Bayern charge past hapless Wolfsburg to extend lead
BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayern Munich scored twice in eight minutes to beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on Saturday and go 11 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga as they chase an unprecedented fourth consecutive league crown.
Kingsley Coman's 66th-minute volley and Robert Lewandowski's 23rd goal of the campaign lifted Bayern to 62 points, 11 ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund who play Hoffenheim on Sunday.
"We knew it would be tough after playing Juventus (in the Champions League) in midweek," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told reporters.
"But we took the next step. Our points count looks good but it is not yet over."
For Champions League club Wolfsburg, last season's runners-up and German Cup winners, it was another frustrating afternoon, stuck in eighth place after winning just one of their last 10 matches.
Bayern, who squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Juventus in their Champions League round of 16 first leg on Tuesday, were initially tested by the Wolves despite controlling possession.
Having seen Bundesliga leading scorer Lewandowski score five goals in nine minutes against them in a 5-1 demolition in September, Wolfsburg were not prepared to be a punching bag again.
Naldo twice went close with long-range efforts and Marcel Schaefer missed their biggest chance in the first half, mis-firing from three metres out as Wolfsburg carved out the better chances.
Lewandowski should have done better when he was sent through by Thomas Mueller, only to fire over the bar but Frenchman Coman quickly made amends, cleverly volleying in from a wickedly deflected looping Lewandowski effort.
The Poland striker did get on the scoresheet himself after a fine run and cross from Coman down the wing as Wolfsburg finally buckled under pressure.
"We had to be patient today and I waited a long time for my chance to score," Lewandowski told reporters.
"It is not easy after a Champions League game like the one we had but we did it well."
Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro scored an 89th-minute equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw against Ingolstadt and earn at least a point for the hosts, in 17th place on 21 points, one away from safety.
It was the 37-year-old Peruvian's 183rd Bundesliga goal, lifting him alone into fifth place of the league's all-time scorers list.
Bottom side Hanover 96 ended an eight-game losing run to snatch a late 2-1 victory at VfB Stuttgart for their first win since November, cutting the gap to the relegation playoff spot to four points.
Hertha Berlin are third on 39 points after their 1-0 win at Cologne on Friday.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)