Bundesliga: Bayern move closer to title after victory over Leverkusen

The reigning champions maintained their seven-point lead at the top as Dortmund beat Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig faltered in the chase.

By Rahul Venkat

German giants Bayern Munich tightened their grip on yet another Bundesliga title after their 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena on Saturday.

Coming off a 1-0 victory over Freiburg last weekend, Bayer Leverkusen took the lead just 10 minutes into the game.

Lucas Alario, who had unsettled the Bayern Munich defence, escaped the attentions of Jerome Boateng and finished with the outside of his boot past Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.

The Bundesliga leaders took time to build momentum as Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski started being involved more in attack.

Bayern’s equalizer just before the half-hour mark when Kingsley Coman scored off a simple Thomas Muller through ball. Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry then recorded two clinical finishes to give Die Roten a 3-1 lead before half-time.

The second half saw Bayern Munich attack better and it was not long before Robert Lewandowski, who is chasing Gerd Muller’s record for most goals scored in a Bundesliga season, put his name on the scoresheet with a simple header.

It was his 30th league goal and 44th overall for the season.

Thomas Muller was the provider for the second time in the afternoon, taking his tally to 20 assists for the season.

Bayer Leverkusen did not give up the fight and Florian Wirtz created history by becoming the Bundesliga's youngest goalscorer with Leverkusen's second goal.

Wirtz found the net in the 89th minute and is now the youngest ever player to have scored in Germany's top flight - at 17 years and 34 days old.

RB Leipzig vs Paderborn

The surprise packages of the current Bundesliga season, RB Leipzig drew 1-1 with Paderborn.

RB Leipzig began well, mounting relentless attacks in the first half-hour, before finally taking the lead through Patrik Schick as their top-scorer Timo Werner turned provider this time around.

The former league leaders were reduced to 10 men just before half-time as centre-back Dayot Upamecano was sent off.

Paderborn started challenging more with their one-man advantage in the second-half but the resolute RB Leipzig defence held on. Timo Werner also missed some simple chances to give them a cushion and it came back to haunt his team.

With virtually the last play of the game, Paderborn’s Marlon Ritter put away his shot which was parried away by RB Leipzig’s keeper-captain Peter Gulacsi, but opposing skipper Christian Strohdiek was there to put the rebound away and steal a draw.

Dortmund vs Hertha Berlin

In the day’s late kick-off, second-placed Borussia Dortmund kept Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich honest with a grinding 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin.

The Black and Yellows were predictably the more dominant side, enjoying more than 60 per cent possession, and were also accurate with their passing, completing 90 per cent of them.

However, they were not incisive and the tie went into half-time goalless. They started probing better in the second half and the breakthrough came courtesy their new recruit Emre Can.

The midfielder, playing at centre-back on the day, got forward to supplement the attack and when Julian Brandt’s pull-back found him in space just inside the box, he put it away in classic fashion.

Dortmund found more open spaces post the goal as Jadon Sancho was involved more in the action but the England international could not add to his tally as he missed an easy chance towards the end.

Goal-scorer Emre Can was also denied a penalty after he claimed a handball inside Hertha Berlin’s box but it did not make much difference as Borussia Dortmund comfortably saw out their one-goal lead to maintain second place on the table.

Other Bundesliga results

Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 Mainz 05

Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-2 TSG Hoffenheim

Bundesliga points table

1.Bayern Munich, 70 points

2.Borussia Dortmund, 63 points

3.RB Leipzig, 59 points

4.Borussia Monchengladbach, 56 points

5.Bayer Leverkusen, 56 points

6.TSG Hoffenheim, 43 points

7.Wolfsburg, 42 points

8.Freiburg, 41 points

9.Hertha Berlin, 38 points

10.Schalke 04, 37 points