Bayern Munich on Sunday opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the league with a 4-0 victory at bottom side Schalke 04, as Robert Lewandowski became the first player in history to score in eight successive Bundesliga away games.
Bayern extended their advantage over second-placed RB Leipzig, who on Saturday suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at second-from-bottom FSV Mainz 05.
As the only top-three team to win this weekend, European champions Bayern are firmly on course for a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title.
Thomas Mueller claimed the first of his two goals with a header, before Lewandowski netted from a tight angle midway through the second half for his 23rd goal in 17 league matches this season.
Bayern then scored twice in the final two minutes, a second Mueller header before David Alaba smashed in a long-range shot in the 90th minute.
“We have had a few big points this week — even when we don’t overrun the opposition,” Mueller told Sky.
Bayern have taken a maximum nine points in the past week after a 2-1 home victory over SC Freiburg the previous Sunday and a scrappy 1-0 win at Augsburg, who missed a late penalty, on Wednesday last week.
Midfielder Joshua Kimmich weighed in with three assists in Gelsenkirchen.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer kept his 197th Bundesliga clean sheet to break Oliver Kahn’s record.
“I hope Schalke stay in the league and manage to turn the tide,” former Schalke player Neuer said.
Schalke remain rooted to the bottom and 10 points from guaranteed safety.
However, Bayern coach Hansi Flick saw room for improvement.
“I wasn’t completely satisfied. Sure, we scored four goals, but I also saw that we can do one or two things better in possession,” Flick said. “We sometimes play with too much risk, sometimes too slowly. Nevertheless, I’m satisfied with the nine points we got in one week.”
Bayern routed the Royal Blues 8-0 in Munich when the teams last met in September last year, but the hosts put up more of a fight having changed their head coach three times in four months.
Even with captain Sead Kolasinac and veteran striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar missing with leg injuries, they had chances as Suat Serdar and Mark Uth forced saves from Neuer.
In the late match, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim jumped three places to 11th after their second straight win as Andrej Kramaric netted two penalties in a 3-0 home victory over Cologne, who remained in the bottom three.
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