BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski netted both goals as leaders Bayern Munich earned a 2-0 win over Hoffenheim on Sunday (Monday in Manila) to stay eight points clear in the Bundesliga.
After the league’s top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had scored twice for Borussia Dortmund to reach 20 league goals on Saturday, Lewandowski is now just behind with 19.
The Poland striker gave Bayern the lead at Munich’s Allianz Arena after converting Douglas Costa’s low cross on 32 minutes.
He doubled his tally with some clinical finishing after a superb through ball from Bayern captain Philipp Lahm on 64 minutes.
It could have been three as Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal hit the post and the defeat left Hoffenheim second from bottom.
There was bad news for Bayern coach Pep Guardiola before kick-off as Javi Martinez dropped out with a knee injury.
It forced a three-man defence leaving Holger Badstuber as their only fit centre-back with Jerome Boateng and Medhi Benatia currently sidelined.
“I didn’t have much to do, and I had to be awake on the few occasions that they did create chances.
“We saw today that, even when we have defenders injured, there are other players who can impress in central defence.”
Meanwhile, Wolfsburg remain winless in their four games since beating Manchester United in the Champions League after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Cologne.
Wolfsburg face Belgian side Gent in the away leg of their last-16 tie in Europe on February 17.
But Dieter Hecking’s side have now lost two and drawn two in their last four games since knocking United out of the Champions League with a 3-2 win last December.
The hosts went ahead when right-winger Vieirinha fired in a cross, which found Julian Draxler unmarked for the Germany international to fire home on 67 minutes.
Cologne equalized eight minutes later when Anthony Modeste curled his shot around Wolves ‘keeper Diego Benaglio.
The result left Wolfsburg seventh — outside the European places for next season — and Cologne ninth.
On Saturday, Dortmund enjoyed a 2-0 win over Ingolstadt to go ten points clear of third-placed Hertha Berlin.
Dortmund could consider themselves fortunate though as captain Mats Hummels escaped a red card for a foul in the area.
He then scored a second-half own-goal, which the referee refused to award to Ingolstadt after a foul in the build-up, before Aubameyang struck twice.
Hertha threw away a 2-0 lead as hosts Werder Bremen roared back with three goals in ten second-half minutes to claim a point in a 3-3 draw.
Ivory Coast veteran Salomon Kalou struck Berlin’s third goal to leave Hertha 3-1 up in Bremen with 20 minutes left.
Then Bremen veteran Claudio Pizarro netted a penalty before defender Santiago Garcia fired in a shot which was later credited to Pizarro, who nudged the ball over the line to level the scores.
Bayer Leverkusen climbed to fourth with a 3-0 win at Hanover 96, who dropped to the bottom, with Javier Hernandez scoring twice in the romp.
‘Chicharito’ converted a penalty, then drilled home his 13th league goal in 16 matches.
Schalke had youth to thank for their 2-0 win at Darmstadt as dynamic midfielders Max Meyer and Leroy Sane, who are both 20, scored either side of half-time.
The win left the Royal Blues fifth in the table.
Schalke and Leverkusen’s wins meant Borussia Moenchengladbach slid from fourth to sixth after Friday’s 1-0 defeat to mid-table Mainz.
Mid-table sides Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt fought out a goalless draw in Bavaria.
Strugglers Stuttgart are two points clear of the relegation places after their dramatic 2-1 win at home to mid-table Hamburg thanks to a late goal from new signing Artem Kravets.