Bundesliga: Robert Lewandowski’s penalty helps Bayern Munich consolidate lead; Arminia Bielefeld beat Stuttgart

Bayern Munich stayed four points clear of Leipzig, who earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Union Berlin thanks to Emil Forsberg’s 70th-minute strike.

The Associated Press January 21, 2021 09:28:40 IST
Bundesliga: Robert Lewandowski’s penalty helps Bayern Munich consolidate lead; Arminia Bielefeld beat Stuttgart

Robert Lewandowski celebrates with Bayern Munich teammates after scoring against Augsburg. AP

Robert Lewandowski’s penalty was enough for Bayern Munich to consolidate their Bundesliga lead at the halfway stage of the season with a 1-0 win at Bavarian rival Augsburg on Wednesday.

Lewandowski’s spot kick in the 13th minute was Bayern’s only reward for dominating the first half, while the visitors had to hold on in the second with Augsburg missing a host of chances — including a penalty of their own.

Lewandowski scored his 22nd goal of the season – a league record after 17 games – from the spot after a foul from Augsburg midfielder Rani Khedira on Lucas Hernández.

Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller both missed chances before the break, when Khedira made way for Tobias Strobl.

Bayern coach Hansi Flick took Lewandowski off as a precaution in the 67th after he “felt something” in the back of his leg.

“Robert is extremely important for us. We didn't want to take any risks,” Flick said.

Augsburg improved significantly in the second half but missed a great chance to equalize when Alfred Finnbogason – who had only come on as a substitute a couple of minutes before – smashed his penalty off the left post in the 76th. Benjamin Pavard conceded the spot kick for handball.

“Very bitter,” Finnbogason said of his miss.

Another Augsburg substitute, Fredrik Jensen, shot over from another good position shortly afterward.

UNION BEATEN

Bayern stayed four points clear of Leipzig, who earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Union Berlin thanks to Emil Forsberg’s 70th-minute strike.

Forsberg had come on as a substitute 10 minutes before and capitalized on a rare lapse from Union’s defense to turn and score past Andreas Luthe.

Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi denied Marius Bülter an injury-time equalizer as Union failed to score for the first time in the league this season.

Union dropped to sixth place after their first defeat in seven games since losing the Berlin derby 3-1 at Hertha on 4 December.

BIELEFELD RELIEF

Arminia Bielefeld defeated Stuttgart 3-0 at home to stay out of the relegation zone after Cologne’s late 2-1 win at last-place Schalke earlier Wednesday. Cologne remained 16th in the 18-team division with Bielefeld two points clear in 15th.

Also, Eintracht Frankfurt came back to draw 2-2 at Freiburg.

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