Bundesliga review: Bayern Munich beat Cologne, Schalke move to second
Last Updated: 13/12/17 11:48pm
A Robert Lewandowski goal ended the resistance of rock-bottom Cologne as Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to nine points on Wednesday.
With Bayern having dropped points in only four games this season and Cologne managing just three points and no victories from their first 15 games, this was a total mismatch on paper.
But Cologne head coach Stefan Ruthenbeck had vowed his players would not "stand in front of a big beast like a little mouse", and they took away a lot of respect, if no points, from the Allianz Arena.
Bayern had 84 per cent of possession in the first half and 12 shots but Timo Horn was not called upon to make too many saves.
But Cologne's valiant efforts were undone by a fine move on the hour mark finished off by Lewandowski for his 21st goal of the season.
The goal maintained the Pole's record of having scored in every home game in the Bundesliga this season.
Still, the visitors nearly secured a point, with Lukas Klunter denied by a fine save by 36-year-old Tom Starke three minutes from time.
Schalke climbed up to second place with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Augsburg.
Franco Di Santo opened the scoring just before half-time and Guido Burgstaller increased the lead two minutes after the break.
Caiuby pulled one back for Augsburg with 26 minutes left to play and the visitors looked like they had earned a point when Michael Gregoritsch scored from the spot in the 79th minute.
But four minutes later it was Schalke's turn to be awarded a penalty and Daniel Caligiuri made no mistake.
Bayer Leverkusen sit fourth after Lucas Alario's 11th-minute goal earned them a 1-0 victory over struggling Werder Bremen, who remain in the bottom two.
Fifth-placed Hoffenheim got back to winning ways with a late goal in a 1-0 victory over lowly Stuttgart.
The European hopefuls lost their last Bundesliga clash against Hannover on the back of a Europa League draw with Ludogorets and looked like they might be set for another frustrating evening.
But, with nine minutes left, Mark Uth prodded in from close range to secure the three points.
A Salomon Kalou double helped Hertha Berlin to a 3-1 victory over Hannover, which saw them close to within a single point of their opponents in mid-table.
Kalou opened the scoring in the 18th minute and then grabbed his second on the stroke of half-time.
Ihlas Bebou pulled one back for Hannover with 65 minutes on the clock but Jordan Torunarigha made sure of the points with Hertha's third seven minutes from time.