Football news - Lewandowski notches landmark goal as Bayern Munich beat Schalke
Bundesliga, Allianz Arena - Bayern Munich 3 (Bruma OG 12, Lewandowski 27, Gnabry 57) Schalke (Kutucu 25)
Niko Kovac's side started the day seven points behind their rivals but Dortmund could only draw 3-3 with Hoffenheim in Saturday's earlier kick-off, and Bayern got off to a flyer when Jeffrey Bruma turned the ball into his own net after 11 minutes.
Schalke levelled in the 25th-minute with a textbook counter-attack finished by Ahmed Kutucu, but Lewandowski restored Bayern's lead less than two minutes later.
Weston McKennie and Bruma were both denied by the woodwork in a frantic couple of minutes as Schalke piled on the pressure after the restart, but Serge Gnabry made sure of the points for Bayern with an instinctive stooped header to make it 3-1.
The victory takes Bayern Munich to 45 points, three ahead of Borussia Mochengladbach and within touching distance of Dortmund, while Schalke remain 13th.
TALKING POINT - Bayern turn up the heat on Dortmund
At the end of January, Borussia Dortmund opened up a nine-point lead with a convincing 5-1 victory over Hanover. Fast forward a couple of weeks, however, and the picture looks much different. Earlier on Saturday, the leaders squandered a three-goal lead at home to Hoffenheim, a result that gave Bayern huge incentive ahead of this game with Schalke - and suggests Lucien Favre are beginning to feel the heat.
Meanwhile, the Bavarian giants kept their cool with a commanding performance to close the gap to just five points as we enter the business end of the season. Like in England, the title race in Germany looks like it is going to the wire.
MAN OF THE MATCH - James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich)
The attacking midfielder was afforded too much time and space in the middle of the park - and the Colombian made the most of the opportunity, providing the front-line with a number of defence-splitting passes, registering two assists along the way.
Leon Goretzka, Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry - FC Bayern - SchalkeGetty Images
25' - GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-1 Schalke: It's a text-book counter-attack from Schalke! Directly from Bayern's corner, the visitors go up the other end and equalise. Bentaleb skips away from a challenge in midfield, McKennie takes over and slips it through to Kutucu who finishes with aplomb.
27' - GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-1 Schalke: Lewandowski to the rescue! Two minutes after Schalke net an equaliser, Bayern's hitman restores the home side's lead. A really poor square pass in midfield is intercepted by Thiago, James' first-time ball releases Lewandowski who slams home Bayern's second of the evening.
54' - OFF THE POST! How have Schalke not scored?! Konoplyanka creates an opening for a shot, Ulreich keeps it out with a good save but the follow-up falls to McKennie who scrambles the ball against the woodwork from a few yards out!
55' - SCHALKE HIT THE WOODWORK, AGAIN! Ulreich is beaten this time - he can only watch on helplessly as Bruma heads the ball against the post.
57' - GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-1 Schalke: Coman breezes past his marker to deliver a dangerous cross, finding Lewandowski who tries a spectacular bicycle-kick. He gets the execution wrong but the ball bounces kindly for Gnabry who finishes with a stooping header.