- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

BERLIN (AP) - Wolfsburg routed Bayern Munich 4-1 on Friday to hand the Bundesliga leader its first defeat of the league season in the first game after the winter break.

Dutch forward Bas Dost scored twice in the first half and Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne scored twice in the second as Wolfsburg racked up as many goals as Bayern had conceded in the entire first half of the season.

Juan Bernat scored Bayern’s sole response in the 55th minute, two minutes after De Bruyne claimed his first.

“Congratulations to Wolfsburg, they did it well,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. “The defeat is deserved.”

Second-place Wolfsburg cut the gap at the top of the table to eight points after 18 games. The last team to make up 11 points at the halfway stage and win the title was Wolfsburg in 2009. Hoffenheim was leading at the time.

“It just doesn’t get any better. To have the story with Junior (Malanda) beforehand and then this. No one expected it,” said Dost, referring to club’s response to the death of midfielder Malanda in a car crash on Jan. 11.

Before the game, fans and players from both sides paid tribute to Malanda with a minute’s applause. Fans held large hearts and green and gold colors under a giant picture of Malanda accompanied by a banner saying “Forever in our hearts.”

“It was difficult in the beginning after the fans’ action, but it gave us strength and we used it,” said Dost, who opened the scoring in the fourth minute when De Bruyne picked him out to finish inside the far post after a fine pass from Daniel Caligiuri.

“We were incredibly focused and we scored the goal at the right time. That gave the team the confidence to go on,” Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said.

Bastian Schweinsteiger had an effort cleared off line as Bayern sought a response, before David Alaba - making his return from a knee injury - tested Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

Bayern’s players lacked their usual coherence and were almost made to pay when Dost missed another good chance with only Manuel Neuer to beat in the 41st.

The striker more than made up it for it when he nailed Robert Lewandowski’s attempted headed clearance and sent the ball flying in off the far post with the last kick of the first half.

Schweinsteiger earned a yellow card for a nasty challenge on De Bruyne early in the second, summing up Bayern’s frustration with the Belgian running the play.

De Bruyne responded by scoring with a cool finish in the 53rd, and he ensured Bernat’s effort was only a consolation by completing the scoring on another Maximilian Arnold-led counterattack in the 73rd.

Benaglio made a couple of outstanding saves to preserve the win margin.

“We made a lot of mistakes and let ourselves be caught out on counterattacks. It can happen. It wasn’t our day,” Schweinsteiger said.


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