Bayern cuts gap behind Bundesliga leader Gladbach to 1 point
BERLIN (AP) — For once, Robert Lewandowski didn’t score.
But it didn’t matter as Bayern Munich stayed perfect under interim coach Hansi Flick and cut the gap behind Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach to just one point on Saturday.
Bayern routed Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 away, while Gladbach lost at promoted Union Berlin 2-0.
Lewandowski had scored in every Bundesliga game so far, but the Polish forward couldn’t stretch his league record to 12 games against Fortuna — still the only side remaining in the 18-team division against which he hasn’t scored.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. Lewandowski sent one shot narrowly wide of the post and his powerful header was saved well by goalkeeper Zack Steffen. He even tried a scissor kick, without success.
Goals from Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry, and Philippe Coutinho gave Bayern its second straight 4-0 win in the Bundesliga after routing Borussia Dortmund before the international break.
It stretched Bayern’s winning run to three games under Flick, Germany coach Joachim Löw’s former assistant. Flick is filling in for the fired Niko Kovac and has yet to see his side concede.
Bayern became the first visiting team since April to leave Düsseldorf with a clean sheet.
UNION ENJOYING BUNDESLIGA LIFE
Union players celebrated with fans long after the side’s fifth win from 12 games, its third straight in the league.
Anthony Ujah’s 15th-minute header and another in injury time from Sebastian Andersson were enough for Union to end Gladbach’s three-game winning run across all competitions, and stretch the promoted team’s own run to five straight victories, including a friendly win over Holstein Kiel.
Gladbach made a fine start with Denis Zakaria and Patrick Herrmann going close before Herrmann hit the post in the 12th. But Marcus Ingvartsen produced a fine cross for Ujah to score with Union’s first real chance.
Buoyed by the goal, Union pushed on and almost made it 2-0 when Ingvartsen struck the post.
Union fans rose to salute goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz for denying Alassane Plea in a one-on-one before the break. It was the visitors’ best chance before Andersson sealed Union’s win.
LEIPZIG CLOSES IN
Emil Forsberg scored twice as Leipzig stayed second, ahead of Bayern on goal difference, with a 4-1 rout of visiting Cologne.
Cologne was hoping for a change of fortune under new coach Markus Gisdol, who replaced the fired Achim Beierlorzer during the international break, but Timo Werner got Leipzig underway in the 22nd and the home side powered on for its seventh win.
Leipzig, which was formed only in 2009, looks a good prospect to take advantage of rivals’ travails and mark its 10th anniversary with its first major title.
Also, Wolfsburg won 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, where the home side wore jerseys with a message against racism. Schalke won at Werder Bremen 2-1, and Freiburg grabbed a draw at Bayer Leverkusen 1-1.
James Ellingworth contributed from Düsseldorf.
Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP