Bayern Munich cruised to a 3-1 victory at Werder Bremen on Saturday with striker Robert Lewandowski climbing to second place in the Bundesliga’s all-time scorers list as the champions opened up a five-point lead at the top.
The 32-year-old Lewandowski, the 2020 FIFA World Player, twice hit the woodwork early in the second half before tapping in to make it 3-0 and join Klaus Fischer on 268 Bundesliga goals, second on the all-time scorers list only to Gerd Mueller and his astonishing 365-goal record.
The Bavarians, who welcome Lazio for their Champions League Round of 16 second leg on Wednesday, were never troubled by the hosts, and Leon Goretzka headed them into the lead in the 22nd minute.
Thomas Mueller then delivered his 13th assist of the season in the 35th minute for Serge Gnabry to slot in.
Lewandowski was determined to join them on the score sheet after the break. But in the 54th and then 58th minute, he hit the woodwork, and twice more Werder keeper Jiri Pavlenka denied him with superb saves.
But a lucky bounce from a Kingsley Coman cross in the 67th minute allowed the Poland forward to tap in from close range and take his league tally this season to 32 goals, one step closer to Gerd Mueller’s league record of 40 goals in a season dating back to the 1971/72 campaign.
Lewandowski hit the post a third time in the 78th minute and Niclas Fuellkrug scored a late goal for the hosts as Bayern moved up to 58 points, with second-placed RB Leipzig, on 53, in action against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund scored twice in the second half in a 2-0 victory over visitors Hertha Berlin to grab their third Bundesliga win in the last four games and move back into fifth place.
Julian Brandt tried his luck from 25 yards in the 54th minute and Hertha ‘keeper Rune Jarstein completely misjudged the ball as it flew through his hands and into the goal.
Sixteen-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko then fired in from a tight angle in stoppage time for his third goal of the season.
VfL Wolfsburg climbed to third spot on 48 points with a 5-0 demolition of basement club Schalke 04. Union Berlin captain Christopher Trimmel scored to complete a 2-1 turnaround win over Cologne, while Mainz beat Freiburg 1-0.
Benzema double earns Real comeback win
Karim Benzema scored a late winner to complete a second-half double as Real Madrid moved up to second in La Liga with a 2-1 comeback victory at home to struggling Elche.
The reigning La Liga champions tried to stamp their authority early on as Raphael Varane fired Casemiro’s pass over the crossbar in the otherwise relatively-quiet opening exchanges at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
At the other end, Elche winger Tete Morente wasted a good opportunity for the visitors midway through the first half with a poorly-struck cross from the right.
Johan Mojica forced a Real clearance after 26 minutes, and soon after Isco saw his long-range strike saved in the centre of the goal by Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia as the hosts attempted to break the deadlock.
Guido Carrillo headed Mojica’s cross wide as the struggling away side fought hard to get their noses ahead but Real hit back with a number of chances – including two close efforts from Benzema – before the break.
The hosts came out of the blocks fastest in the second half with Benzema fizzing a great chance wide before Isco’s effort was blocked.
Thibaut Courtois made a second good save of the afternoon to deny Carrillo and Elche’s pressure paid off as they took the lead in the 61st minute when Dani Calvo headed the ball home via the crossbar following a corner.
But the hosts hit back as Benzema equalised with a close-range header after 73 minutes.
The Frenchman then snatched a late winner at the death as he slotted Rodrygo’s assist into the bottom corner for his fifth goal from the last four and 20th of the season in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Ligue 1: Marseille make it two wins on the bounce
Florian Thauvin and Michael Cuisance struck late to earn Olympique Marseille and new coach Jorge Sampaoli their second successive win in Ligue 1 as they beat Stade Brestois 3-1 at home in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Thauvin struck with two minutes left and Cuisance added another in stoppage time after Arkadiusz Milik’s opener for OM had been cancelled out by Lilian Brassier, to lift the Provence side up to fifth on 45 points from 29 games.
Three days after claiming their first win in two months in a rescheduled match against Stade Rennais, OM were put on the right track by Milik’s third goal in six games.
The Polish striker found the back of the net on the stroke of halftime with a low crossed shot from just inside the box after being found in space by Dimitri Payet.
Marseille dominated but lacked sharpness and they were punished in the 71st minute when Brassier headed home from Romain Faivre’s cross to score. It was only the visitors’ second attempt of the game.
Thauvin, however, restored Marseille’s advantage with a powerful left-footed effort before Cuisance put the result beyond doubt two minutes into stoppage time with a beautiful volley.