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European roundup: Lewandowski hat-trick takes Bayern six points clear

European roundup: Lewandowski hat-trick takes Bayern six points clear

  • Striker’s treble comes in 4-0 defeat of Cologne
  • High-flying Hoffenheim’s beaten by Union Berlin

Robert Lewandowski grabbed a hat-trick as Bayern Munich scored for a record 66th Bundesliga game in succession to beat Cologne 4-0 and restore their six-point lead at the top on Saturday.

Lewandowski, no stranger to breaking scoring records for Bayern, claimed the opening goal in the ninth minute off a pass from Thomas Müller – after a video review check for offside – with Bayern last failing to find the net in February 2020 in a 0-0 draw against RB Leipzig.

Corentin Tolisso tightened Bayern’s grip on the game with a fine shot into the top-left corner. Cologne thought they had a chance of getting back into the game when Mark Uth put the ball into the net following a Bayern blunder in defence, but it was ruled narrowly offside.

Leroy Sané, back after a positive test for coronavirus, set up Lewandowski for two more goals in the second half. The win saw Bayern recover from last week’s loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, when they had to field reserve and youth players amid a virus outbreak in the squad. Most of the affected players returned to face Cologne, but not left-back Alphonso Davies, who is likely to be sidelined for weeks with heart muscle inflammation.

Hoffenheim came into the weekend in third and harbouring hopes of returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2018-19 but losing to Union Berlin 2-1 didn’t help. Union players scored all of the goals as Andreas Voglsammer canceled out Timo Baumgartl’s early own goal before Grischa Prömel scored the winner.

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RB Leipzig’s gradual recovery under new coach Domenico Tedesco took another step forward after beating Stuttgart 2-0 to rise to seventh. Leipzig took the lead against relegation-threatened Stuttgart with an André Silva penalty after defender Konstantinos Mavropanos blocked a cross with his arm.

Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin were both left disappointed after they drew 0-0 in a game between teams failing to meet their respective expectations. Wolfsburg coach Florian Kohfeldt won his first three games in charge in October and November but has failed to win since in the Bundesliga or Champions League, and is under pressure after averaging less than a point per game. Mainz stayed seven games unbeaten at home with a 1-0 win over Bochum.

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