Schweinsteiger returns to help Bayern beat Hoffenheim 4-0; more Bundesliga woes for Dortmund



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BERLIN — Bastian Schweinsteiger marked his comeback from injury by setting up Bayern Munich's final goal as the defending champions stretched their Bundesliga lead with a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Mario Goetze opened the scoring with a fine effort from distance inside the top corner in the 23rd minute. Arjen Robben crossed for Robert Lewandowski to score in the 40th, and then sealed the result himself with a delicate chip in the 83rd.

Schweinsteiger, who hadn't played since the World Cup final, set up Sebastian Rode to rifle home Bayern's fourth in the 87th, less than 10 minutes after coming on to a huge ovation.

The combative Germany midfielder had been laboring with a nagging tendon problem in his left knee.

There was still time for Adam Szalai to be sent off for a dangerous challenge on Dante. The Hoffenheim striker was earlier denied by Manuel Neuer when it seemed he couldn't miss.

"Congratulations to Munich. Bayern are the best team, that's why they'll be German champions again," Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said.

Bayern maintained its unbeaten start to the season and stretched its lead to seven points as its closest rivals, Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach, both lost.

"I'm very satisfied after the international break. We've three points more," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, whose side next plays Tuesday at Manchester City in the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 at Paderborn, Schalke defeated Wolfsburg 3-2, and Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to beat 'Gladbach 3-1 away.

Also, Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 at Hannover and Freiburg drew 2-2 in Mainz.

Marcel Ndjeng's deflected free kick gave Hertha Berlin a 2-1 win at Cologne in the late game.

Cologne striker Anthony Ujah canceled out Roy Beerens' 28th-minute opener by equalizing in the 58th. Ujah then provided the decisive touch to Ndjeng's effort in the 86th. Ujah also hit the crossbar in the second half.

Dortmund was left to rue missed chances and a disallowed goal as the 2011 and 2012 champions failed to pull away from the relegation zone.

It was looking good when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tapped home from close range in the 12th, and then set up Marco Reus for Dortmund's second before the break.

Aubameyang split the Paderborn defense with a perfect pass for Reus, who swept the ball past the goalkeeper with his first touch.

However, the home side pulled one back on the hour, when Lukas Rupp eluded two defenders and fired inside the left post, shortly before Reus had to be stretchered off with another ankle injury after a bad challenge from former Dortmund player Marvin Bakalorz.

It got worse for the visitors when Kevin Grosskreutz had what TV replays showed was a good goal ruled out for offside in the 80th, one minute before Mahir Saglik equalized with a header from a corner at the other end.

"A draw in Paderborn is not so dramatic, but that Marco is out for a long time — that's hard to stomach," said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, whose side was one point off the relegation zone with all the teams below yet to play.

The extent of Reus' latest injury will be known Sunday. Dortmund visits Arsenal on Wednesday in the Champions League.

Schalke ended Wolfsburg's eight-game winning run across all competitions with three goals in the opening 25 minutes.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had two by the 22nd, before Christian Fuchs' free kick from distance somehow found its way to the net.

Ivica Olic pulled one back in the 37th and Nicklas Bendtner ensured a frenetic finale with his first Bundesliga goal for Wolfsburg in the 74th, but Schalke held out for a morale-boosting win ahead of Tuesday's visit of Chelsea in the Champions League.

Japan midfielder Takashi Inui completed the scoring in Frankfurt's remarkable win over 'Gladbach.

Havard Nordtveit scored with a deflected shot for the home side in the fifth, but Marc Stendera deservedly equalized in the 54th, Alexander Meier scored on a rebound three minutes later, and Takashi Inui capitalized on a defensive blunder to score in the 73rd.

'Gladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka earned two yellow cards in injury time.

"Maybe the goal was too early," his coach Lucien Favre said.

In Hannover, Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling broke the deadlock in the 46th and Son Heung-min made it 2-0 with a fine curling effort inside the far post in the 58th.

Ceyhun Gulselam pulled one back with a header from Hiroshi Kiyotake's free kick two minutes later, only for Karim Bellarabi to kill off any hopes of a comeback in the 72nd.

Leverkusen hosts Monaco on Wednesday in the Champions League.

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