Bayern hits Wolfsburg for 6 to seize lead from Dortmund
BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich seized the Bundesliga lead from Borussia Dortmund by demolishing Wolfsburg 6-0 on Saturday.
“We are now where we wanted to be,” Bayern coach Niko Kovac said. “We want to stay there, too.”
Robert Lewandowski scored twice to become the league’s all-time top-scoring foreign player with 197. The Poland international’s former club, Dortmund, scraped past Stuttgart 3-1 at home.
“They parked a gigantic bus,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre complained.
Bayern and Dortmund are tied on points after 25 of 34 rounds with Bayern top on goal difference.
But all the momentum is with Bayern after its 12th win from 13 league games, while Dortmund — which had a nine-point lead — has only two wins from its last six.
Also, Leipzig was held at home by Augsburg to 0-0, and Freiburg beat Hertha Berlin 2-1.
Borussia Moenchengladbach consolidated fourth place beating Mainz 1-0 in the late game.
All the pressure was on Dortmund following its Champions League exit to Tottenham on Tuesday, but the side continued to labor in torrential rain until the hour mark when former player Gonzalo Castro brought down Jadon Sancho just inside the penalty area.
A nervous-looking Marco Reus dispatched the penalty.
Christian Pulisic’s introduction with just over 10 minutes remaining made the difference for Dortmund, which was pegged back after Castro whipped in a free kick for Marc Oliver Kempf to equalize with a header in the 71st.
First, the American midfielder eluded two Stuttgart defenders to set up Alcacer in the 84th, then he sealed the win in injury time after being set up by Mario Goetze.
“Everything’s open,” Reus said of the title race. “That also makes it fun.”
PARTY TIME IN MUNICH
Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels, and Jerome Boateng all started for Bayern, days after being dropped by Germany coach Joachim Loew. Kovac said it wouldn’t have a negative effect on his team.
“I even expect that they will give us a reaction in the coming weeks and show us all that they still belong among the best,” Kovac said.
Mueller duly set up Serge Gnabry for Bayern’s first in the 34th. Gnabry, who extended his contract on Tuesday, set up Lewandowski with a tap-in three minutes later.
For Lewandowski, it ensured the Polish striker overtook Claudio Pizarro’s record goal tally.
The excellent James Rodriguez scored Bayern’s third early in the second half, before substitute Franck Ribery set up Mueller, Joshua Kimmich, and Lewandowski to complete the rout.
It was Bayern’s biggest win under Kovac. The side turns attention to Liverpool’s visit in the Champions League on Wednesday.