Max Kruse

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Bundesliga wrap: Mainz holds Bayern; Kruse bags four

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RB Leipzig has a chance to close the Bundesliga gap to six points after Bayern Munich dropped points to Mainz on Saturday.

[ FA CUP SEMI: Chelsea 4-2 Spurs ]

Despite hosting the match, the Allianz Arena needed a pair of equalizers to gain a point.

Bayern Munich 2-2 Mainz

A huge boost for the visitors, who likely didn’t expect this relegation safety aid. Stoke City loanee Bojan Krkic scored early and Daniel Brosinski converted a penalty to give Mainz 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but Arjen Robben and Thiago Alcantara arranged a point for the Bavarians.

Ingolstadt 2-4 Werder Bremen

Max Kruse scored not one, not two, not three, but four goals as once relegation-threatened Werder surged up the table and into sixth place. The visitors trailed 2-1 with 10 minutes to play when Kruse scored in the 81st, 87th, and fourth minute of stoppage time.

Borussia Monchengladbach 2-3 Borussia Dortmund

BVB overcame throwing away an early lead and conceding an own goal to climb into third place on goals from Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Raphael Guerreiro.

USMNT phenom Christian Pulisic went 90 minutes for BVB, won 10 duels and made more sprints (42) than anyone else in the match.

Koln 1-1 Hoffenheim

If you missed it Friday, this is how Kerem Demirbay nabbed the point which ensure Hoffenheim will make its first trip to European competition by virtue of a Top Six finish.

Elsewhere
Hertha Berlin 1-0 Wolfsburg
 – Ibisevic scores
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Augsburg – Two for El Tri’s Fabian
Hamburg 1-2 Darmstadt – Sulu, Platte with goals
Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen – 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke vs. RB Leipzig – 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 30 21 7 2 73 17 56 11-4-0 10-3-2 70
 RB Leipzig 29 19 4 6 55 30 25 12-1-2 7-3-4 61
 Borussia Dortmund 30 16 8 6 65 35 30 11-3-0 5-5-6 56
 1899 Hoffenheim 30 14 13 3 57 32 25 10-5-0 4-8-3 55
 Hertha BSC Berlin 30 14 4 12 38 35 3 12-1-2 2-3-10 46
 Werder Bremen 30 12 6 12 50 51 -1 7-1-7 5-5-5 42
 1. FC Köln 30 10 11 9 43 37 6 7-6-2 3-5-7 41
 Eintracht Frankfurt 30 11 8 11 32 34 -2 7-6-2 4-2-9 41
 SC Freiburg 29 12 5 12 36 51 -15 8-1-5 4-4-7 41
 Mönchengladbach 30 11 6 13 39 44 -5 7-3-5 4-3-8 39
 FC Schalke 04 29 10 7 12 38 34 4 8-3-4 2-4-8 37
 Bayer Leverkusen 29 10 6 13 42 44 -2 5-5-5 5-1-8 36
 FSV Mainz 05 30 9 6 15 39 49 -10 6-4-5 3-2-10 33
 VfL Wolfsburg 30 9 6 15 30 43 -13 5-2-8 4-4-7 33
 Hamburger SV 30 9 6 15 30 55 -25 7-3-5 2-3-10 33
 FC Augsburg 30 8 8 14 29 49 -20 4-5-6 4-3-8 32
 FC Ingolstadt 04 30 8 4 18 33 54 -21 4-3-8 4-1-10 28
 Darmstadt 30 6 3 21 23 58 -35 5-3-7 1-0-14 21

Germany’s Max Kruse returns to Werder Bremen from Wolfsburg

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BREMEN, Germany (AP) — Werder Bremen says it has signed Germany forward Max Kruse from Bundesliga rival Wolfsburg.

The 28-year-old Kruse, who previously played for the club between 2006 and 2009, joined after passing a medical examination on Tuesday. The club did not disclose the length of his contract, nor the transfer fee.

Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik says, “Max is flexible across the attack and gives us more options for our game. We paid attention to his (season) preparations and are certain that he can make an immediate impact on the pitch.”

Kruse played for St. Pauli, Freiburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach before joining Wolfsburg last summer. Altogether, he has scored 42 goals in 166 Bundesliga games.

Kruse has made 14 appearances for Germany but was dropped ahead of Euro 2016.

Bad week for Max Kruse: Down $100,000 and dropped from Germany

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Max Kruse has had a rough few days.

Back in October, the Wolfsburg forward left a bag of cash (a big bag filled with more than $80,000) in the back of a taxi after having a good night at the poker table.

[ MORE: Tadic quits Serbia ]

When the incident went public last week, Wolfsburg fined Kruse another $28,000 for his behavior reflecting poorly on the club.

Then days after that, Wolfsburg director Klaus Allofs strangely criticized Kruse for eating too much Nutella.

[ MORE: Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. X ]

To cap off his tumultuous week, Kruse was not named in the German squad for their upcoming friendlies against England and Italy. Germany manager Joachim Low said Kruse’s “unprofessional” actions led to him being dropped from the team.

We need players who are focused on football and also understand their role as role models.

I talked with Max about what I expect from players on and off the pitch. His actions in the last weeks were unprofessional.

The 28-year-old has 14 caps for the German national team, scoring three goals for the side during their EURO 2016 qualification campaign.

Gent 2-3 Wolfsburg: Belgians rally late after Draxler, Kruse open 3-0 lead

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Julian Draxler scored a brace and Max Kruse added a massive third away goal as Wolfsburg picked up a 3-2 win at Gent in Wednesday’s first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie.

Sven Kums and Kalifa Coulibaly scored late to keep it interesting, with the second goal assisted by potential future U.S. men’s national teamer Kenny Saief.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

It took nearly 45 minutes for the match to see its first shot on target, but what a shot it was.

Draxler made an electric turn down the left flank before working a 1-2 with Vieirinha to score the match’s opener.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] (for UCL)

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]

Draxler added another in the 54th minute to give the highly-favored German side a pair of away goals. Christian Träsch found Kruse for a left-footed finish to make the tie feel all-but-academic in the 60th minute.

Brecht Dejaegere set up Kums for a late goal, and — hold on! –Saief found Coulibaly for a second to keep the Belgian side alive.

Wolfsburg leapfrogs ‘Gladbach with win, signs its star forward to 4-year deal

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Barring a horrific collapse from Borussia Monchengladbach, we know the three Bundesliga clubs that will move directly to the group stage of next season’s UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and ‘Gladbach.

And one of the Top Three is swiping another’s joint-leading scorer, as Wolfsburg has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with ‘Gladbach striker Max Kruse. The 27-year-old German forward has 11 goals this season, tied for the club lead with Patrick Herrmann, and will join Wolfsburg in the summer.

[ MORE: Three things from Chelsea/Liverpool ]

The news comes on the same day that Wolfsburg clinched a UCL group stage berth with a 3-1 win at Paderborn, moving back ahead of ‘Gladbach on the table.

From the Associated Press:

Both clubs agreed not to disclose the transfer fee, though German media reported that Kruse had a release clause of 12 million euros ($13.5 million).

Wolfsburg director Klaus Allofs says “we’re very happy that Max Kruse decided on a switch to Wolfsburg. He is the type of forward that was missing from our squad and he increases the quality and variety of our attack.”

With just a point separating the clubs in the table, this is one of those times the “pre-signing” doesn’t mesh well with traditional ideas of competition. Wolfsburg finishes with a pair on the road — at Borussia Dortmund and Koln — while ‘Gladbach heads to Werder Bremen before a home finale against Augsburg.