Berlin, March 2 (IANS) Arjen Robben scored a hat trick as Bayern continued their relentless run while Dortmund moved into second place courtesy Leverkusen’s 1-0 loss to Mainz in the 23rd round of the German Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich march on as they humiliated Schalke 5-1 Saturday to inflict the ‘Royal Blues’ the sixth loss of the season, reported Xinhua.
The Bavarians gave a faultless performance in the first half, as Schalke had hardly tested the Bayern defence. The hosts ensured a bright start as David Alaba opened the scoring with a deflected free kick goal in the third minute.
The ‘Royal Blues’ were shocked when Bayern doubled their lead in the 15th minute through Robben, who made use of a through ball by Mario Mandzukic to beat custodian Ralf Faehrmann with a lob.
Schalke’s porous defence allowed Bayern to score another goal as Mandzukic had all the time and space to head home Alaba’s cross inside the box in the 24th minute.
Schalke were absolutely hapless against Bayern’s dominance as the front runners made it 4-0 thanks to the brace by Robben, who finished his solo run into the far post corner four minutes later.
However, things changed in the second half since Schalke were able to disrupt Bayern’s build up play. Although no Schalke player scored a consolation goal, it was Bayern’s Rafinha who reduced the arrears for the visitors when he cleared a corner into his own goal in the 64th minute.
Things changed from bad to worse when Kyriakos Papadopoulos was sent off with a straight red card following a professional foul to concede a penalty, which was converted by Robben for a hat-trick.
Bayern tighten their top spot with 65 points whereas Schalke stuck on fourth place with 41 points.
Dortmund celebrated their eighth win on home soil as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over Nuremberg. Thus the ‘BVB’ oust Leverkusen from the second place in the table.
Juergen Klopp’s men staged a dominant performance as they created 12 attempts during the first half while Nuremberg approached just once BVB goal.
The hosts broke the deadlock on resumption as Mats Hummels capitalised on a rebound to poke home from very close range in the 51st minute. Nuremberg tried to respond but the ‘BVB’ doubled the lead in the 64th minute when Lewandowski utilised a through ball to beat Schaefer with a well-placed curl from 16 metres into the bottom right.
Nuremberg were unable to put up any resistance and Dortmund rounded off their 3-0 win as Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored from seven metres in the 83rd minute.
Mainz jumped into the top six of the Bundesliga standings to occupy a UEFA Europa League position following a 1-0 victory on the road against struggling Leverkusen that lost their second place and their fifth straight match overall.
The hosts broke the deadlock through Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, who scored a back heel goal from close range in the 37th minute.
Elsewhere, bottom side Braunschweig held Monchengladbach to a 1-1 draw. It is eighth winless game in a row for Monchengladbach.
Hannover recovered from three losses to play a 1-1 draw at Augsburg while Bremen defeated Hamburg 1-0 in the 100th Northern derby. It is the first victory for the ‘Green-Whites’ in the second half of the campaign.Published 02 Mar 2014, 11:15 IST