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Last-gasp Lewandowski penalty rescues Bayern

  • Published at 05:20 am February 18th, 2018
Last-gasp Lewandowski penalty rescues Bayern
Robert Lewandowski converted a 91st-minute penalty to rescue Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a 2-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday which took their winning streak to 13 and extended their advantage at the top of the table to 21 points. With Bayern hosting Besiktas in the last 16, first leg of the Champions League on Tuesday, they rested several stars and were almost made to pay. Wolfsburg striker Daniel Didavi gave the hosts an early lead while Bayern winger Arjen Robben had a second-half penalty saved. However, Sandro Wagner headed Bayern level in the 64th minute before substitute Lewandowski hit the winning penalty in injury time. The win stretched Bayern's runaway lead to 21 points as they steam towards a sixth straight title. "This will to win games, even though it does not seem to be exciting at the top (of the table), makes it fun. This team is just awesome," said Bayern captain Thomas Mueller. Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes named a weakened team with David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Mueller and Lewandowski starting on the bench. Wolfsburg profited from Bayern's slow start after only eight minutes when Yunus Malli's cross was headed home by Didavi. Bayern winger Franck Ribery was then booked when the video referee spotted he had swatted Renato Steffen in the face in a challenge for the ball. It was 1-0 at the break, but Bayern were awarded a penalty when Steffen barged over Corentin Tolisso in the area on 53 minutes. Steffen was booked for his furious protest, but Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels palmed Robben's spot-kick onto the post. Bayern drew level when Robben's cross was met in the middle by Wagner - Lewandowski's back-up - to head home on 64 minutes. Heynckes responded by bringing on Mueller, Alaba and Lewandowski in the final half an hour. When Germany Under-19 international Gian-Luca Itter pulled Robben back in the area, the referee pointed to the spot. Casteels got a glove to the ball, but Lewandowski claimed his 20th league goal this season with the last-gasp penalty. RB Leipzig are at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga's first Monday night kick-off, which allowed Bayer Leverkusen to climb to second with a 2-1 win at Hamburg. Leon Bailey continued his stellar season by rounding Hamburg's goalkeeper Christian Mathenia on 40 minutes. It was the 20-year-old Jamaican's ninth league goal this season. Leverkusen's 18-year-old striker Kai Havertz doubled their lead after the break, finishing a move Bailey started. Hamburg forward Andre Hahn came off the bench to claim a consolation goal. Schalke climbed to fifth with a 2-1 win at home to Hoffenheim, whose captain Kevin Vogt gave away the winning goal with a howler of an error. With Schalke 1-0 up in Gelsenkirchen, Vogt's lazy pass across his goal was intercepted by Breel Embolo. With Hoffenheim's goalkeeper out of position the Swiss striker tapped into an empty net on 28 minutes, before Andrej Kramaric headed a consolation goal for the visitors. The result leaves just a point separating second-placed Leverkusen from Schalke in fifth. Freiburg captain Nils Petersen converted a first-half penalty in their 1-0 win at home to Werder Bremen in persistent falling snow. The win ended Freiburg's three-match run without a victory while Bremen stay just above the relegation places. Bottom side Cologne remain nine points from safety as they drew 1-1 at home to Hanover. Japan striker Yuya Osako gave Cologne an early lead before Hanover forward Niclas Fuellkrug equalised with his 10th league goal of the season. In the dying stages, 39-year-old Claudio Pizarro came off the Cologne bench and had the ball in the net, but his header was ruled offside. On Sunday, Borussia Dortmund can go second with a win at Borussia Moenchengladbach as Michy Batshuayi looks to add to his five goals in three games. RESULTS: Cologne 1 (Osaka 29) Hannover 96 1 (Fullkrug 37) Hamburg 1 (Hahn 71) Bayer Leverkusen 2 (Bailey 40, Havertz 50) Freiburg 1 (Petersen 24-pen) Werder Bremen 0 Wolfsburg 1 (Didavi 8) Bayern Munich 2 (Wagner 64, Lewandowski 90+1-pen) Schalke 2 (Kehrer 11, Embolo 28) Hoffenheim 1 (Kamaric 78) Bundesliga table after Saturday's matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Bayern Munich          23 19  2  2 55 18 59 Bayer Leverkusen       23 10  8  5 43 30 38 RB Leipzig             22 11  5  6 35 29 38 Borussia Dortmund      22 10  7  5 47 29 37 Schalke 04             23 10  7  6 36 30 37 Eintracht Frankfurt    22 10  6  6 30 25 36 Hanover 96             23  8  8  7 32 33 32 Augsburg               22  8  7  7 32 28 31 Hoffenheim             23  8  7  8 37 37 31 Bor. Moenchengladbach  22  9  4  9 30 34 31 Hertha Berlin          23  7  9  7 30 30 30 Freiburg               23  6 10  7 24 37 28 VfL Wolfsburg          23  4 12  7 26 30 24 VfB Stuttgart          22  7  3 12 18 27 24 Werder Bremen          23  5  8 10 21 28 23 Mainz 05               23  6  5 12 28 41 23 Hamburg                23  4  5 14 18 34 17 Cologne                23  3  5 15 20 42 14
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