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Lewandowski makes amends as Bayern trim Dortmund’s lead

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Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring during the German First division Bundesliga football match TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Munich in Sinsheim, Germany, on January 18, 2019. (Photo by Hasan Bratic / dpa / AFP)

Robert Lewandowski rectified a rare penalty miss by scoring as Bayern Munich stayed six points behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race after Sunday’s 4-1 home win over Stuttgart.

Dortmund opened a nine-point gap by mauling second-from-bottom Hanover 5-1 on Saturday, but defending champions Bayern trimmed the lead back to six with their seventh straight league win.

“It’s an unusual role for us to be chasing in second, but we’ll keep going relentlessly,” said Bayern goal-scorer Leon Goretzka.

“We’ll try to keep winning our games and then we’ll see.”

Bayern had to work for the win and overcome a plucky Stuttgart who finished the first half the better of the teams but ultimately suffered their fourth straight league defeat to stay in the relegation places.

Lewandowski held his head in his hands when his 65th-minute penalty attempt cannoned off the post with Bayern only 2-1 up at Munich’s Allianz Arena and Stuttgart threatening the hosts’ goal.

However, Goretzka spared any blushes with his third goal in two games before Lewandowski added Bayern’s fourth when Joshua Kimmich spotted his run into the area.

The Poland striker made up for his miss by rounding Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler to score his 12th league goal of the season.

Bayern deservedly took the lead after only five minutes when midfielder Thiago Alcantara fired through a gap in the Stuttgart defence.

Stuttgart drew level midway through the first half when striker Anastasios Donis beat Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with a candidate for goal of the season.

There was nothing on when Donis, who was just outside the area, fired off his right foot and the ball rocketed into the top right-hand corner for a breathtaking goal.

It was 1-1 at the break, but Christian Gentner restored Bayern’s lead with an own goal when Serge Gnabry’s shot went in off the Stuttgart captain ten minutes into the second half.

In the dying stages, 18-year-old Canadian wunderkind Alphonso Davies, the most expensive player in MLS history after Bayern paid Vancouver Whitecaps $13 million (11.4m euros) for the winger, came on for his Bundesliga debut.

Leipzig rout Fortuna
Fourth-placed RB Leipzig bounced back from last weekend’s home defeat to Dortmund with a 4-0 romp at mid-table Fortuna Duesseldorf, whose six-game unbeaten run ended with their heaviest home loss this season.

Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen gave Leipzig the lead after just two minutes.

In a brutal first 16 minutes, Leipzig went 3-0 up as powerful French centre-back Ibrahima Konate showed his attacking skills by holding off two defenders to slot home their second on nine minutes.

Poulsen added a third as he controlled the ball at the second attempt and fired home with the Fortuna defence in ribbons.

It took until the 27th minute for the hosts to even come up with a half-chance when Japanese international Takashi Usami fired in a cross.

Poulsen came close to claiming his hat-trick after the break before midfielder Konrad Laimer completed the rout with his first Bundesliga goal on 68 minutes as Leipzig earned just their third away league win this season.

Leipzig gave a debut to teenage US international midfielder Tyler Adams, a recent signing from sister club New York Red Bulls.

There was more good news for Leipzig as Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg came on for the final 20 minutes after three months out with a pelvis injury.


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