Bundesliga, Stadion An der Alten Forsterei – Union Berlin 0 Bayern Munich 2 (Lewandowski 40 pen, Pavard 80)
Bayern Munich laboured to a 2-0 victory over Union Berlin as they made their Bundesliga return.
Robert Lewandowski scored from the spot in the 40th minute in eerie silence in the German capital to take his season total to an incredible 40 goals in all competitions but, chasing their eighth successive Bundesliga title, Bayern struggled to break down a determined home side to make sure of the win.
Benjamin Pavard did eventually add that crucial second 10 minutes from time as Bayern made it six wins on the bounce, either side of the enforced coronavirus break, to reopen their four-point lead at the summit, and face Eintracht Frankfurt next weekend before a meeting with title rivals Dortmund on May 26.
With Dortmund having sent a message to Bayern with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Schalke on Saturday, leaders Bayern looked a little sluggish early on against the Bundesliga upstarts Union.
Thomas Muller thought he had given the visitors the lead from close range early on, prodding in after Serge Gnabry had fired goalwards but, after a customary lengthy delay, VAR adjudged Muller to have been offside. Oh, how we have missed those reviews.
Bayern did take the lead from the penalty spot after Neven Subotic had felled Leon Goretzka in the penalty area. Lewandowski stepped up with a hop, skip and a jump to make it 1-0 and take his season total to 40 goals in all competitions for the fifth successive season.
After the break, Bayern struggled to create that killer chance before Pavard climbed highest to head home Joshua Kimmich’s superb corner to ensure Bayern picked up where they left off.
Is Lewandowski the best No 9 in the world? He has been prolific for club and country for many years now, but despite approaching his 32nd birthday, Robert Lewandowkski is playing the best football of his career this campaign, having taken his game to new heights. To have reached 40 goals at this stage of the season, with plenty of football still to play, is quite something. He did not do a great deal against Union, but what he did was decisive. There are few marksmen left who can do what the Pole does.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alphonso Davies. The energy that the young full-back brings to the Bayern attack causes many teams problems, and Union were certainly pegged back on plentiful occasions on Sunday. The final pass was missing too often, but the skill he showed to get into the right areas showed just what the Canadian brings.
17’ - GOOOOOOALLLL!!! Thomas Muller with the goal as he prods in at the back post. VAR is checking for offside... but no! NO GOAL! VAR deems Muller to have been offside! The ball may have been going in anyway from Serge Gnabry, but Muller stuck out a leg and prodded home - illegally according to the VAR.
38’ - PENALTY TO BAYERN! Subotic allows the ball to run away from him and he just doesn't see Leon Goretzka, upending the Bayern midfielder. Penalty.
40’ - GOOOOOAAALLL!!! Union 0-1 Bayern. Never in doubt as Lewandowski steps to with a hop, skip and a jump to fire home. 40 (FORTY) in all comps now for the Pole.
49’ - WIDE! Lovely football from Bayern. Muller flicks the ball through for Goretzka, who drills for the bottom corner, but it is just, and I mean just, deflected wide. 78’ - SAVE! Gnabry this time comes inside on his first touch, works space for the shot, but goalkeeper Gikiewicz is off his line smartly to save.
80’ - GOOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Union 0-2 Bayern. Lovely header from Pavard seals the points for Bayern. Lovely cross from Kimmich from the corner, and emphatic header from Pavard. That ends Union's resistance.
Pavard scores the second
Image credit: Getty Images
Kingsley Coman made his 100th Bundesliga appearance against Union
Only Ciro Immobile has scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues this season than Lewandowski
Bayern Munich's Thiago has now equalled Javi Martínez's all-time record of 117 wins for a Spanish player in Bundesliga.