Robert Lewandowski, who is seeking the top scorer in the German Bundesliga, scored a hat-trick on Saturday and 10-man Bayern Munich maintained a four-point lead with a 4-0 win over Stuttgart.
Bayern started playing well after Canadian Alfonso Davis was sent off after a strong intervention on Wataru Endo of Stuttgart in the 12th minute. The defending champions kept Leipzig away before their meeting on 4 April.
“We want it resolved as soon as possible,” Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick admitted his side’s attempt to win their ninth title in a row. “That is why we are happy to get the three points in these conditions, with a lesser player for most of the match.”
Lewandowski’s 33, 34 and 35 goals this season makes him need five more goals to equal Gerd Muller of Bayern Munich and West Germany to set the record of 40 in the German league in 1971-1972. I stayed eight days.
Lewandowski, who overshadowed what Klaus Fischer achieved between 1969 and 1988 to finish second in the scorers’ list in the German Bundesliga, admitted: “I’m thinking about game after game, not how many goals I would have to score to break the record.”
“Of course I am proud,” said Lewandowski of his 271 goals in 346 meetings with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. Only Muller, who had 365 games in 427 games between 1965 and 1979, managed more.
Davis initially got a yellow card for stomping his heel in Endo’s ankle, but after reviewing the VAR, they changed it to red.
Erling Haaland scored the second late goal for Borussia Dortmund to draw 2-2 with Cologne, but the visitors slipped four points behind fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, who emerged from a tough match to beat Al Ittihad 5-2 to Berlin.
US striker Josh Sargent scored an own goal in Werder Bremen’s 2-1 home loss to third-placed Wolfsburg.
Collero Schalke will later host Borussia Monchengladbach.