Unrelenting Bayern beats Cologne, sets league scoring record

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Robert Lewandowski bagged a hat trick as Bayern Munich scored for a record 66th Bundesliga game in succession to beat Cologne 4-0 and restore its six-point lead on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski, no stranger to breaking scoring records for Bayern, claimed the opening goal in the ninth minute off a pass from Thomas Müller — after a video review check for offside — to make it 66 league games in a row since Bayern was last shut out in February 2020. The previous record of 65 games was also set by Bayern in 2014.

Corentin Tolisso tightened Bayern’s grip on the game with a fine shot into the top left corner.

Cologne thought it was getting back into the game but Mark Uth’s goal was narrowly ruled out for offside.

Leroy Sané, back after a positive test for the coronavirus, set up Lewandowski for two more goals in the second half. That made Lewandowski only the second player ever to 300 goals in the Bundesliga. The Polish striker has 23 goals in 19 Bundesliga games this season, and 34 goals in total.

The win saw Bayern recover from last week’s 3-2 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, when it had to field reserve and youth players amid a virus outbreak in the squad. Most of the affected players returned to face Cologne, but not left back Alphonso Davies, who has been diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation. Coach Julian Nagelsmann told broadcaster Sky on Saturday that the Canadian will be out for “a minimum four weeks.”

LEVERKUSEN UP TO THIRD

Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved two penalties but it wasn’t enough to stop his team losing to Bayer Leverkusen, which moved up to third.

After Sommer pushed Patrik Schick’s penalty wide, Robert Andrich volleyed in from close range at the resulting corner. Schick later added a second goal from a free kick and Nico Elvedi responded for Gladbach to make it 2-1. Sommer saved another penalty from Kerem Demirbay late on.

Hoffenheim came into the weekend in third and harboring hopes of returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2018-19 but losing to Union Berlin 2-1 didn’t help.

Union players scored all of the goals as Andreas Voglsammer canceled out Timo Baumgartl’s early own goal and Grischa Prömel scored the winner.

LEIPZIG WINS

Leipzig’s gradual recovery under new coach Domenico Tedesco took another step forward after beating Stuttgart 2-0 to rise to seventh.

Leipzig took the lead against relegation-threatened Stuttgart with an Andre Silva penalty after defender Konstantinos Mavropanos blocked a cross with his arm.

FRUSTRATED WOLFSBURG

Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin were both left disappointed after they drew 0-0 in a game between teams seriously underperforming their expectations.

Wolfsburg coach Florian Kohfeldt won his first three games in charge in October and November but hasn’t won since in the Bundesliga or Champions League, and is under pressure after averaging less than a point per game. Hertha is 13th and Wolfsburg 14th in the 18-team league.

Mainz stayed seven games unbeaten at home with a 1-0 win over Bochum.

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