As he celebrated a personal milestone, the Germany international striker scored a critical goal as his side maintained their spot at the top of the Bundesliga tableMario Gomez found the net in his 200th Bundesliga appearance as Bayern Munich earned a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday.
The visitors were very strong in defence and always had a chance to take at least a point, but the Germany international forward made the difference as he broke the deadlock on 60 minutes.
Following a free kick, Gomez nodded the ball to team-mate Jerome Boateng, before collecting his rebound and firing home. Only in the closing seconds of the game did Bayern finally get their second goal, as Arjen Robben poked home Ivica Olic's chip as it was set to cross the goal line.
Bayern were the more ambitious team at the start of the game and it took just seven minutes for the hosts to find the back of the net, as Mario Gomez nodded in from Franck Ribery's saved volley attempt. However, the goal was called back for offside.
Gomez's next chance came on 19 minutes as Bastian Schweinsteiger's clever chip played him through on goal, but after controlling, the striker failed to connect with the ball and the chance went begging.
Wolfsburg were quick to close down their opponents, whose chances became very limited, but towards the end of the first half, Bayern had more success. Franck Ribery made space before Thomas Muller fired a clear chance wide and the Frenchman was then denied a clear penalty claim as the sides entered the half-time break on level terms.
Wolfsburg were largely stymied during the first half, but their chances did come intermittently. Philipp Lahm's weak back-pass gave Ashkan Dejagah a chance to cross in front of goal, but nothing came of the opportunity for the visitors.
On 45 minutes, Schweinsteiger's weak clearance left Mario Mandzukic with an opportunity, but the Bayern vice-captain made a crunching tackle to concede a corner.
Another defensive mistake from the hosts saw Rafinha concede possession to Mandzukic, who drew Manuel Neuer out of his goal but was unable to find a team-mate with his cut-back pass.
The goal changed the scope of the game, as Wolfsburg grew increasingly open at the back while they threw attackers forward. Substitute Koo Ja-Cheol was unable to control Dejagah's cross in front of goal, and at the other end, Ribery had a stinging attempt saved by Diego Benaglio when the Frenchman was through on goal.
The visitors pressed more and more for an equaliser late in the game, but were ultimately unable to restore parity, as the Bavarians held firm just long enough. Olic's hard work created a late second goal, which effectively ended the game a minute early.
The result sees Bayern keep pace with Dortmund atop the table on 40 points, with a goal difference of +4 separating the Bavarians from the title holders. Wolfsburg are ninth now, with 23 points from 19 games.
How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.