Robert Lewandowski ended his Bundesliga drought with a double in Bayern Munich’s comprehensive 3-1 victory over Bavarian rivals Augsburg at the WWK Arena.
Having failed to find the net in any of his past five top-flight outings, Lewandowski was enduring his worst barren run since 2013-14, but he returned to form as part of an exceptional partnership with Arjen Robben.
The pair sat out the 3-1 DFB-Pokal victory against the same opponents on Wednesday, but were back in the line-up as Carlo Ancelotti made eight changes, with Thomas Muller, who missed a penalty in that match, among those dropping to the bench.
A fantastic first touch from Robben’s incisive pass saw Lewandowski sink his first Bundesliga goal in six weeks and he returned the favour for the Dutchman – recalled to the Netherlands squad in the week – to add a quickfire second.
The duo combined again three minutes into the second half, Robben reprising his role as supplier when Lewandowski rounded Augsburg goalkeeper Marvin Hitz.
Koo Ja-cheol was denied from the penalty spot in the midweek clash, but pulled one back for Augsburg, though they were unable to deny Bayern a victory that keeps them two points clear of RB Leipzig, who won 2-0 away at Darmstadt, at the summit.
Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh returned in one of three changes from Dirk Schuster and had a swerving 25-yard drive palmed away by Manuel Neuer inside four minutes.
Lewandowski produced an uncharacteristically heavy first touch in the box which was seized upon by the onrushing Hitz, but he did not make the same mistake in the 19th minute.
Robben cut inside from the right and found Lewandowski, who darted between Verhaegh and Christoph Janker with one touch before stabbing into the top-right corner.
Bayern’s lead was doubled two minutes later. Verhaegh blocked Lewandowski’s attempt to square to Douglas Costa from the right-hand side of the area, but could do nothing as the Pole sent the rebound to Robben for a side-footed finish from six yards.
The reigning champions suffered a blow when the injury-prone Javi Martinez jogged off to be replaced by Mats Hummels and, despite their dominance, their advantage could have been halved on the stroke of half-time.
Xabi Alonso’s stray pass went straight to Koo on the edge of the area, but the South Korean was denied by Neuer.
Augsburg were unable to build on that in the second half as Gojko Kacar handed possession to Robben and the Dutchman slipped in Lewandowski, who went past Hitz to tuck home his second.
The game became increasingly stretched as Augsburg attacked and, after Hitz produced a great save to deny Lewandowski at his near post, they pulled one back in the 67th minute.
David Alaba tackled Georg Teigl inside the box, but Daniel Baier pounced on the loose ball and squared for Koo to add the final touch.
Hitz produced a pair of impressive saves to keep out Hummels, while Ancelotti withdrew Jerome Boateng and Robben – the former’s replacement Holger Badstuber making his first top-flight appearance since February – with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League match with PSV.
Hitz denied Lewandowski a hat-trick in the third minute of stoppage time, but Bayern had done enough to make it 19 top-flight outings without defeat.
Key Opta stats:
– Robert Lewandowski scored 13 goals in 11 matches versus Augsburg. Lewandowski had as many shots as the whole Augsburg team (7).
– Arjen Robben has been involved in three or more goals for the 12th time in a Bundesliga match.
– Augsburg are without a win in four Bundesliga games for the first time under Dirk Schuster (D1, L3). Additionally, they have won just one of their last seven home matches (D2, L4).
– Joshua Kimmich appeared in his 50th competitive game for Bayern Munich (7 goals).
– Koo Ja-cheol scored his 17th goal for Augsburg in the German top flight, only Tobias Werner (23) and Sascha Molder (18) have scored more for the club in the Bundesliga.
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