Bayern extends Bundesliga lead; Leipzig, Dortmund both lose
BERLIN (AP) Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern Munich to extend its Bundesliga lead on Saturday with a 3-0 win over an Eintracht Frankfurt side hit by injuries and illness.
Bayern, which stretched its unbeaten run to 18 games across all competitions, capitalized on second-placed Leipzig’s 1-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg to stretch its lead to 10 points with 10 games remaining.
Frankfurt made the better start and Bayern needed defender Mats Hummels to make a goal-saving tackle to deny Branimir Hrgota early on.
Good work from Thomas Mueller on the right allowed Lewandowski to score a tap-in with Bayern’s first big chance in the 38th.
Mueller, who scored 32 goals in all competitions for Bayern last season, has only one league goal so far but this was his 10th assist.
Playing on the other side of the pitch, David Alaba sprinted clear to set up Douglas Costa for Bayern’s second minutes later.
Frankfurt had three big chances in the first half but couldn’t make them count.
Arjen Robben then crossed for Lewandowski’s second goal 10 minutes after the break, taking the Poland striker’s league tally to 21 goals this season.
Frankfurt’s troubles were compounded when captain Makoto Hasebe, the league’s most capped Japanese player with 236 appearances, was taken to hospital for stitches to a cut on his shin. Marco Russ came on in his place for his second appearance since returning from treatment for testicular cancer.
Bayern defender Jerome Boateng came on for the final 25 minutes to make his return from nearly four months out due to injury.
LEIPZIG 0, WOLFSBURG 1
Mario Gomez’ remarkable run of scoring in every game under coach Andries Jonker continued at Leipzig, where the Germany striker scored in the ninth minute.
Gomez, who played under Jonker in his five games as interim coach at Bayern, has 11 goals in seven games with the Dutchman in charge.
Daniel Didavi should have made it 2-0 in the second half only to hit the post, then the Leipzig keeper at the second attempt, before Gomez hit the post again from the rebound.
HERTHA BERLIN 2, BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1
Hertha held on to halt third-placed Dortmund’s four-game winning run in all competitions and consolidated fifth place with a typically gritty performance.
Captain Vedad Ibisevic crossed for Salomon Kalou to score early, and Dortmund was grateful to Raphael Guerreiro for clearing off the line from Kalou afterward as the home side maintained its good start. Kalou missed another good chance before the break.
Seconds after Lewandowski matched his 21-goal tally in Munich, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalized, first playing the ball to Guerreiro with his heel, then running to accept Shinji Kagawa’s through ball to score his league-leading 22nd of the season. It was his eighth goal in four games in all competitions.
But Marvin Plattenhardt scored what proved to be the winner with a brilliant free kick inside the top corner with 20 minutes remaining.
DARMSTADT 2, MAINZ 1
The hosts played in special shirts with the logo, “You must fight, now more than ever,” in honor of Darmstadt fan Jonathan Heimes, who died of cancer in March last year.
Darmstadt raced into an early lead through captain Aytac Sulu’s header from a corner and Sidney Sam’s cooly taken penalty.
Heimes, who founded a charity for children with cancer, was a motivating factor in Darmstadt’s promotion in 2015.
Swedish midfielder Robin Quaison pulled one back and Darmstadt suffered a further blow on the hour when Mario Vrancic was sent off with his second yellow.
But Stefan Bell was sent off late for Mainz and the league’s bottom side held on for just its fourth win of the season.
FREIBURG 1, HOFFENHEIM 1
Three minutes after Maximilian Philipp put Freiburg ahead with a penalty, Andrej Kramaric equalized on the hour-mark.
Hoffenheim stayed fourth in the last qualification place for the Champions League, two points ahead of Hertha.
Ingolstadt was hosting Cologne for the late game.