BERLIN: After Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Philippe Mexes, it was Javi Martinez’s turn to score with an overhead bicycle kick in Bayern Munich’s 5-0 Bundesliga dismissal of Hannover.
Martinez’s goal was his first for Bayern since his record €40m summer arrival from Bilbao. His goal was struck, acrobatically, from inside th penalty box – unlike Ibra’s strike for Sweden against England and Mexes’s goal for Milan in midweek in the Champions League.
Striker Mario Gomez was also on target in his first league appearance since surgery in August with the other goals coming from Toni Kroos, defender Dante and French winger Franck Ribery.
Champions Borussia Dortmund, Bayern’s opponents next weekend, moved up into second place, nine points behind, with a 2-1 win at Mainz, their third straight win in the league. Schalke dropped to third after being held 1-1 by visiting Eintracht Frankfurt.
In France Zlatan Ibrahimovic put in another match-winning performance, scoring twice and setting up two more goals as Paris Saint-Germain beat Troyes 4-0. This was their first win in four games, inspired by Ibrahimovic’s return from a two-game suspension.
In Italy Palermo’s Fabrizio Miccoli scored his 100th Serie A goal and Josip Ilicic netted twice in a 3-1 win over in-form Sicilian rivals Catania who got a late consolation goal from Franceso Lodi but missed the chance to go sixth.
In Spain Real Madrid suffered a surprise 1-0 win away to Betis in Seville.
Spain midfielder Benat pounced on a defensive error to score after 17 minutes. Madrid stayed third with 26 points, five behind second-placed Atletico Madrid who host Sevilla on Sunday while unbeaten leaders Barcelona go to sixth-placed Levante.
** South Sudan, the world’s newest footballing nation, lost their first competitive game 1-0 to Ethiopia in the opening match of the East and Central African Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala.
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