Robert Lewandowski became the first player to score 100 competitive goals at the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich closed the gap on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to five points with victory over Schalke.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Schalke
Goals: 1-0 Bruma (o.g 12’), 1-1 Kutucu (25’), 2-1 Lewandowski (27’), 3-1 Gnabry (57’)
With Dortmund drawing with Hoffenheim and Borussia Mönchengladbach losing to Hertha Berlin earlier in the day, Bayern came out fighting from the off. Lewandowski and David Alaba fired warning shots, before Schalke defender Jeffrey Bruma inadvertently broke the deadlock in his attempt to prevent Lewandowski wrapping his foot round James Rodriguez’s sublime through-ball. An incisive counter brought Schalke level as Ahmed Kutucu finished well from Weston McKennie, but Bayern hit back two minutes later. Serge Gnabry fed James Rodriguez following an error by Suat Serdar, and the Colombian only had eyes for Lewandowski, who made no mistake from 14 yards.
Bayern went within a whisker of a third as former Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka shot into the side netting soon after the restart. Schalke responded well, with Yevhen Konoplyanka denied by Sven Ulreich and McKennie poking the follow-up against the foot of the right-hand post - but that was about as good as it got for the visitors. Gnabry gave Bayern breathing space when he headed in Lewandowski’s audacious overhead attempt, while only a combination of wayward finishing and Salif Sane’s last-ditch defending prevented Lewandowski adding to the scoreline. The result sends the defending champions back up to second, with 13 rounds of fixtures remaining.
Watch: James puts the pressure on Dortmund!
- Lewandowski registered his 119th Bundesliga goal for Bayern, moving level with Roland Wohlfarth as the club’s third highest all-time scorer behind Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Gerd Müller.
- Starting his third successive game of the calendar year, James has more shots on goal (three) and teed up more goal attempts (six) than any other player on the pitch.
- Kutucu scored his second Bundesliga goal on his full league debut.
- Bayern defender Jerome Boateng had only played one minute of competitive football in 2019 prior to the Schalke game.
- Joshua Kimmich made his 100th Bundesliga appearance, the day after his 24th birthday. He is the only Bayern player to have featured in every competitive game so far this season.
- Schalke are winless in their last 17 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern, losing 14 - including the last four in a row.
Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Thiago, Goretzka – Gnabry (Davies 89'), James (Martinez 78'), Coman (Ribery 68') – Lewandowski (c)
Unused subs: Früchtl, Süle, Rafinha, Müller
Out: Neuer (hand), Robben (thigh), Sanches (ankle), Tolisso (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Caligiuri, Bruma, Sane, Oczipka – Serdar (Harit 53'), Rudy (Mascarell 33'), Bentaleb – McKennie – Kutucu (Uth 73'), Konoplyanka
Unused subs: Langer, Mendyl, Nastasic, Matondo
Out: Burgstaller (Achilles), Embolo (foot), Nübel (suspended), Schöpf (knee), Skrzybski (thigh), Stambouli (broken cheek bone)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco