Bayern Munich batter Borussia Dortmund to lead Bundesliga standings
The German champions are one point clear with six games of the season remaining.
Bayern Munich thrashed Borussia Dortmund 5-0 to take over top spot in the Bundesliga on a landmark night for Robert Lewandowski.
The 100th league instalment of ‘Der Klassiker’ was a one-sided affair as Mats Hummels, Lewandowski, Javi Martinez and Sergio Gnabry had Bayern in dreamland before the break.
Lewandowski put the gloss on the rout with Bayern’s fifth in the final minute and the German champions are now in pole position to reclaim their title.
Bayern were nine points adrift of Dortmund in December, but the Bavarians are now one point clear of their rivals with six games of the season remaining.
Lewandowski’s first strike saw him become the fifth player in Bundesliga history to score 200 goals, and only former Bayern favourite Gerd Muller has reached the total quicker.
Dortmund had the perfect chance to shock Bayern within six minutes when Jacob Bruun Larsen and Marco Reus combined to set up Mahmoud Dahoud from 16 yards.
Dahoud was unmarked and had the goal at his mercy, but he could only strike the outside of a post with the returning Manuel Neuer beaten in the Bayern goal.
It was to prove a costly miss as Bayern were ahead within four minutes as the former Dortmund defender Hummels headed home Thiago Alcantara’s corner.
Lewandowski, another former Dortmund player, doubled Bayern’s lead seven minutes later when he robbed the dawdling Dan-Axel Zagadou 30 yards out.
The Pole ran onto the loose ball and chipped it over the head of advancing goalkeeper Roman Burki to volley into an empty net.
It was a wonderful piece of opportunism and took Lewandowski level with Muller on 14 goals as the highest scorer in this fixture.
Lewandowski was denied the outright record instantly as Burki stood between further embarrassment for Dortmund.
Burki tipped a Thomas Muller header onto the crossbar and then denied Hummels and Lewandowski as Bayern threatened to score from every attack.
But Bayern’s third goal arrived after 41 minutes, Martinez sweeping home from the edge of the area after Burki had parried Thomas Muller’s close-range volley and Dortmund had failed to clear the danger.
The visitors were in disarray again two minutes later as Gnabry met Thomas Muller’s cross to score with a powerful downward header.
The second half lacked the intensity of the first period with both sides almost conserving their energies for the crucial games to come.
Gnabry fired wide as Bayern found late impetus and Lewandowski, at full stretch, sent his shot over the crossbar from six yards.
Lewandowski picked up a booking after being involved in a couple of heated incidents with Dortmund defenders, who seemed keen to rattle him.
But Lewandowski had the final word after he was denied by a brave block from substitute Julian Weigl.
Gnabry broke down the right for the umpteenth time and teed up Lewandowski, who had the simple task of finishing from a few yards out to become the highest scorer in ‘Der Klassiker’ history.