Lewandowski ends 1-game scoring drought, Bayern extends lead
BERLIN (AP) — Robert Lewandowski ended his one-game scoring drought on Saturday.
The Poland star scored his 24th goal in 21 games to help Bayern Munich stretch its Bundesliga lead to nine points with a 3-2 win over visiting Leipzig.
Lewandowski, who hadn’t scored in the 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin before the international break, met Kingsley Coman’s precise cross with a thumping header to give Bayern a 2-1 lead over Leipzig before the break.
It was typical Bayern, replying when it needed to against a spirited Leipzig team.
Thomas Müller opened the scoring in the 12th minute, finishing off the rebound after Péter Gulácsi saved Lewandowski’s initial effort.
André Silva equalized in the 27th, squeezing the ball over the line after good work from Konrad Laimer and Christopher Nkunku.
Müller had a goal ruled out through VAR for a foul by Lewandowski in the buildup, but Lewandowski atoned by restoring Bayern’s lead in the 44th.
Laimer set up Nkunku for the equalizer in the 53rd with a brilliant through ball on the left. Nkunku stayed cool before shooting through Manuel Neuer’s legs.
Bayern answered again in the 58th when Josko Gvardiol deflected Serge Gnabry’s cross into his own net.
Bayern also had Neuer to thank for five good saves to keep Leipzig out. The 35-year-old Neuer matched former Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn’s Bundesliga record of 310 wins and has 13 more rounds this season to beat it.
“I thought he might leave me a record,” joked Kahn, who is now Bayern’s CEO.
Borussia Dortmund can restore the six-point gap with a win against visiting Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Bayern’s stadium was illuminated in lilac to commemorate victims of the Holocaust. Up to 10,000 fans were permitted after authorities on Wednesday relaxed national coronavirus restrictions for large open-air events.
Borussia Mönchengladbach’s dismal spell continued with a 1-1 draw at Arminia Bielefeld.
Gladbach at least ended its three-game losing run across all competitions, but coach Adi Hütter remains under pressure with the team just two points above the relegation zone.
Bielefeld stretched its unbeaten streak to six games.
Janni Serra opened the scoring in the 19th when he eluded three Gladbach defenders and let fly inside the left corner.
The home team was by far the better side until Alassane Plea equalized with a diving header to Jonas Hofmann’s lay off in the 38th.
Bielefeld also pushed hard in the second half, with visiting goalkeeper Yann Sommer rescuing Gladbach at least twice.
American defender George Bello made his Bundesliga debut following his transfer from Major League Soccer’s Atlanta, entering for Bielefeld in the 71st minute.
But Gladbach might have grabbed a late winner, with Hofmann in particular failing to make more of some good counterattacking opportunities.
Marcus Thuram fired the last chance wide for Gladbach, which is also looking for a new sporting director after Max Eberl’s decision to quit last week due to a buildup of stress and exhaustion after nearly 14 years in the job.
Union Berlin remained fourth despite losing 2-0 at Augsburg in its first game since top-scorer Max Kruse left the club.
“He’s a player who makes a difference, but there’s no point in talking about him because he’s no longer with us,” Union coach Urs Fischer said of Kruse.
Augsburg climbed out of the relegation zone with the win.
Freiburg remained fifth despite its 1-0 defeat in Cologne. Cologne was without its coach Steffen Baumgart due to COVID-19. But it welcomed back 10,000 fans.
Ajdin Hrustic’s second goal proved to be the winner for Eintracht Frankfurt which won 3-2 at Stuttgart, and Mainz beat visiting Hoffenheim 2-0.
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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP