Lackluster Bayern sneak Braunschweig win as Real await

Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:47pm EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Lacklustre Bayern Munich managed their first win in four league games, beating Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0 on Saturday, but coach Pep Guardiola sounded the alarm ahead of next week's Champions League semi-final at Real Madrid.

Late goals from 35-year-old veteran Claudio Pizarro and substitute Mario Mandzukic saved Bayern's blushes against the last-placed hosts but their overall performance was again far from convincing.

Peruvian Pizarro, who has now scored against every Bundesliga club with Braunschweig the only one missing from his list prior to the game, was picked to start ahead of Bayern top scorer Mandzukic.

The choice proved key as the Bavarians' slump in form showed for much of the game and needed the goal prowess of the league's top foreign scorer of all time.

Rivals Borussia Dortmund secured a Champions League spot after a 4-2 win against Mainz 05 guaranteed them a top three finish.

Former European champions Hamburg SV edged closer to their first ever Bundesliga relegation after crashing to a 3-1 defeat by visitors VfL Wolfsburg, who leapfrogged into fourth place and into Champions League contention with three games left.

Guardiola was satisfied with the way Bayern came back after a draw and two consecutive league losses in their last three matches but warned next week's clash in Spain would demand from Bayern their top performance.

"It has not been easy for us since securing the league title but today we kept on fighting despite a difficult situation," Guardiola told reporters.

"We won and I am happy with it but don't expect us to make the Champions League final if we do not offer an outstanding performance against Real Madrid."   Continued...