Match Highlights - Bayern Munich 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayern Munich maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga after an entertaining 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Goals from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski and Aphonso Davies did the damage – along with a Martin Hinteregger own goal – as Borussia Dortmund are kept at arm’s length ahead of Tuesday’s crunch meeting that could have a big say in the title race.
Indeed, if Hansi Flick’s men can beat Dortmund they will take a massive step towards an eighth successive Bundesliga crown.
But their lax defending from set-pieces will be a cause for concern as two Hinteregger goals at the right end for Frankfurt in the space of four second-half minutes briefly threatened to derail the hosts’ evening.
Frankfurt have been troublesome opponents for Bayern this season as it was Frankfurt’s 5-1 win in November’s reverse fixture game that prompted the sacking of Niko Kovac.
But there was never really any chance of a repeat, even with the Allianz Arena eerily empty.
The writing was on the wall in the opening 15 minutes as Bayern wasted two chances to go in front, first Lewandowksi thundering an effort into the crossbar from a corner and then Benjamin Pavard heading straight at Kevin Trapp when it seemed easier to score.
The opener eventually came in the 17th minute and it was a fine move as Muller was set free down the left and he pulled it back for Goretzka, who arrived late in the area with a classy finish.
It was total home domination but Bayern had to wait until the 41st minute to double their lead.
Davies had space on the left and found Muller, who tucked it away well, with the goal allowed to stand after a lengthy VAR check.
When Lewandowski scored his 42nd goal of the season just 45 seconds after the restart, Frankfurt would have been fearing the worst.
The Poland striker powered home a header from Kingsley Coman’s cross to put his side three up.
But Bayern’s vulnerability from corners was highlighted twice in the space of four minutes as Frankfurt hauled themselves back into the game.
First Hinteregger converted at the second attempt after he was inexplicably allowed to retrieve his first header and then from their next attack, the defender sent in a glancing header after no one tracked his run.
But just after the hour, Bayern calmed their nerves and re-established their grip on the game, as Davies fired home from inside the area.
It became something of a rout 16 minutes from time when Hinteregger got his feet tangled after Serge Gnabry closed in on goal and put the ball into his own net.
Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick says Tuesday’s game with Borussia Dortmund is not a Bundesliga title decider.
Bayern maintained their four-point lead over Dortmund at the top of the table with a 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt shortly after Dortmund had won at Wolfsburg.
Goals from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski and Alphonso Davies did the damage – along with a Martin Hinteregger own goal.
They could move seven points clear and put one hand on an eighth successive league title with a win, but Flick says nothing will be decided on Tuesday.
“We hope for a nice game on Tuesday,” he said on the club’s official website. “Regardless of the result, nothing will be decided afterwards.”
Despite a handsome scoreline there were areas of concern for Bayern. After goals from Goretzka, Muller and Lewandowski put them 3-0 up, their vulnerability at set-pieces was highlighted as Martin Hinteregger scored twice inside four minutes to make a game of it.
Davies restored some calm with a fourth goal, tough, and then Hinteregger put through his own net to make it a comfortable ending for the hosts.
“I’m very happy with the first half,” Flick added. “We dominated. The first half was as we imagined it to be.
“After the break we came out and made it 3-0. Maybe we ticked off the game a bit afterwards and maybe the concentration was missing.
“We weren’t that good against the ball. Frankfurt has very good standards. We knew that. We didn’t look well there. We look at that and will learn from it.”
Meanwhile, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed the club has not taken up the option of turning Phillipe Coutinho’s loan deal from Barcelona into a permanent move.
The Brazilian is on a season-long loan at the Allianz Arena, but has not set the world alight.
“The option expired and we haven’t activated it,” Rummenigge told German magazine Der Spiegel.
“We’re going to plan our squad for next season and we’ll see if he still has a role to play with us or not.”
Frankfurt are in free-fall having lost five games in a row either side of the extended hiatus and they could be just two points above the relegation zone if Fortuna Dusseldorf win on Sunday.
Conceding a goal in the 40th minute and then just 45 seconds after the restart is what killed them.
Boss Adi Hutter said: “The crux of the matter was that we conceded a goal shortly before and after the break.
“I was very impressed by the reaction to how we scored goals in two set-play situations. We still had a few chances after that, including the (Filip) Kostip post shot.
“The defeat is OK, but I’m annoyed that we conceded five goals. But we can build on the performance.”