Ribery scores his 100th goal for Bayern Munich in win over Bayer
FRANKFURT - Franck Ribery scored his 100th goal for Bayern Munich to give the runaway Bundesliga leader a 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
The victory allowed the defending champion to remain undefeated and to shake off another potential rival in the chase for the title and preserved Bayern's seven-point lead over Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg confirmed its second place by winning 3-1 in Hannover earlier Saturday.
Augsburg, the surprise package of the season, jumped over Leverkusen into third place with its 2-1 win in Cologne, but is 12 points behind Bayern before they meet next weekend.
Leverkusen had the best chance of the first half following a mix-up between Jerome Boateng and Xabi Alonso. However, Karim Bellaraby's shot into the empty net was cleared off the line by Juan Bernat in the third minute.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola took off the ineffective Mario Goetze at halftime and sent in the more defensive-minded Sebastian Rode, who forced the decisive corner.
Arjen Robben played the ball to Rafinha, whose cross to the far post was headed down by Alonso for Ribery to drive in a left-footed volley.
"Leverkusen is a good team and it was a tough match," said Ribery, who has 287 matches for Bayern in all competitions.
Bayern outplayed Leverkusen in the second half, missing several chances.
Also, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored a hat trick as Schalke sent Stuttgart to the bottom of the table with a 4-0 victory.
Borussia Moenchengladbach ended a three-match losing streak by beating Hertha Berlin 3-2 and is now sixth. Schalke's victory moved it into fifth.
Paderborn got a late goal to salvage a 1-1 draw with Freiburg, while Augsburg also scored late to come from behind for its win in Cologne and its fourth consecutive victory.
Wolfsburg won in Hannover for the first time after five straight defeats, thanks to second-half goals from substitutes Bas Dost and Maximilian Arnold. Kevin de Bruyne had put the visiting team ahead in the fourth minute, before Joselu equalized for Hannover in the final minute of the first half.
Alexander Esswein clinched the winner in the 90th, after Nikola Djurdjic had cancelled out Anthony Ujah's goal for Cologne.
In Stuttgart, Choupo-Moting stunned Stuttgart with his goal in the first minute and then set up Max Meyer's strike in the 10th. Stuttgart never recovered and Choupo-Moting added goals in the 21st and 61st.
Stuttgart's new coach Huub Stevens, who gained Bundesliga fame with Schalke, was hoping for a second win after beginning his second tenure with a 4-1 victory in Freiburg.
Stevens coached Stuttgart for the last 10 matches of last season and saved it from relegation before leaving. He may have a more difficult job this time around.
Moenchengladbach went ahead through Tony Jantschke before Julian Schieber pulled Berlin level just before halftime. Raffael ended a seven-match scoring drought to put Moenchengladbach ahead for good and Thorgan Hazard secured the victory before Salomom Kalou cut the deficit with a late penalty.
Substitute Elias Kachunga scored in the 89th to save promoted Paderborn from falling to its fourth straight defeat following Vladimir Darida's goal for Freiburg in the first half.