Bayern win 6-0 to keep 13-point lead in Bundesliga
BERLIN: Bayern Munich enjoyed another big Bundesliga win as it pursues a fifth straight title while Borussia Dortmund was held to a 1-1 draw at Schalke in the Ruhr derby on Saturday.
Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick and set up another two for Bayern to rout Augsburg 6-0 at home, maintaining its 13-point lead over Leipzig with eight games remaining.
Bayern, which has only lost once in 26 league games, didn't have to work too hard for its 20th win with Augsburg opting to rest several players for its relegation battle with Ingolstadt on Wednesday.
Lewandowski broke the deadlock early on, stopping the unchallenged Thiago Alcantara's perfectly placed cross with his first touch and then turning to smash the ball in convincingly with his second touch.
Thomas Mueller struck the post shortly afterward but didn't have to wait long for his third league goal of the season, scored from close range after Lewandowski whipped the ball in.
Minutes after Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed his league-leading 24th goal in Gelsenkirchen, Lewandowski claimed his 23rd, firing inside the left post after holding off a defender.
The Polish striker then set up Thiago with his heel before completing his hat trick and matching Aubameyang's tally with a header.
A long ball from Jerome Boateng set up Mueller for his second, though the Germany forward went straight off for treatment following a bad challenge from Christoph Janker, who was booked.
Augsburg dropped to the relegation play-off spot.
Eintracht Frankfurt hosted Borussia Moenchengladbach later Saturday.
Schalke 1, Borussia Dortmund 1
The 150th competitive Ruhr derby ended badly for Schalke, denied what looked a clear penalty in injury time after Marc Bartra stopped the ball with his arm. Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl was sent to the stands for his protests.
Dortmund had the better of a hard-fought first half with more shots on goal before Aubameyang finally broke the deadlock early in the second half.
Ousmane Dembele timed his pass perfectly for Shinji Kagawa to beat the offside trap and the Japan midfielder unselfishly laid the ball off for Aubameyang's simple finish. The Gabon striker pulled on a mask — as he has done before — and prompted a furious reaction from Schalke fans with his celebrations.
Thilo Kehrer got them smiling again with the equalizer in the 77th, firing inside the left post for his first Bundesliga goal after Leon Goretzka dragged the ball back.
Leipzig 4, Darmstadt 0
Leipzig bounced back from three games without a win by consolidating second place. The promoted side is four points ahead of third-placed Hoffenheim and five ahead of Dortmund in the last qualification spot for the Champions League.
Bottom side Darmstadt looks doomed, now 14 points from safety.
Naby Keita hammered a volley inside the far post after Emil Forsberg's initial effort was deflected to get the scoring underway, and Forsberg scored midway through the second half.
Quick-fire goals from Willi Orban and Keita again after Sandro Sirigu was sent off put the result beyond doubt.
Freiburg 2, Werder Bremen 5
Bremen took another giant step toward safety with its fifth win in a six-game unbeaten run to move three points clear of the relegation zone.
Max Kruse struck against the run of play against his first Bundesliga club to give Bremen an early lead and Thomas Delaney doubled the advantage just before halftime.
Freiburg coach Christian Streich responded with three changes at the break but Delaney grabbed his second, after being set up by Kruse, early in the second half.
Former Bremen striker Nils Petersen pulled one back on the rebound after Felix Wiedwald saved his penalty, before Fin Bartels sealed it with his heel with some 20 minutes remaining.
Vincenzo Grifo scored Freiburg's second before Delaney completed his hat trick.
Hamburger SV 2, Cologne 1
Hamburg also scored a big win in its battle against the drop, with Lewis Holtby's late winner dragging the side out of the relegation zone to 13th, a point clear of Augsburg.
Bobby Wood set up Nicolai Mueller to get the home side off to a good start but Milos Jojic equalized for Cologne minutes later.
Cologne 'keeper Timo Horn made two huge saves before Holtby scored what could be a vital goal for Hamburg's survival.