March 10, 2018 / 5:00 PM / 10 days ago

Soccer: Bayern close in on title and send Hamburg nearer to relegation

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayern Munich closed in on a sixth successive title and sent Hamburg SV closer to a first-ever relegation from the Bundesliga with a 6-0 rout of the beleaguered Dinos on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayern Munich vs Hamburger SV - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - March 10, 2018 Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben in action with Hamburg’s Rick van Drongelen and Kyriakos Papadopoulos REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick and missed a penalty as he reached 100 Bundesliga goals for Bayern in an embarrassingly one-sided match which was over as a contest after 20 minutes.

It was a sadly familiar story for Hamburg who have conceded 50 goals in their last eight Bundesliga games at Bayern, including two 6-0 defeats, two 8-0 losses and one 9-2 reverse.

Leaders Bayern stayed 20 points clear of Schalke 04, who won 1-0 at Mainz 05 on Friday, with eight games to go and are only two wins away from clinching the title.

They could even wrap it up next week if they win at RB Leipzig and other results go in their favour.

Hamburg, the only ever-present team in the Bundesliga’s 55-year history, will now have to pull off a great escape to keep their proud record intact. They are 17th in the 18-team table and seven points adrift of Mainz in the relegation playoff spot.

“That’s not the football I want to see,” Hamburg coach Bernd Hollerbach said.

“We saw what happens when you give Bayern bit of space. You can always lose to Bayern, but I didn’t like the manner of our defeat.”

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayern Munich vs Hamburger SV - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - March 10, 2018 Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery scores their fifth goal REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Hamburg held out for eight minutes before Gotoku Sakai’s tackle on Arjen Robben succeeded only in sending the ball to the feet of Franck Ribery and the Frenchman rounded Christian Mathenia to open the scoring.

Four minutes later, Robben found Joshua Kimmich in space on the right and his cross was headed in by Lewandowski for the second.

It was all too easy for Bayern who added a third in the 19th minute. Jerome Boateng picked out David Alaba with a long pass forward and the Austrian side-footed the ball into the path of Lewandowski for the Pole to score first-time.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Robben got in on the act in the 55th minute with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area and Ribery slalomed his way through the Hamburg defence for his second and Bayern’s fifth.

Lewandowksi missed a chance for his hat-trick as he sent his penalty over in the 86th minute but he made amends when the hosts were awarded another spot-kick shortly afterwards.

Bayern have 66 points with Schalke 04 on 46 while Bayer Leverkusen moved up to third with 44 by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 with goals from Lucas Alario and Julian Brandt.

Hoffenheim added to VfL Wolfsburg’s problems with a 3-0 win which left their opponents in 15th place and ahead of Mainz only on goal difference.

Nico Schulz and Serge Gnabry scored for seventh-placed Hoffenheim before Joshua Guilavogui put through his own net.

Michael Gregoritsch scored twice to lead Augsburg to a 3-1 win at Hannover 96, who replied with a long-range effort from Salif Sane, while Hertha Berlin and Freiburg played out a goalless draw.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Ed Osmond

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