Bayern Munich, Hertha Berlin grab victories in Bundesliga

Munich, March 20 (IANS) Robert Lewandowski’s goal helped Bayern to edge Cologne 1-0 while Hertha Berlin tightened their grip at the third place with a 2-1 victory over newly promoted Ingolstadt at the 27th round of the Bundesliga.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich reaped a 1-0 victory over Cologne thanks to Lewandowski’s 25th goal of the season here on Saturday. The Polish international has set a new club record for most Bundesliga goals by a non-German in one season, reports Xinhua.

Coach Josep Guardiola gave five players a rest but that did not stop the German giants from opening the scoring with just 10 minutes into the game as Lewandowski utilised a clearance inside the box to beat Cologne keeper Timo Horn into the far corner.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had little to do at the other end of the pitch as the defensive-minded Cologne got only a free kick on target before the break.

However, the hosts increased their efforts after the halftime but they had to wait until the 73rd minute. Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman created another two promising opportunities for the “Bavarians” in the closing period.

With the result, Bayern Munich stay atop the standings with an eight-point advantage for the moment, while Cologne remain on the ninth place.

Hertha Berlin defended their third place and the direct berth for the Champions League thanks to a 2-1 victory over the newly-promoted Ingolstadt.

Berlin waited after the break to pull ahead, as Genki Haraguchi tapped home Marvin Plattenhardt’s pinpoint cross into the box on 54 minutes.

Hertha gained momentum and doubled the lead 15 minutes later after Haraguchi assisted Salomon Kalou, who slotted home from five meters.

Ingolstadt reduced the margin through Lukas Hinterseer, whose header overcame Berlin custodian Rune Jarstein in the 75th minute.

After reaping the 14th victory of their season, Berlin established a four-point cushion over the fourth-placed Schalke. Ingolstadt remained at the 10th place.

Elsewhere, Claudio Pizarro’s 101st Bundesliga goal for Werder Bremen secured the hosts a 1-1 draw with Mainz.

Hoffenheim eased their relegation worries after earning their second straight win with a 3-1 victory over Hamburg. Struggling Eintracht Frankfurt snatched a 1-0 triumph to inflict the last-placed Hannover to their fourth loss in row.

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