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Bundesliga Week 12 Round Up: Bayern on the move

It is difficult enough for a coach to assimilate a brand new defensive partnership into a team, especially when that coach has just arrived at the club himself. However, when one member of that partnership pulls up injured before even kicking a ball in anger, the task becomes impossible. Unfortunately for Wolfsburg coach, Steve McClaren, this is exactly what is taking place.

The two defenders who joined Die Wolfe in the Summer were German international Arne Friedrich and the highly rated Danish centre back Simon Kjaer. Friedrich is the player who is out injured and is not expected to return until the resumption of the Bundesliga season after the Winter Break. This has meant that the inexperienced Kjaer has had to get to grips with his new surroundings without the former Hertha Berlin captain at his side to help him out.

Unfortunately he is not having the best time if things as yet again, Wolfsburg surrendered a commanding lead and missed out on three precious Bundesliga points.

This time, Schalke were the fortunate recipients and there was a good deal of fortune about the Gelsenkirchen club's unlikely point at the VW Arena.

Going forward, Wolfsburg are awesome. Diego is fully integrated into the attack and Grafite and Edin Dzeko are reliving that great partnership that took them to the title two seasons ago. In fact they were both on the mark on Saturday as the home side took a 2-0 lead.

Schalke's come back started after Jefferson Farfan's run down the inside right position took him behind the Wolfsburg defence. The Peruvian is in good nick at the moment and his cross found Edu at the far post who scored easily from 12 yards. If McClaren was left cursing his defence's inabiltity to track runners for the first goal, he was cursing the referee for the second. The official failed to spot a clear handball from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who used his hand to control a deflected through ball and score the equaliser. Before you feel too sorry for Wolfsburg, The Hunters' marker was Karin Ziani who, rather than attempt to disrupt the Dutchman's shot with some clever defensive acumen, elected to stand there, hand aloft fruitlessly appealing for the handball. Not big and not clever. As if things couldn't get any worse, Ashkan Dejagah was sent off and The Wolves were left hanging on toa point by the end.

To use an old adage, the draw helped neither side. Schalke are still in the bottom three while the pressure is mounting of McClaren who may not be around long enough to worry about who to replace Edin Dzeko should the Bosnian, as is being strongly tipped, make a big money move to Bayern Munich.

Not that Bayern looked like they needed him on Sunday when the Allianz Arena welcomed their Bavarian rivals Nurnberg. Der Club found striker Mario Gomez in fine form. The German international has take his portion of stick since arriving in Munich. However, Super Mario has scored twelve goals in nine games so who's laughing now. Both goals were close range finishes. the first from a Daniel Pranjic centre and the second from a corner by the returning Franck Ribery, back after injury. Gomez also won the penalty which Philipp Lahm converted. Their was a second penalty in the match which Gomez himself took with the score at 3-0 to complete his hat trick. He blasted the ball over the bar demonstrating that no matter how well he plays, chaos and hi-jinks are never far behind Mario Gomez. Personally, I love the guy and hope he stays at Bayern for years before finishing his career at Crystal Palace.

Anyhoo, Bayern are now sixth in the Bundesliga table. After twelve games, last season they were eighth and no one was giving them a prayer. So despite Borussia Dortmund's excellent form at the top, there is plenty of time for Louis van Gaal's team to bridge the gap and overhaul the Westfalen club.

Unless of course, BVB keep winning. Jurgen Klopp's men show no sign of stopping after defeating Hamburg 2-0 with goals by Shinji Kagawa and Lucas Barrios. Both goals came in the second half after a fairly even first period. But after the break Dortmund just nudged themselves into another gear, much to the chagrin of Hamburg coach Armin Veh.

Second in the table are Bayer Leverkusen. They finally over came a dogged St Pauli at the Millerntor thanks to a late goal by Renato Augusto. This means that Mainz slip to third after another defeat. Hannover only needed one goal at the Stadion Am Bruchweg and what a goal it was by Sergio Pinto. The 96ers even managed to survive with only ten men for much of the second half. Mainz need a win to right themselves and avoid slipping into mid table.

Elsewhere, Koln's post Soldo bounce was flattened spectacularly by a 4-0 hammering at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen participated in only their second 0-0 of the season with Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim were left counting their missed chances as they lost 1-0 in the very last second at home to Freiburg. The away side had always looked dangerous on the break in a very entertaining match and it was that man Papiss Cisse (also subject of transfer speculation) who shrugged off his marker and rifled home at the death.

Finally, The Kaiserlautern home fans unveiled a spectacular mobile of World Cup winning legend Fritz Walter before an extraordinary game in the Fritz Walter Stadion against Stuttgart. The away side went 3-0 up with goals from Arthur Boka, Cacau and Christian Gentner. Cacau's second was deeply controversial as it came from a counter attack with the 'Lautern players screaming for a penalty at the other end. However, flushed with indigence and anxious not to let their fanatical home support down, the players stormed back with three second half goals to claim a point. 'Lautern's second was tremendous, cutting inside and letting fly with a log distance strike that verily flew into the top corner. A cracking game and further proof that Kaiserslautern's presence in 1.Bundesliga is good news for the neutral.

That's it. Results and tables here.

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