Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski scored two more goals when Bayern Munich beat Cologne 5-1 to end their two-game winning streak and consolidate their lead on Saturday.
Lewandowski brought his season balance to 28 when Bayern stayed two points ahead of Leipzig and defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2 in the late game with a winner in stoppage time.
Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka, who celebrated his first league start since recovering from the corona virus, lifted a cross for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to open the goal in the 18th minute and prepared Lewandowski brilliantly in the 34th minute.
Goretzka received the ball from Lewandowski, turned around and played the ball through the legs of Cologne defender Rafael Czichos and sent it to the right so Lewandowski could end it.
Defensive mistakes by David Alaba and Jérôme Boateng allowed Ellyes Skhiri to retire after the break as Cologne saw an encouraging period.
Bayern coach Hansi Glick sent Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry in the 64th. The former made his comeback from the coronavirus and it took him less than a minute to score Lewandowski’s second goal.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer almost gave Cologne some time ago when he lost the ball to Dominick Drexler, but the midfielder’s attempt from a difficult angle fell off the post.
Gnabry sealed the result in 82nd and finished the ranking in 86th.
Alexander Sörloth scored in stoppage time to keep Leipzig on Bayern’s heels. There have been complaints from Gladbach that Norwegian striker Valentin Lazaro pressed before reaching Christopher Nkunku’s cross, but the goal was awarded after a VAR check.
Dayot Upamecano, who is moving to Bayern next season, had an unforgettable game for Leipzig. The French defender conceded a penalty in the fifth minute for an awkward challenge against Breel Embolo but helped set up Yussuf Poulsen 2-2 in the 66th minute.
Jonas Hofmann converted the penalty and Marcus Thuram led Gladbach 2-0.
But the visitors didn’t offer much afterwards. Sörloth had ruled out a goal for handball before setting up Nkunku for Leipzig’s first goal in the 57th minute. Poulsen’s compensation was deserved and Sörloth’s winner rewarded the endurance of the home team.
It was Leipzig’s fifth win in a row, while Gladbach fell back to their third defeat in three games since it was announced that coach Marco Rose will take over Dortmund next season.
Schalke’s sports director Jochen Schneider had to reject reports of mutiny in the squad before the fighting team lost 5-1 in Stuttgart. Kicker and other media reported that several players had asked to replace Christian Gross, Schalke’s fourth coach of the season.
The team’s performance seemed to confirm the reports.
Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo was completely free to score his first two league goals before Saša Kalajdžic scored the 34th goal through a more lackluster defense.
Sead Kolašinac answered in the 40th minute for Schalke, but substitute Nabil Bentaleb saw his weak penalty saved and Endo prepared Philipp Klement in the 88th for Stuttgart’s fourth place. Daniel Didavi completed the router in stoppage time.
“A very bitter defeat,” said Gross, whose team remains the last, nine points for safety reasons with eleven laps remaining. “I do not give up.”
Borussia Dortmund defeated Arminia Bielefeld 3-0, and Hertha Berlin’s winning streak lasted nine games after losing 2-0 in Wolfsburg.
Dortmund shortened the gap to fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt to three points. The first four qualify for the Champions League.
The Bielefeld defeat was good news for Hertha, who lost despite a good performance in Wolfsburg. The only goal difference is to keep Hertha in the relegation zone over Bielefeld.