Bayern 2-0 Freiburg: Robben bags 100th goal in stroll

The Dutchman sent Pep Guardiola’s men ahead in the midweek clash before Thomas Muller doubled the lead shortly after the break at the Allianz Arena

Arjen Robben scored his 100th goal as a Bayern Munich player as they strolled to a 2-0 win over Freiburg on Tuesday to go 12 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Fresh from scoring twice in a 4-0 win at Augsburg on Saturday, the Netherlands international was on target again in a typically dominant performance in Bayern’s last match at the Allianz Arena before the mid-season break.

Head coach Pep Guardiola labelled Robben’s recent performances as “unbelievable” after the Augsburg win.

And he reached a century of Bayern goals with a close-range header in the 41st minute from a Franck Ribery knockdown, the Frenchman having himself reached 100 goals against Bayer Leverkusen this month

The leaders, who are unbeaten in the league this term, extended their lead three minutes after the break through Thomas Muller’s seventh top-flight goal of the season, while Juan Bernat also rattled the post.

Bayern have now won 17 of their last 20 Bundesliga matches and, with second-placed Wolfsburg not playing until Wednesday, their lead at the top of the table extends to 12 points.

The hosts were uncharacteristically wasteful in the final third in the opening 20 minutes, but Bayern soon found their stride and Muller headed over when stretching to meet Ribery’s cross from the left byline. 

Muller was at the heart of Bayern’s next chance in 22nd minute, the German turning Marc-Oliver Kempf sharply in the area before stabbing narrowly wide when off balance.

Robben then tried his luck with a half-volley from distance, before Roman Burki made a fine one-handed stop to deny Mario Gotze’s eight-yard side-footed volley that would have found the bottom right-hand corner.

Bayern were dealt a blow when Mehdi Benatia limped off to be replaced by Jerome Boateng, but the home fans were celebrating Robben’s landmark four minutes before the break.

Xabi Alonso’s brilliant clipped pass was nodded back across goal by Ribery and Robben stooped low to head home.

Burki did well to keep the score at just one before half-time when he tipped Muller’s close-range shot onto the post.

Robert Lewandowski took a knock to his right leg in the first half and was replaced by Bastian Schweinsteiger at the break.

The change did not affect Bayern’s flow, though, and Muller made it 2-0 in the 48th minute.

Robben was again involved with a superb cross-field pass that picked out Bernat whose flicked shot looped onto the crossbar and Muller was on hand to head home the rebound.

Muller almost had a second when put his header from Ribery’s cross narrowly past the post, before Burki made a smart stop from Dante’s header.

Freiburg had Burki to thank again 20 minutes from time when the goalkeeper made a fine fingertip save from Bernat’s strong effort, before the Spaniard was then denied by the frame of the post.

Admir Mehmedi then threatened with a rare shot for the visitors, but his effort from 20 yards hit the side-netting.

Robben and Bernat were both brilliant denied by Burki again as Guardiola’s men eyed more goals in the closing stages, but it stayed 2-0 as Bayern made it 12 home Bundesliga wins in a row against Freiburg.

Dortmund missing players like Gotze and Lewandowski, says Matthaus

The ex-Bayern Munich man feels BVB never really recovered from the departure of the attacking midfielder and the striker

Former Germany star Lothar Matthaus believes Borussia Dortmund’s struggles this season are largely down to the absence of a player like Mario Gotze or Robert Lewandowski.

Gotze left BVB for Bayern ahead of the 2012-13 campaign, while Lewandowski followed suit at the start of this season and the Signal Iduna Park have since struggled to replicate their old form. 

Jurgen Klopp’s men are now third bottom in the Bundesliga, sitting 25 points behind champions and leaders Bayern Munich.

Dortmund brought in players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos to replace the aforementioned duo, but Matthaus feels they never really recovered from their departure.

“Dortmund still have quality, but they no longer have the players who made the difference like Lewandowski and Gotze,” Matthaus told Sky 90.

“Something’s wrong in the team. They seem to be missing a certain joy and togetherness and they are not showing the same hunger as before.”

Last season’s runners-up host second-placed Wolfsburg on Wednesday evening.

Neuer: Bayern going into the great unknown with Shakhtar

The two sides have never met but will battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the goalkeeper is sure his side will progress

Bayern Munich will approach their Champions League round of 16 tie with Shakhtar Donetsk with caution, according to Manuel Neuer.

Five-time winners Bayern will travel to Ukraine in February for the first leg of the tie, in what will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs.

And Ballon d’Or nominee Neuer expects Shakhtar to pose a serious threat to his side’s hopes of winning their second Champions League title in three years.

“Donetsk are the great unknowns in the last 16 so preparing for the matches won’t be that easy,” said the goalkeeper. 

“But as always, our coaching and analysis teams will provide us with all the information we need. 

“I’ve never personally faced this team, although I played in Lviv once with Germany when we beat Portugal 1-0 at Euro 2012, so that’s a good omen. 

“I’m definitely confident we can make the quarter-finals.”

Sporting director Matthias Sammer echoed Neuer’s confidence around Bayern progressing, but insisted they would not take Mircea Lucescu’s team lightly. 

“We don’t know them,” he said. “But any team that makes it through the group stage against the likes of Bilbao has the class.

“We respect Donetsk but intend to progress.”

Shakhtar are more than just Luiz Adriano, warns Guardiola

The Bayern boss feels his side have been dealt a tough draw in the Champions League and has praised Ballon d’Or nominee Manuel Neuer for his recent form

Pep Guardiola says there is much more to Shakhtar Donetsk than star striker Luiz Adriano after Bayern Munich were drawn against the Ukraine champions in the Champions League last 16.

The German champions were paired with Shakhtar in Monday’s draw having finished top of their group, while Mircea Lucescu’s men qualified behind Porto.

Shakhtar boast the tournament’s top scorer in Luiz Adriano, who managed nine goals in the group phase, but Guardiola believes it would be dangerous to concentrate solely on the Brazilian front man.

“Bayern Munich never played against Dontesk before,” he told a press conference. “They have one of the best coaches in the world and some Brazilian players. We want to win this match, obviously.

“They have a good team, not just Adriano. We have to analyse the whole team. I always have great respect for our opponents. When you play the last 16 every opponent is strong.”

Bayern have conceded just three goals all season in the Bundesliga so far and Guardiola was quick to praise Ballon d’Or nominee Manuel Neuer for his form this term.

“We have Manuel Neuer!” he said when asked what the secret was to his side’s remarkable record at the back. “But that’s not everything. We have 11 good players. If you have the ball, it’s difficult for the opponents to score. That’s the reason why we’ve conceded just three goals.

“Every player has to be hungry for success. We have to move on and on, win every single match. The players also have to suit to us, like Juan Bernat. It’s all about winning games and thinking about the next match. I don’t know who is going to play tomorrow [against Freiburg]. I will pick the best team.

“Freiburg are very aggressive. We have to pay attention and be prepared.”

Guardiola, who also revealed Xabi Alonso is struggling with a knock, was also asked his opinion on Norway starlet Martin Odegaard after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggested Bayern were in pole position to sign the 15-year-old.

“I don’t know if he is the best player at his age. I don’t know how good [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo were at that age,” he added.

Lahm: Bayern obliged to beat Shakhtar

The ex-Germany international, along with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, is confident his side will progress following the draw for the Champions League last 16

Philipp Lahm has stressed that Bayern Munich cannot afford to underestimate Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League round of 16 – but says the quarter-final stage is their minimum objective.

The Bundesliga giants have made it to at least the last eight in each of the past three seasons and Lahm has no intention of going out at an earlier stage this time around having been paired with the Ukraine giants in Monday’s draw.

“Donetsk are certainly dangerous opponents, but despite that, we have to make the next round,” Lahm told the official Bayern website.

“Bayern’s minimum target is always the quarter-finals.”

Arjen Robben, meanwhile, was pleased to avoid Arsenal for a change, but warned Bayern should not take Shakhtar lightly.

“I think it’s good we have something different and not Arsenal again…” he said.

“We’ll have to watch out, they have a few really good Brazilians. We’ll analyse our opponents closely and concentrate hard. If we do it should work out.”

Franck Ribery is equally wary of the threat posed by Shakhtar but remains confident in his side’s chances.

“It could certainly have been worse, but let’s be cautious. Donetsk are strong,” he added.

“However, provided we concentrate and dig deep I’m confident.”

The first leg will take place in Ukraine on February 17, with the return at the Allianz Arena on March 11.