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Bayern close in on title, Bremen boost Bundesliga survival hopes

Robert Lewandowski ended his scoring drought against Fortuna Dusseldorf with a double on Saturday as Bayern Munich continued their march towards an eighth successive Bundesliga title with a 5-0 win.

Robert Lewandowski ended his scoring drought against Fortuna Dusseldorf with a double on Saturday as Bayern Munich continued their march towards an eighth successive Bundesliga title with a 5-0 win.

Dusseldorf were the only Bundesliga side to stop the prolific Pole from netting in five previous meetings but that record ended with a cool finish in the 43rd minute. An earlier own goal and Benjamin Pavard header had sent Bayern en route to victory.

Lewandowski flicked his second soon after the restart and Alphonso Davies completed the scoring with a solo goal.

Bayern now lead the league by 10 points with second placed Borussia Dortmund visiting bottom club Paderborn late Sunday. Nine points from their five remaining games will secure Bayern‘s latest championship.

Leonardo Bittencourt’s wonder-strike continued Werder Bremen’s drive for survival with a 1-0 win at sinking Schalke while Hertha Berlin impressed again under Bruno Labbadia by beating Augsburg 2-0.

Ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt ended a run of six matches without victory 2-1 at Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim won 1-0 at Mainz.

Bayern made one change from the side which secured a crucial win at Dortmund on Tuesday with record signing Lucas Hernandez replacing Jerome Boateng in defence. Hernandez played 45 minutes before being substituted with an injury worry in his first game since February.

Fortuna were unbeaten in six but no match for Bayern who have now won 11 from 12 in the second half of the season. Coach Hansi Flick has won 22 of his first 25 competitive games with the club, eclipsing the 21 victories achieved by Pep Guardiola in the same spell.

Flick told Sky television he was not bothered by records but focussed on Bayern having “a successful season.” The team are still in the German Cup and the till suspended Champions League.

Matthias Joergensen turned Pavard’s shot into his own net in the 15th minute but the France defender did get on the scoresheet with a 29th minute header.

Lewandowski started and finished a quick move involving Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Mueller just before half-time to finally add Dusseldorf to his list of victims.

And just five minutes into the second period he struck again, back-heeling home Serge Gnabry’s cross. He has a league best 29-goal tally for the season.

Davies forced a fifth soon after but Fortuna did not concede again and left with their pride just about intact.

Dusseldorf coach Uwe Roesler said he was “disappointed to have broken” their good form but believed his team would bounce back.

Bremen are seeking to avoid a second-ever Bundesliga relegation and Bittencourt’s 32nd minute goal boosted their chances. His precise shot from 20 metres flew into the top corner leaving Bayern-bound keeper Alexander Nuebel – recalled between the posts – helpless.

“We expected Schalke to defend with a deep line, but not as deep as they were,” said Bittencourt. “So I’m happy we were able to hit them with the sucker punch. Otherwise it would have been extremely hard.”

Werder have been boosted by seven points from their last three outings. They stay second last but are two points off Fortuna in the play-off place with a game in hand.

“It’s a really important away win for us,” said Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt. “We played really well in the first half and took a deserved lead.”

Schalke have been hit by injuries but were again poor in slumping to 10th, winless in 11 games.

Coach David Wagner said the second half from his team was better “but at the end it was another defeat, at the end there were again incredible individual mistakes.”

Hertha skipped Schalke into the top half thanks to Javairo Dilrosun’s 24th minute finish and Krzysztof Piatek’s late clincher against Augsburg. The capital side are now just four points behind the last European place occupied by Wolfsburg.

Labbadia has guided the team to three wins and a draw since the Bundesliga restart in the middle of the month.

“We are very happy with the new coach and his ideas,” said Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein. “Only four points – it is possible.”

Daichi Kamada struck five minutes from time to lift Frankfurt over Wolfsburg and ease their relegation worries after Kevin Mbabu cancelled Andre Silva’s first half penalty for the guests. Lucas Torro’s late red card for Eintracht had no impact.

They visit Bremen for a rearranged game on Wednesday but now have a five-point gap to the bottom three.

Hoffenheim are level on points with sixth-placed Wolfsburg as substitute Ihlas Bebou netted the winner at Mainz after Steven Zuber missed a penalty for the guests.

Mainz are also in trouble just one place and point above Dusseldorf.

Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at Freiburg on Friday to go third. Champions League hopefuls Borussia Moenchengladbach host another relegation struggler, Union Berlin, to open Sunday and RB Leipzig, fourth, visit Cologne on Monday.

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