Bayern top Leverkusen 4-2 to move closer to title
Berlin, Jun 6 (efe-epa).- Bayern Munich took another step toward a record eighth straight Bundesliga title with a 4-2 away victory Saturday over Bayer Leverkusen.
But second-place Borussia Dortmund also won to remain just 7 points back with four matches left in the pandemic-interrupted season.
And it was not all smooth-sailing for the Bavarians in Leverkusen, as both Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller picked up yellow cards that will keep them out of Bayern’s next contest against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Fifth-place Leverkusen, who remain in the hunt for the fourth and final Champions League slot, started well against the league leaders and drew first blood, scoring in the 9th minute.
The play began with Bayern defender Jerome Boateng’s attempt to intercept a throw-in by the visitors put the ball at the feet of Leverkusen’s Julian Baumgartlinger, whose pass found Lucas Alario in the area and the Argentine fired in at the near post.
Bayern dominated possession, but struggled going forward against Leverkusen’s high press and the visitors got the equalizer as a result of a midfield takeaway.
Leon Goretzka stripped the ball from Mousa Diaby and relayed it to an unmarked Kingsley Coman bearing down on Leverkusen goalkeeper Lucas Hradecky.
Coman waited for the keeper to come out to cut down the angle before blasting away with his right foot to level the score at 1-1 in the 27th minute.
Bayern took the lead in the 42nd minute, as Goretzka scored on the counter after a Leverkusen corner.
Serge Gnabry made it 3-1 for the visitors in first-half stoppage time, chipping the ball over Hradecky – off his line again – after collecting a 60-yard pass from Joshua Kimmich.
Both Müller and Gnabry had opportunities to add to the lead before Lewandowski headed-in in the 65th minute, his 30th goal of the 2019-2020 Bundesliga campaign.
Too late to change the outcome, Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz got a goal in the 89th minute to become the youngest player ever to score in an official Bundesliga match.
Wirtz, who turned 17 on May 3, broke the record set in November 2005 by Nuri Sahin, then 17 years and 82 days old.
Bayern climbed to 70 points. Leverkusen are fifth with 56 points, the same as Borussia Mönchengladbach, who sit fourth by a virtue of better goal difference.
The only team in a position to thwart Bayern’s quest for an eighth consecutive Bundesliga crown, Borussia Dortmund, eked out a 1-0 win against Hertha Berlin on Saturday to go to 63 points.
Playing without Erling Haaland – 10 goals in 11 appearances – and Mats Hummels, Dortmund not only kept alive their admittedly slim hopes of overtaking Bayern, they put additional distance between themselves and the three clubs below them.
Dortmund are 7 points clear of Gladbach and Leverkusen and 4 points ahead of RB Leipzig, who drew 1-1 with last-place Paderborn earlier Saturday.
Hertha came into Saturday’s contest at Signal Iduna Park on a run of good form since the Bundesliga returned to action on May 16 after losing two months to the coronavirus shutdown.
The visitors frustrated the powerful Dortmund attack in the first half, holding the hosts to just three chances.
The Berlin side created only one opportunity, a strike by Vladimir Darida straight into the midsection of Dortmund keeper Roman Bürki.