Five-goal Bayern thrash Dortmund to go top of Bundesliga
BERLIN – Robert Lewandowski humiliated his old club on Saturday as Bayern Munich obliterated Borussia Dortmund with a scintillating 5-0 win to reclaim their spot at the top of the Bundesliga.
“We are so happy, everything went according to plan today,” Lewandowski told Sky.
Bayern began the day under immense pressure, having slipped two points behind Dortmund in the title race a week earlier.
They ended it on cloud nine after a masterful first-half performance left Dortmund in the dust and put Bayern on course for a seventh successive league title.
The champions may be just a single point ahead of Dortmund in the title race, but the two teams were separated by a gargantuan gulf in quality at the Allianz Arena.
“Bayern taught us a lesson today,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre told Sky.
“If we keep playing like that, then we will find it difficult to stay in the race.”
Mahmoud Dahoud struck the post early on for the visitors, but two quick goals from former Dortmund players put a dominant Bayern firmly in the driving seat.
Hummels landed the first blow on ten minutes, rising high at a corner to head in the opener for Bayern.
Lewandowski then pounced on a mistake by Dortmund centre-back Dan-Axel Zagadou to double the lead.
Having robbed Zagadou of possession, Lewandowski then looped the ball over goalkeeper Roman Buerki and scissor-kicked it into the open net.
Buerki kept a furious Bayern at bay for a short while, denying Lewandowski, Hummels and Thomas Mueller with a series of saves.
But the Dortmund keeper could do nothing to stop the Bavarians’ third, a blistering strike from the edge of the area from Javi Martinez.
With their defence in disarray, Dortmund could only watch on as Serge Gnabry headed in Bayern’s fourth just before half-time.
Lewandowski rubbed salt in the wound by netting his second goal just before full-time.
“It’s not over yet, there are still six games to go and it is a difficult path ahead of us,” Lewandowski told television after the game.
The win leaves the title race finely poised on paper, but with Dortmund in the doldrums and Bayern bouncing, Niko Kovac’s side are now firm favourites to finish first.
RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt remain on course to take the remaining two Champions League spots after both won earlier on Saturday.
Leipzig twice came from behind to claim a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions.
Kai Havertz gave Leverkusen the lead with an early penalty, but Leipzig replied almost immediately when Marcel Sabitzer curled in a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Havertz restored the lead with a superb half-volley. Yet an Emil Forsberg penalty and excellent finishes from Cunha and Timo Werner saw Leipzig come back to win the game.
Fourth-placed Frankfurt, meanwhile, snatched a late 2-1 win at Schalke.
Schalke’s Suat Serdar cancelled out Ante Rebic’s opener, but Frankfurt were awarded an injury-time penalty by VAR and Luka Jovic fired in the winner.
Schalke remain five points clear of the bottom three after Nuremberg and Stuttgart shared the points in a relegation showdown.
Matheus Pereira gave Nuremberg the lead, but Stuttgart’s Ozcan Kabak’s controversial equaliser was allowed by VAR despite an apparent offside in the build-up.
The draw keeps Stuttgart four points ahead of Nuremberg in the relegation play-off place.
Relegation seems all but certain for Hanover after a 3-1 defeat to local rivals Wolfsburg.
Hanover took the lead through Henrik Weydandt, but Wolfsburg came from behind with goals from Renato Steffen and Jerome Roussillon.
Elsewhere, a Marko Grujic goal was not enough for Hertha Berlin, as they lost 2-1 at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf thanks to a Benito Raman brace.AFP