BIELEFELD, Germany (Reuters) – Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich restored their nine-point cushion at the summit of the standings with a solid 3-0 victory at relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday, taking them within touching distance of a 10th straight league crown.
With only four games left, the Bavarians rebounded after their shock Champions League exit and regained their lead over second-placed Borussia Dormund, against whom they can win the title in next weekend’s Der Klassiker in Munich.
Bayern took the lead with 10 minutes on the clock after Alphonso Davies squared for Robert Lewandowski, who took a touch before Arminia defender Jacob Barrett Laursen helped the ball over the line, with the goal confirmed after a VAR review.
The visitors doubled their advantage with the last kick of the opening period through Serge Gnabry who chased Kimmich’s pass from the right and hit a brilliant-first time volley. The second goal was also allowed following a check for offside.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side added gloss to the scoreline with five minutes remaining as Kimmich sprayed the ball left for Lewandowski, and the Polish forward passed to substitute Jamal Musiala to finish a sweeping counter-attack from close range.
“A win always feels better than a loss since we experienced one on Tuesday. It’s good for the heads, of course before an important game… before the Klassiker,” Gnabry said.
“We have the chance to become champions at home. We’ve done the work today and we need to finish it next week.”
Frank Kramer’s Arminia started brightly but Bayern soon took control of the contest and the hosts had goalkeeper Stefan Ortega to thank for keeping the scoreline level after eight minutes, saving Lewandowski’s header on the goal line.
The hosts maintained the pressure after falling behind and midfielder Masaya Okugawa had a goal disallowed for offside but they rarely troubled their opponents in the second half. They have scored only 23 goals this season – nine fewer than Lewandowski.
Arminia had dropped into the automatic relegation spots following Hertha Berlin’s win over Augsburg on Saturday and remained in 17th place, three points adrift of safety, after defeat by Bayern extended their winless run to seven games.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)