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Leagues: Bundesliga

Bayern brush Union aside to extend Bundesliga lead

Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich thrashed Union Berlin 4-0 on Saturday to open a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga as Robert Lewandowski netted twice to pass the milestone of 30 league goals this season.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund are away to Cologne on Sunday.

Bayern dominated at the Allianz Arena as Kingsley Coman hit a shot into the top corner from outside the area on 16 minutes.

Teenage French defender Tanguy Nianzou then headed in his first Bayern goal before Lewandowski converted a penalty to make it 3-0 at the break.

After drawing their last two league games, this was a reminder of their quality by Bayern, who dominated possession, never allowing their opponents to settle.

Lewandowski has chalked up 43 goals for Bayern this season in all competitions.

He is one of four players out of contract in 2023, yet Bayern are reportedly yet to offer him an extension.

The second half had barely begun when Lewandowski, who showed no signs of a midweek knee-injury scare, made it 4-0 by sweeping in a Jamal Musiala pass.

At the other end, Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez cleared a shot from a tight angle by Union striker Taiwo Awoniyi off the line.

The tempo dropped early in the second half, but Bayern were rarely tested thereafter as they cruised to the win.

The victory was Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s 311th in the Bundesliga, breaking the record he previously shared with Oliver Kahn.

– Hertha end winless streak –

Earlier, Hertha Berlin earned their first win of 2022 to climb out of the bottom two with a 3-0 home victory over Hoffenheim despite new coach Felix Magath being sidelined by Covid.

Hertha ended their nine-match winless streak in the Bundesliga by brushing aside Champions League-chasing Hoffenheim despite Magath watching in bed from his Berlin hotel.

Magath, 68, is Hertha’s third coach this season, having been brought in last Sunday after Toryan Korkut was sacked.

Defender Niklas Stark and striker Ishak Belfodil put Hertha 2-0 up at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium before Hoffenheim defender David Raum scored an own goal.

The win lifts Hertha into 16th place, the relegation play-off spot, with seven games left, while Hoffenheim stay sixth.

Freiburg continued their challenge for a first Champions League qualification by climbing to fourth with a goalless draw at bottom side Greuther Fuerth.

There were curious scenes at Mainz where three different penalty takers converted spot-kicks within 14 minutes for the hosts in their 4-0 trouncing of Arminia Bielefeld.

Mainz were ahead after less than 30 seconds when Jonathan Burkardt beat the defence and fired home.

Austrian defender Manuel Prietl came off the bench and had a 45 minutes to forget.

He gave away two penalties while Bielefeld team-mate Andres Andrade also committed a foul to concede a spot-kick.

Mainz defender Moussa Niakhate, Burkardt, then Danish striker Marcus Ingvartsen converted the penalties.

Stuttgart pulled away from the bottom three with their second win in three games as late goals by Tiago Tomas and Omar Marmoush capped their 3-2 comeback win at home to Augsburg.

On Friday, Bochum were 2-0 down at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach when the referee abandoned the match after his assistant official was struck on the head by a full beer cup.

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