Bastian Oczipka (centre) of Eintracht Frankfurt challenges Thomas Mueller (left) and Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich during their German Bundesliga match in Frankfurt, yesterday.
BERLIN, Germany: European champions Bayern Munich laboured to a 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt while both Hamburg and Champions League side Schalke 04 suffered heavy defeats in the Bundesliga yesterday.
Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic gave Bayern the three points at Eintracht, who were humbled 6-1 at Hertha Berlin the previous weekend, when he volleyed home a cross from Germany’s Thomas Mueller on 13 minutes.
But it was a rare highlight in a below-par performance as Bayern failed to dominate Eintracht, whose captain Alex Maier had a clear penalty appeal turned down in the dying stages.
Before the match, Bayern’s director of sport Matthias Sammer told German daily Bild that the defending champions must raise their standards.
“At the moment, others (in the league) may feel that they have a hope against us, but we have to make sure they get the feeling again that they have no chance,” he said, but his words failed to fire the Bavarians in Frankfurt.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, taking charge of only his second Bundesliga match, started with Dutch winger Arjen Robben, Germany star Mario Goetze and new-signing Thiago Alcantara all on the bench, while Spain’s Javi Martinez failed to even make the matchday squad.
Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who signed for Wolfsburg last week from Bayern after rejecting offers from Arsenal and Barcelona, made his Wolves’ debut in their 4-0 win at home to Champions League side Schalke 04.
The Royal Blues lost Holland and former Ajax striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at the break with a knee injury and the hosts took full advantage with three goals in 12 second-half minutes by defender Knoche, Portugal midfielder Vieirinha and Brazil defender Naldo. Wolfsburg striker Stefan Kutschke then hit the fourth just five minutes after coming off the bench.
Hamburg were humiliated 5-1 at home to Hoffenheim as Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino ran riot, scoring twice and setting up the other three.