Thursday 9 July, 2020

Bayern beat Fortuna 5-0 to take 10-point Bundesliga lead

Munich's Benjamin Pavard, centre, Serge Gnabry, left, and Robert Lewandowski celebrate after scoring during the German Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Fortuna Duesseldorf in Munich, Germany, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Because of the coronavirus outbreak all football matches of the German Bundesliga take place without spectators. (Christof Stache/Pool via AP).

Munich's Benjamin Pavard, centre, Serge Gnabry, left, and Robert Lewandowski celebrate after scoring during the German Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Fortuna Duesseldorf in Munich, Germany, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Because of the coronavirus outbreak all football matches of the German Bundesliga take place without spectators. (Christof Stache/Pool via AP).

Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich took a confident step closer to an eighth straight German title with a 5-0 demolition of Fortuna Düsseldorf in an empty stadium on Saturday.

With five games remaining, Bayern moved into a 10-point lead over Borussia Dortmund, which play at Paderborn on Sunday.

Only Bayern's players and staff were there to cheer the kind of dominant win which would normally put Bayern fans in a party mood. Bayern have won 14 of their last 15 league games as they cruise toward the title, including a potential title-deciding 1-0 win over Dortmund on Tuesday.

Right-back Benjamin Pavard got Bayern going Saturday with a 15th-minute shot deflected in off Fortuna's Matthias “Zanka” Jorgensen, who was credited with the own-goal. Pavard got his name on the scoresheet 14 minutes later at a corner.

Lewandowski finished off well-worked team moves either side of halftime to add Bayern's third and fourth goals. That took the Poland striker to four goals since the Bundesliga restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic earlier this month.

Left-back Alphonso Davies added a fifth goal in the 52nd with a moment of individual skill. The Canadian international won the ball from Fortuna's Kevin Stöger on the edge of the box and powered past two more opponents before scoring.

Earlier, Werder Bremen revived their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 1-0 win over slumping Schalke. Werder midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt hit a curling long-range shot into the top corner for the only goal of the game, though Schalke complained of a foul in the buildup.

Werder stayed 17th and in the relegation places but moved within three points of safety. The team has only spent one season outside the top tier since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963. Schalke dropped to 10th and haven't won a league game since January.

Schalke and U.S. national team midfielder Weston McKennie played wearing an armband referencing the death of George Floyd. McKennie had the handwritten message “Justice for George” on white tape around his left arm.

“We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!" McKennie wrote on Twitter after the game.

His protest came in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into the 46-year-old black man’s neck for more than eight minutes on Monday. Floyd was handcuffed as Officer Derek Chauvin pushed his face into the pavement amid his pleas for help.

Hertha beat Augsburg 2-0 to make it 10 points from four games since the Bundesliga resumed in empty stadiums this month. That run has lifted the Berlin club out of the relegation battle and within four points of the Europa League places.

Wolfsburg stayed sixth, in a Europa League spot, despite a 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt and are now level on points with seventh-place Hoffenheim, which beat Mainz 1-0.

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