schalke

Christoph Kramer’s 24th minute lead was canceled out by a second half own goal, but Schalke couldn’t find the goal to keep pace with Bayern.

Elsewhere
Stuttgart 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
RB Leipzig 2-2 Mainz
Hamburg 0-0 Wolfsburg
Koln vs. Freiburg — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hannover 96 vs. Hoffenheim — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Augsburg vs. Hertha Berlin — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 15 11 2 2 35 11 24 6-1-0 5-1-2 35
 RB Leipzig 15 8 3 4 24 21 3 5-2-0 3-1-4 27
 FC Schalke 04 15 7 5 3 23 17 6 4-3-1 3-2-2 26
 Mönchengladbach 15 7 4 4 24 26 -2 4-2-2 3-2-2 25
 Bayer Leverkusen 15 6 6 3 29 19 10 3-4-0 3-2-3 24
 1899 Hoffenheim 14 6 5 3 25 18 7 4-3-1 2-2-2 23
 Borussia Dortmund 15 6 4 5 35 23 12 3-1-3 3-3-2 22
 FC Augsburg 14 6 4 4 21 16 5 3-2-2 3-2-2 22
 Eintracht Frankfurt 15 6 4 5 16 15 1 2-1-4 4-3-1 22
 Hannover 96 14 5 4 5 17 19 -2 3-2-1 2-2-4 19
 VfL Wolfsburg 15 3 9 3 20 19 1 2-5-1 1-4-2 18
 Hertha BSC Berlin 14 4 5 5 19 21 -2 3-2-3 1-3-2 17
 VfB Stuttgart 15 5 2 8 13 19 -6 5-1-1 0-1-7 17
 FSV Mainz 05 15 4 4 7 17 24 -7 4-1-3 0-3-4 16
 Hamburger SV 15 4 3 8 13 20 -7 3-2-3 1-1-5 15
 Werder Bremen 15 3 5 7 11 17 -6 2-1-4 1-4-3 14
 SC Freiburg 14 2 6 6 9 25 -16 2-5-1 0-1-5 12
 1. FC Köln 14 0 3 11 6 27 -21 0-1-5 0-2-6 3

Bundesliga: Bayern running away (again) after slow start

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BERLIN (AP) Robert Lewandowski scored twice to help Bayern Munich stretch its lead in the Bundesliga to six points with a 3-0 defeat of Bavarian rival Augsburg on Saturday.

It was the 500th league win for Jupp Heynckes as a player or coach and extends the 72-year-old’s winning start to eight games across all competitions since he returned for his fourth stint.

“That’s a surprise for me. I don’t bother with statistics and numbers,” Heynckes said on being told about his winning landmark. “But it’s an impressive number (500). I had a long career as a player, and now as a coach. It wasn’t planned.”

Heynckes was coaxed out of retirement to take over from the fired Carlo Ancelotti on Oct. 5. Bayern was trailing then-leader Borussia Dortmund by five points at the time. Now the side is nine points ahead of Dortmund, which hasn’t won in the league since Sept. 30, and six ahead of Leipzig, held to a draw at Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal broke the deadlock after half an hour, swiveling to fire home the rebound from a difficult angle after Mats Hummels’s effort was blocked and the ball ricocheted off Niklas Suele.

Vidal turned provider seven minutes later, playing Lewandowski through on a counterattack to shoot past Marwin Hitz.

The Poland striker claimed his league-leading 13th goal of the season early in the second half with a perfectly struck volley to Joshua Kimmich’s precise long cross from the right.

Vidal headed against the crossbar just afterward before Bayern conserved energy for Wednesday’s Champions League game at Anderlecht.

The win stretched the side’s unbeaten record to 28 games at home.

Winless Cologne’s terrible start to the league continued with its 10th defeat in 12 games, while the discussion over video assistance in the league will continue after two mistakes by referee Felix Brych.

Daniel Brosinski’s penalty before the break was enough for a 1-0 win for Mainz against Cologne, but how it came about will ensure the controversy over video assistance goes on.

Brych pointed to the spot when Pablo De Blasis fell under Frederik Sorensen’s challenge. He then consulted the video assistant, who had the benefit of studying replays in Cologne, and stood by the decision – despite television showing that Sorensen made hardly any contact with the Mainz player.

Brych later sent off Mainz’s Giulio Donati for what he perceived as striking Leon Bittencourt after a tussle between the two. However, Bittencourt’s foot struck Donati in the face beforehand. Donati, who was lying on the pitch clutching his face, brushed the Cologne player away when he went to lift him up.

Following controversial decisions in previous games, the German soccer federation said video assistants were only to step in when there was “a clear wrong decision.”

Ten-man Leverkusen came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw at home against second-place Leipzig.

Timo Werner’s early penalty put the visitors in front before Leon Bailey equalized before the break.

The home side’s hopes took a blow when Benjamin Henrichs was sent off for handball on the line and Emil Forsberg scored the resulting penalty, but Kevin Volland equalized again with a quarter-hour remaining.

Wolfsburg defeated Freiburg 3-1 at home to give coach Martin Schmidt his first win after he started with seven draws.

On loan from Bayern, Serge Gnabry did brilliantly to set up Mark Uth for Hoffenheim’s injury-time equalizer in a 1-1 draw with visiting Eintracht Frankfurt.

WATCH: Chile’s Vidal gives a clinic on heading… with an own goal

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Maybe Chile’s Arturo Vidal really wants to see Paraguay earn a spot in the 2018 World Cup.

We’ve seen some spectacular own goals this year, from Colorado’s Jared Watts to Young Boys’ Kasim Adams Nuhu, but few ever have the genuine look of a dynamite goal.

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Furthermore, we’ve seen Vidal score a lot of great goals, so his clinical finish of a Paraguay free kick beyond his backstop is almost impossible for a brain to process.

If Paraguay holds on to beat Chile — it’s halftime as of this post’s time — Los Guaraníes will be within two points of their Thursday hosts and closer to moving into the all-important Top Five in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.

Vidal says beating Germany would make Chile world’s best

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Arturo Vidal and Chile want to be the unofficial world champions.

It may be only the Confederations Cup on the line when Chile faces Germany in Sunday’s final, but the combative midfielder wants to claim the bragging rights over his German teammates at Bayern Munich.

[ MORE: 3 key battles for Confederations Cup final ]

It could be the third title in as many years for Chile’s golden generation of players. They racked up Copa America wins in 2015 and 2016, beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina in both finals, and defeated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on penalties in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal.

After beating two of the sport’s best teams, Vidal says “tomorrow if we win we will be the best team in the world.”

Vidal rips Ronaldo ahead of Confederations Cup semifinal

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Chile hopes to make a statement on Wednesday when it faces EURO 2016 champions Portugal and Ballon d’Or champion Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 2015 and 2016 Copa America champions can lay claim to another inter-confederation title with two more wins in the 2017 Confederations Cup, beginning with the semifinal in Kazan.

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Chile finished behind Germany in Group B but didn’t lose a match and only allowed two goals. That’ll be tested by Portugal and its seven goals in three matches.

Two of those goals came from Ronaldo, but don’t tell that to Arturo Vidal. Chile’s hard-edged midfielder doesn’t like him much.

From Goal.com:

“Cristiano is a smart ass,” he told reporters. “For me he does not exist.

“I have already told my Bayern Munich team-mate Joshua Kimmich that we will meet again in the final.”

Germany will have to take care of Mexico to make that happen, though we have a feeling a certain smart ass will have a thing or two to say before it’s all said and done.

Vidal has spoken loudly of his desire to get Chilean teammate Alexis Sanchez, a former Barcelona man, at his club Bayern Munich. If Ronaldo is on the market, this isn’t a great recruiting tool. Ah, jokes.