Frankfurt. Bayern Munich scored three second-half goals to beat Mainz 3-0 on Saturday and regain first place in the Bundesliga, at least until Bayer Leverkusen plays Freiburg at home on Sunday.
In a match that finished in heavy snowfall, Daniel van Buyten, Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben found the net for Bayern after teammate and goalkeeper Joerg Butt had missed a first-half penalty.
It was the seventh straight win for Bayern, which leads the standings with 42 points, one more than Leverkusen. Schalke beat Hoffenheim 2-0 in the late match to also move to 41 points.
“That was our best home game,” Bayern coach Louis van Gaal said. “We created a lot of chances against a team that only defended. We scored good goals. I am very pleased.”
Bayern put Mainz under pressure from the opening whistle, with Gomez hitting the post from close range after good work by Robben.
In the 32nd minute Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Mueller saved Butt’s weak shot from the penalty spot with his feet.
But Mueller made an error in the 58th, allowing a header from van Buyten to slip through his hands into the net for Bayern’s first goal. Gomez doubled the lead in the 75th and Robben completed the win in the 86th.
Franck Ribery, making his return after knee and other problems, played in the second half for Bayern.
Schalke’s Kevin Kuranyi beat an offside trap in the 19th minute and lifted the ball over Hoffenheim goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand for his 11th goal of the season. Lukas Schmitz then doubled Schalke’s lead with a deflected shot.
Schalke has won five of its last six games. Hoffenheim has lost four straight, failing to score in its last three matches.
Werder Bremen dropped its fifth straight match, losing 4-3 at Borussia Moenchengladbach. Argentine forward Raul Bobadilla provided the offense, scoring two goals and setting up two others for Moenchengladbach.
In other matches, Cologne won 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt, Nuremberg beat Hannover 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Albert Bunjaku in a match between two teams fighting to avoid demotion, and last-place Hertha Berlin drew 0-0 at home with Bochum.