Tue | Jan 25, 2022

Bayern Munich inch towards another Bundesliga title

Published:Sunday | May 5, 2019 | 12:31 AM

Bayern’s Franck Ribery reacts after scoring his side’s third goal during the German Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and Hannover 96 in Munich, Germany, yesterday.
Bayern’s Franck Ribery reacts after scoring his side’s third goal during the German Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and Hannover 96 in Munich, Germany, yesterday.

BERLIN (AP):

Bayern Munich won and stepped closer to a record-extending seventh straight Bundesliga title yesterday, and the bottom three teams all lost to extend the relegation fight into another week.

Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka, and Franck Ribery scored for Bayern to beat last-place Hannover 3-1 at home to stay ahead of Borussia Dortmund. Two rounds remain after this weekend.

Hannover would have lost by more had goalkeeper Michael Esser not produced a fine performance to keep Bayern at bay, but the side has only mathematical hopes of avoiding the drop after its 22nd defeat from 32 games.

Lewandowski and Goretzka gave Bayern a deserved 2-0 lead, but Hannover were given a lifeline early in the second half when Jerome Boateng was penalised through VAR for handball despite being able to do little about it.

“It was a ghost penalty,” Hannover coach Thomas Doll acknowledged.

Halftime substitute Jonathas scored the spot kick in the 52nd then was booked for bundling over Sven Ulreich as he went to retrieve the ball. It was to prove costly for the Brazilian forward as he was booked again when his hand caught Joshua Kimmich in the face in a challenge. Jonathas was sent off after less than 10 minutes on the pitch.

Ribery sealed the result for Bayern in the 84th, and there was further good news for the home side in the final minutes when Arjen Robben went on for his first league appearance since November.

“It should have been 4-0 at the break, then you have peace,” Bayern coach Niko Kovac said. “Then out of the blue, you have what counts as a penalty today. It was none from my point of view, but we did our homework.”

SLIM HOPES

Like Hannover, second-to-last Nuremberg are likely to be demoted after losing at Wolfsburg 2-0. But the two teams’ slim hopes were kept alive thanks to Stuttgart losing at Hertha Berlin 3-1.

Stuttgart, which hold the relegation playoff place, remained six points above Hannover and five above Nuremberg. Hannover and Nuremberg must win their remaining two games to maintain any hope of catching Stuttgart.

Also, Hoffenheim and Borussia Moenchengladbach drew 2-2. Hoffenheim would have taken the home side’s fifth place with a win but had to be content with remaining seventh.