Saturday, 23 March, 2019

German Bundesliga

Bayern crush Hamburg, Hoffenheim beat Wolfsburg

11 Mar 2018, 20:20 ( 11 Mar, 2018)

DF-Xinhua Report
Robert Lewandowski. File Photo Xinhua.

Robert Lewandowski's hat-trick helped Bayern Munich to whitewash relegation-threatened Hamburg 6-0 while Hoffenheim cruised 3-0 past struggling Wolfsburg at the 26th round in Bundesliga on Saturday.

Runaway leaders Bayern Munich showed no mercy with Hamburg as three goals from Lewandowski, two from Franck Ribery and one from Arjen Robben increase Hamburg's relegation worries.

The German giants needed only eight minutes before Ribery rounded Hamburg goalkeeper Christian Mathenia to open the scoring from inside the box.

Bayern gained momentum and pressed Hamburg into defence before Lewandowski headed home Joshua Kimmich's cross to double the lead in the 12th minute.

The Pole remained in the thick of things as he tripled the lead moments later when he tapped home an assist from David Alaba with 19 minutes played.

Hamburg were unable to put up resistance whereas Bayern started where they left off before the half time as Dutchman Arjen Robben made it 4-0 on the scoreboards 10 minutes into the second half.

The hosts remained on the front foot as Ribery shrugged off three defenders before slamming home the fifth goal from inside the box with nine minutes to the final whistle.

Bayern's Lewandowski should have extended the lead but the striker squandered a penalty as he pulled over the target. However, the Pole made amends as he converted another penalty to seal his hat-trick in the closing period.

With the result, Bayern established their 20-point advantaged atop the standings, while Hamburg were stuck at the 17th place with seven points to safety.

Hoffenheim sewed up their second straight victory  and boosted their European hopes after beating Wolfsburg on the goals from Nico Schulz, Serge Gnabry and an own goal from Joshua Guilavogui.

The hosts assumed control early in the game and tested Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels with an effort from Andrej Kramaric.

Hoffenheim's dominant performance got rewarded on 18 minutes as Casteels blocked Florian Grillitsch's cross into the path of Schulz, who made no mistake to break the deadlock.

Wolfsburg lacked penetration and were unable to threat Hoffenheim's defence whereas the hosts failed to make the most out of their chances as Serge Gnabry rattled the woodwork and saw his header scratched off the line before the break.

Hoffenheim remained in full control after the restart but had to wait until the 77th minute before Gnabry doubled the lead following the assistance of Mark Uth.

Things went from bad to worse three minutes later as Wolfsburg's Guilavogui scored an own goal to put the result beyond doubt with 10 minutes from time.

After suffering their ninth loss of the season, Wolfsburg remain in touching distance to the drop zone while the seventh-placed Hoffenheim have increased their chances for a berth in Europe.

Elsewhere, Augsburg ended their winless run of four games and moved 3-1 past newly promoted Hannover by courtesy on Michael Gregoritsch's brace.

Hertha Berlin and Freiburg shared the spoils following a goalless draw and Bayer Leverkusen wrapped their second straight win after beating Monchengladbach 2-0.

The following fixtures are scheduled on Sunday: Stuttgart host Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund see Eintracht Frankfurt.