Munich, Dec 13 (IANS) Leaders Bayern Munich overpowered resilient FC Ingolstadt 2-0 while Bayer Leverkusen crushed Borussia Monchengladbach 5-0 in the 16th round of Bundesliga.
Josep Guardiola’s men carved out a hard-earned 2-0 victory over newly promoted Ingolstadt, who gave the German giants a hard time until the break. The Bundesliga leaders increased their efforts in the second half to snatch the win thanks to Robert Lewandowski and Phillip Lahm, reports Xinhua.
From the kick-off newly promoted Ingolstadt set the front-runners under pressure. Bayern lacked in ideas and had to wait until the 25th minute to work out their first clear-cut opportunity.
Robert Lewandowski lobbed over onrushing Ingolstadt custodian Ramazan Oezcan before defender Romain Bregerie scratched the ball off the goal line to deny the opener.
However, the resilient visitors remained unimpressed and threatened Bayern before the break as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to be on guard to defuse Stefan Lex’ and Lukas Hinterseer’s promising chances.
After the restart, Bayern shifted up the gear to press Ingolstadt into the defence. Hence, Robert Lewandowski were able to mark the opener and his 15th goal of the season after Jerome Boateng’s long pass into the box allowed the Polish international to slot home from sharp angle into the open goal in the 65th minute.
After beating front-runners Bayern Munich last week, Monchengladbach’s unbeaten run, under coach Andre Schubert, came to an end at struggling Leverkusen. Javier Hernandez has large shares on the surprising 5-0 victory after scoring a hat-trick.
Both sides staged an evenly balanced first half yet Monchengladbach created the first note worthy opportunity through Josip Drmic, who headed on target but into the arms of Leverkusen goalie Bernd Leno.
Nevertheless, the opener was scored at the other end of the pitch as Stefan Kiessling headed home Roberto Hilbert’s pinpoint cross to the far post with 30 minutes into the game.
Leverkusen piled on the pressure against uninspired Monchengladbach at the second half allowing Javier Hernandez to double the advantage after Stefan Kiessling’s build up play in the 63rd minute. Kiessling was again in the thick of things after heading home his brace three minutes later following Hakan Calhanoglu’s corner kick.
Monchengladbach were unable to put up some resistance meanwhile Leverkusen’s Hernandez wasn’t done with the scoring. The Mexican international added another two goals to Leverkusen’s lead to round off the 5-0 goal festival.
After suffering their first loss under Andre Schubert in the Bundesliga, Monchengladbach slump from the third to the fifth place whereas Leverkusen jump from the eighth to the sixth position.
Elsewhere, Berlin underlined their UEFA Champions League ambitions by claiming the third place and cruising to a 4-0 at newly promoted Darmstadt thanks to Vedad Ibisevic’s brace.