Bayern Munich extend Bundesliga lead

Reuters, Saturday 22 Nov 2014

Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger, from left, Rafinha, Sebastian Rode and Robert Lewandowski celebrate after scoring during the soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and 1899 Hoffenheim in the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Undefeated champions Bayern Munich continued their seemingly unstoppable charge towards the Bundesliga title, crushing Hoffenheim 4-0 on Saturday to extend their lead at the top.

With second-placed VfL Wolfsburg losing 3-2 at Schalke 04, Bayern are now seven points clear, having yet to lose in any of the three competitions they are in this season.

Mario Goetze drilled in from 23 metres with Bayern's first shot on goal in the 23rd minute and Poland international Robert Lewandowski headed in his sixth of the campaign from a pin-point cross by Arjen Robben.

The Dutchman then added a third late in the game with a fine chip for the Bavarians, who welcomed back Bastian Schweinsteiger as a second-half substitute for his first appearance since the World Cup final having recovered from a niggling knee injury.

Substitute Sebastian Rode completed the rout three minutes from time from a Schweinsteiger assist to lift Bayern to 30 points. Hoffenheim finished with 10 men following the late dismissal of Adam Szalai.

Fellow Champions League club Bayer Leverkusen eased past Hanover 96 3-1 with forward Stefan Kiessling scoring his first league goal since August.

Leverkusen are fourth on 20 points, level with third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, who slumped to a 3-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Schalke exploded into action against in-form Wolfsburg, scoring three times in the opening 25 minutes as they prepare to meet Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday.

But Wolfsburg cut the deficit with goals from Ivica Olic and Nicklas Bendtner and Naldo hit the bar in stoppage time as Schalke hung on to move up to sixth on 17.

Last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund, who visit Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday, squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at promoted Paderbon, continuing their erratic season.

There was further bad news for last season's runners-up as Marco Reus, who had only just returned to the side, was taken off midway through the second half with yet another injury after a rough challenge.

Dortmund are in 14th place on 11 points, two above last-placed VfB Stuttgart.

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