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Bundesliga: Five-Star Bayern Put Schalke to the Sword

Bayern Munich 5-0 Schalke 04

Bayern Munich have begun 2020 with a bang. They’ve followed up their 4-0 hammering of Hertha Berlin by smashing surprise package Schalke 5-0 at home.

Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller,  and Thiago all scored for the second match running, while Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry also got on the scoresheet.

Bayern’s win was their fifth in a row in the Bundesliga and sixth in all competitions following their 2-1 defeat to Gladbach. And with RB Leipzig’s defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, the defending champions have now moved to within a point of top spot in the table.

The Bundesliga 2020 still have Bayern as firm title favourites, and based on their recent form, it will be hard to go against the Bavarians winning an eighth consecutive championship.

 

Highlights of the game

Bayern needed just six minutes to break the deadlock as they pounced on Schalke keeper Markus Schubert’s costly error. The 21-year-old, who has taken over as the team’s No. 1 from Bayern-bound Alexander Nubel, made a hash out of dealing with a Thomas Muller cross.

Ivan Perisic was on hand to make the young keeper pay as he got the ball to Lewandowski, who drilled the ball into the back of the net.

Robert Lewandowski hits an opening goal to motivate Bayern Munich in beating Schalke 04 in Bundesliga
Robert Lewandowski celebrates with Thiago after scoring a goal during Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga match against Schalke 04

But despite that early setback, Schalke were very nearly back on level terms just a couple of minutes later. After a fine solo run, 19-year-old Rabbi Matondo’s deflected shot lobbed over Manuel Neuer’s head and hit the crossbar.

Bayern also came close to adding another goal on a couple of occasions. Perisic fired a shot into the side netting, while Lewandowski dragged a shot just wide.

Schubert once again put the Schalke defence in danger after failing to clear another cross on 25 minutes. That led to former Schalke man Leon Goretzka getting a header from point-blank range. But Schubert redeemed himself by making a great reaction save.

However, the young shot-stopper would eventually be beaten yet again right at the stroke of half-time. Goretzka knocked down a Perisic cross right into the path of Muller, who poked the ball past Schubert.

Bayern’s third almost came just four minutes after the break. But David Alaba’s free-kick was straight at Schubert, who parried the ball away. And on the ensuing corner, Schubert was once again on hand to make a fine save to deny Thiago Alcantara’s sublime volley.

But the third time would be the charm for Bayern as Goretzka got his goal against his old team. After his initial header was blocked, the Bayern midfielder produced an acrobatic jumping volley which beat Schubert at his near post.

Bayern were far from finished, though, as they added a fourth on 58 minutes. Lewandowski unselfishly laid the ball off to Thiago, who coolly slotted past poor Schubert.

Lewandowski continued his search for his second goal of the game but missed a hat-trick of decent opportunities to get it.

Philippe Coutinho and Serge Gnabry both came on as substitutes to play out the final half-hour. The former very nearly got on the scoresheet with his patented move cutting inside from the left wing, but he couldn’t get his shot to curl in.

But Gnabry did grab a goal, and it came after yet another Schubert error. The young keeper’s miserable outing came to a fitting end as he allowed Gnabry’s shot to go through his legs and into the net.

It was a rough night for Schubert, whose poor performance only underscores what Schalke are losing with Nubel on his way to Bavaria next season.

 

Key statistics

As if the 5-0 scoreline wasn’t enough, the other final statistics bore out just how dominant Bayern were. They controlled 75 per cent of possession and had a whopping 24 shots (14 on target). By contrast, Schalke had just seven shots with one on target.

Robert Lewandowski was remarkable once again. The Polish superstar produced a host of Bundesliga 2020 highlights as he had eight of the team’s 24 shots, with four on target. He also scored his 21st goal of the season, pulling him a goal in front of Leipzig’s Timo Werner for the league lead.

Bayern have now extended their unbeaten run over Schalke in the Bundesliga to 19 matches (16 wins, three draws).

 

What’s next?

Next up for Bayern is a trip to struggling Mainz, who are just one point off the relegation zone and have lost five of their last six matches. SBOTOP should be overwhelmingly in favour of Bayern scoring another dominant win.

Meanwhile, Schalke will look to bounce back against Hertha Berlin. Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad picked up a crucial win against Wolfsburg to move further away from the relegation zone.

 

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