Bundesliga Bundesliga 2

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Werder Bremen held up a 'Merry Christmas' banner as they closed out 2012's Bundesliga action <br>against 1. FC Nuremberg, but unfortunately they weren't able to provide their fans with the perfect present Bremen carved out a whole host of chances as they dominated first half proceedings, but like Zlatko Junuzovic (r.) here, couldn't find the back of the net One clinical counter attack was all the visitors needed though, as Timo Gebhart (r.) opened the scoring with less than ten minutes left to play Bremen responded by throwing the kitchen sink at their opponents and duly got their just rewards when Nils Petersen poked home from close range... ...but all in all it was a frustarating end to calendar year for Bremen, whose issues with consistency continue to cost them points Mario Götze (l.) blasted an unstoppable strike into the near corner to set Borussia Dortmund on course to victory at 1899 Hoffenheim Sven Schipplock (r.) stunned the reigning champions with a surprise equaliser... ...but Kevin Großkreutz's (2nd l.) first goal of the season deservedly put the Yellow-Blacks back in front Robert Lewandowski (r.) put the seal on the three points with his tenth of the season The 3-1 victory ensures Dortmund hibernate in third spot over the winter, still twelve points off runaway leaders Bayern Munich FC Schalke 04 dropped out of the European qualification spots as they suffered a 3-1 loss on home soil against SC Freiburg in their final league match of 2012 It started promisingly for the Royal Blues when Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring after 20 minutes... ...but a quick response from Jan Rosenthal (l.) soon threw a spanner in the works as Freiburg grew in confidence having equalised Schalke pushed forward and continued creating chances in front of goal, but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (r.) and Co. just couldn't hit the back of the net Jonathan Schmid (c.) grabbed a second for Freiburg before half-time, but it was left to Rosenthal (r.) to put the final nail in the coffin just past the hour mark... ...as the Gelsenkirchen outfits were left to lick their wounds, wondering where it all went wrong leading up to the winter break Andre Schürrle's (c.) Bayer 04 Leverkusen clinched second place in the Bundesliga during <br>the winter break courtesy of an impressive 3-0 victory at home to Hamburger SV Hamburg dominated possession, while Leverkusen created the chances that saw Simon Rolfes (r.) <br>and Co. close the gap on Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit to nine points Stefan Kießling's (l.) purple patch continued as he opened the scoring for the seventh time this season with his 23rd goal of the calendar year Andre Schürrle then notched an effort of his own, collecting a pass from Kießling before bursting past his man to fire beyond Rene Adler... ...but Kießling (c.) bagging his brace half-way through the second half put the final nail in the coffin of what was a comfortable victory for Leverkusen Nicolai Müller (top) scored twice as 1. FSV Mainz 05 moved themselves up into the European qualification spots with a 3-1 win against VfB Stuttgart The Schwaben side opened the scoring when Heinz Müller palmed the ball into his own net from Martin Harnik's back post header However, Müller fired Mainz into the lead with two second-half goals that fell within quarter of an hour of one another... ...and when Elkin Soto grabbed a third in the closing minutes Mainz were left to celebrate the end of a phenomenal first half of the season Eintracht Frankfurt have course corrected ahead of the winer break after securing a second consecutive win by beating VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on their own patch Alexander Meier (top) took his tally to eleven for the season when he rose highest at the back post to head beyond Diego Benaglio The Wolves were then reduced to ten-men in the 16th minute when Josue (m.) picked up a straight red for an unceremonious challenge on Olivier Occean Frankfurt pressed forward and made their man advantage count as Takashi Inui scored less than two minutes later allowing <br>the Eagles to see out the remaining 72 minutes with a professional performance that prevented Wolfsburg from posing a threat Hannover 96 just can't win away from home as they were left flat on their backs by a hard-working<br> Fortuna Düseldorf side, who secured a 2-1 win in front of home support to round out 2012 Dani Schahin (2nd l.) rose above everyone to head beyond the reach of Ron-Robert Zieler upon his return to the Düsseldorf starting line-up The in-form Mame Biram Diouf (c.) responded for Hannover, taking the ball down on his chest, before slamming an unstoppable half-volley into the back of the net However, it was Fortuna who had the last laugh as Ken Ilsö's sublime free-kick gave the home fans a perfect present heading into the Christmas period With both sides in desperate need of points in the Bundesliga relegation zone, it came as no surprise that there was little between Greuther Fürth and FC Augsburg Sascha Mölders (r.) got the visitors off to a promising start when he headed home Tobias Werner's (l.) free-kick at the back post... ...but Lasse Sobiech (c.) leveled the scores in the second half with a headed effort of his own after a defensive mix-up in Augsburg's backline A second bookable offence saw Mergim Mavraj (l.) receive his marching orders, while a reckless challenge by <br>Giovanni Sio ensured both sides ended the match with ten-men and a share of the spoils Friday night was filled with mixed emotions for FC Bayern Munich as they dropped points for only <br>the fourth time this season in a 1-1 draw against a resilient Borussia Mönchengladbach side The hosts got off to the better start (here Franck Ribery (c.) ghosts past Tony Jantschke (l.)), <br>but they couldn't turn their overwhelming possession into any clear-cut chances... ...as Gladbach took the lead against the run of play when Jerome Boateng was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area Thorben Marx (r.) was the man who sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way to maintain his 100 per cent record from the spot in the Bundesliga After being cleared to play earlier this week after a training ground collision, an injury to Javi Martinez (c.) threatened to throw Bayern out of sync... ...but the Spaniards' replacement Xherdan Shaqiri calmly leveled the scores for Bayern in the second half with a neat finish The record titleholders threw the kitchen sink at Lucien Favre's side in the dying moments, but it wasn't enough for Dante (c.) and Co. to take all three points
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