Bremen defy Bayern pressure
8 March 2004
HAMBURG – Werder Bremen defied overnight pressure from Bayern Munich on Sunday when they won 2-0 at the champions’ crosstown rivals 1860 Munich to maintain a seven-point Bundesliga lead.
Ivan Klasnic opened the scoring in the 37th minute after 1860 were reduced to 10 man following Roman Tyce’s red card in the 22nd minute. Angelos Charisteas wrapped up Bremen’s first win at 1860 since a 3-1 win in May 1999 with 12 minutes left.
The result means Bremen stretch their unbeaten run to 14 games and reign supreme in the Bundesliga with 55 points.
Bayern Munich have 48 points following a 3-1 victory at Bayer Leverkusen the previous day with the help of Roy Makaay’s double which took the Dutchman’s tally for the season to 15 goals.
Bayern had hoped for Bremen to stumble in the Olympic stadium and their club manager Uli Hoeness had even promised 1860 a load of sausages from his own factory if they beat the leaders.
But neither that nor coach Ottmar Hitzfeld’s prediction Saturday that “the championship will become dramatic again” materialised.
“We know that Munich won’t lose many matches and were not under pressure. We are only looking at our own games. We controlled the match,” said Bremen goalkeeper Andreas Reinke.
Bremen dominated from the start against troubled 1860 with Krisztian Lisztes dangerous within the first minute of play.
The visitors were then one man up in the 22nd minute when Tyce lost his temper after having his jersey pulled by Frank Baumann. He elbowed the Bremen captain and was shown a straight red card.
Bremen made the most of their superiority and took a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute. Bundesliga top scorer Ailton crossed from the left wing and Klasnic beat a defender to flick the ball home from short range.
The match was then decided within 60 seconds late in the second half.
While Bremen maintained their lead things look grim for 1860 who are just three points above the drop zone in 12th place.
But even worse off are bottom club Cologne, who are eight points away from safety following a 2-0 defeat in the other Sunday game thanks to goals from Diego Klimowicz in the 30th and Marko Topic in the 83rd minute.
Also on Sunday, 15th-ranked Hanover 96 fired coach Ralf Rangnick, less than 24 hours after their third straight defeat, a 1-0 loss at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
“This is the way the business works. I regret the decision that we have to separate from Mr. Rangnick. This is not a nice day,” said club boss Martin Kind.
Rangnick is the seventh coach this season to lose his job in the top flight. Kind said he hoped to announce a new helmsman by Tuesday.
Subject: German news