300 for Lewandowski as Bayern bounce back

Robert Lewandowski’s hat-trick and a Corentin Tolisso beauty helped Bayern Munich thrash Cologne 4-0 to restore their six-point Bundesliga advantage over Borussia Dortmund.

Lewandowski’s latest goal takes him to 300 career Bundesliga goals – a tally bettered only by legendary Gerd Muller’s 365.

“We are happy and grateful that he is playing in the team,” said Manuel Neuer. “We’re delighted he’s here – a machine in the box.”

Bayern had started the new year with a nine-point lead, but their coronavirus-decimated side lost to Borussia Mönchengladbach while Dortmund’s back-to-back wins, including a 5-1 win over Freiburg on Friday, closed the gap .

Still, the cruise to Cologne on Saturday highlights that a close title race is not yet guaranteed as Bayern chase a record 10th consecutive league title.

“I think after the loss to Gladbach it was mainly important for us to get the first points of the new year,” captain Manuel Neuer told Sky Sports.

Lewandowski’s clean finish through Thomas Muller’s assist opened the scoring in the ninth minute and Muller was involved again in the 25th, playing a delicious one-two before Tolisso found the top corner to celebrate his comeback of a coronavirus infection.

The Polish striker then sealed things off with two others after the break.

Elsewhere, Hoffenheim lost 2-1 at Union Berlin, while Mainz beat Bochum 1-0, VfB Stuttgart concerns continued with a 2-0 loss at home to RB Leizpig and crisis clubs Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin shared a 0-0 draw.

Games were played with only a handful of fans in stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic with exact numbers determined by regional rules.

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