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Monday, 18 January 2021

Bayern beat Augsburg 2-0 to go 4 points clear in Bundesliga

AP , Sunday 8 Mar 2020
Bayern Munich
Bayern's Thomas Mueller celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Augsburg in Munich, Germany, Sunday, March 8, 2020 AP
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Thomas Muller scored as Bayern Munich beat Augsburg 2-0 on Sunday to extend its lead to four points in the chase for an eighth straight Bundesliga title.

Tenacious Augsburg defending left Bayern with few clear scoring chances. Instead of intricate passing, old-fashioned direct football won the day as Muller scored in the 53rd off a long pass over the top from Jerome Boateng.

Manuel Neuer made a key save to keep the three points in Munich, parrying Florian Niederlechner's low shot in the 80th minute, with Augsburg unable to score from the rebound. Niederlechner put the ball in the net in the 89th but was offside.

The game could have been over by then but Joshua Zirkzee and Serge Gnabry each missed excellent chances as Augsburg pushed forward seeking to level the score.

Leon Goretzka finally added a second goal for Bayern in stoppage time off a pass from Gnabry.

``It's not the level that we've played at in the last few weeks and that we want to play at,'' Muller said.

He added that ``we need to take a deep breath'' before a run of three games in nine days from March 14 to 22, including the second leg of Bayern's last-16 Champions League matchup with Chelsea. Bayern won the first leg 3-0.

Bayern leads by four points from Borussia Dortmund, which overtook Leipzig for second place on Saturday after Leipzig dropped points in a 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg.

To mark the club's 120th anniversary Bayern played in commemorative white shirts with burgundy sleeves and near-invisible sponsor logos.

Those were Bayern's colors when it won the German title for the first time in 1932. In the decades since, Bayern players have worn various combinations of red, white and blue, the colors of the club's home region of Bavaria, settling on a solid red home shirt for most recent seasons.

Sectors of the Bayern support displayed banners with sharp criticism of the club's commercial ties to 2022 World Cup host Qatar.

That was the latest act in a dispute between fans and German football officials and club management.

Last week Bayern fans aimed insults at Hoffenheim's billionaire backer Dietmar Hopp. Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge joined Hopp in applauding from the sidelines as Bayern and Hoffenheim players passed the ball to each other for the last 13 minutes to show disapproval of the fans.

Mainz and Fortuna Dusseldorf meet in Sunday's late game with each keen to build a buffer to the automatic relegation places.

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