Bayern enlarge advantage atop the standings in Bundesliga

Indo Asian News Service

Berlin, March 12 (IANS) Bayern Munich extended their lead on the table after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0, while Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund suffered defeats at the 24th round in Bundesliga.

Robert Lewandowski's brace helped front-runners Bayern Munich to edge resilient Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 and to reap their third win in row on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency

However, it was a stiff piece of work to overcome Frankfurt, who gave the visitors a hard time especially in the opening period.

Frankfurt grabbed a good start into the game and almost broke the deadlock through Danny Blum, who forced goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to make a save.

The hosts reaped another chance as Branimir Hrgota rounded Neuer before defender Mats Hummels' last-second tackle retained Bayern from a setback with 19 minutes played.

Frankfurt paid the price for their wastefulness in the 38th minute when Robert Lewandowski capitalised on Thomas Mueller's assist to mark the opener right footed from close range.

The German giants doubled their lead only three minutes later after Douglas Costa made use of David Alaba's build-up play to volley home the two-goal lead.

Carlo Ancelotti's men continued with their clinical chance conversion after the restart as Lewandowski sealed his brace to score his 21st goal of the season putting the result beyond doubt in the 55th minute.

In the other match, third-placed Dortmund lost 1-2 to Hertha Berlin as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's equaliser was not enough to secure points in the German capital.

Both sides staged an evenly balanced start with promising opportunities at both ends of the pitch.

It were nonetheless the hosts who opened the scoring through Salomon Kalou, who tapped in Vedad Ibisevic's square pass from three meters in the 11th minute.

Kalou had another two chances to add a second goal to Berlin's lead but the striker's long-range effort was tipped over the bar from custodian Romaen Buerki before Raphael Guerreiro cleared another opportunity off the goal line.

Dortmund lacked in penetration and had a hard time to overcome Berlin's well-positioned defence. Hence, Thomas Tuchel's men had to wait until the 55th minute before Aubameyang was able to restore parity following Shinji Kagawa's assist.

Hertha Berlin remained unfazed and had an ace in the hole as Marvin Plattenhardt unleashed a free kick into the top right corner to make the game safe in the 71st minute.

Despite the defeat, Dortmund stay on third place whereas Berlin continue on fifth place of the standings.

Elsewhere, runners-up Leipzig suffered a surprising 0-1 loss to relegation-threatened Wolfsburg as Mario Gomez' early goal smoothed the victory on the road.

Hoffenheim shared the spoils with newly promoted Freiburg following a 1-1 as Andrej Kramaric cancelled out Maximilian Philipp's second-half opener.

Last-placed Darmstadt showed a vital sign by courtesy on the first-half goals from Aytac Sulu and Sidney Sam that wrapped up a 2-1 win over Mainz, and Ingolstadt and Cologne played out a 2-2 stalemate.

--IANS

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