Bayern Munich keep the pressure on Borussia Dortmund with defeat of Hoffenheim

Bayern Munich closed the gap at the top of the Bundesliga to three points after beating Hoffenheim 3-1 at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

Two goals from Leon Goretzka in the first half set Bayern up for their first points at Hoffenheim in three Bundesliga seasons.

The hosts pulled one back through Nico Schulz, who fired the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from outside the area, only for Robert Lewandowski to wrap up the success.

Lewandowski had an early chance to take the lead when he controlled a cross from David Alaba but his volley went just wide of the target.

Home keeper Oliver Baumann dropped on the ball to prevent it crossing the ground in a goalmouth scramble as Bayern tried to bundle the ball over the line.

Goretzka gave Bayern a deserved lead with the aid of a slight deflection after Lewandowski’s original unmarked header was saved by Baumann.

Bayern and Goretzka’s second came just before the first half whistle, from a Hoffenheim corner. The Bavarians broke quickly, Alaba sent in a perfectly weighted cross from the left wing and the German made no mistake, sliding to meet the ball from 10 yards out.

Hoffenheim started the second half as the more promising side, coming close in the 53rd minute before Schulz scored their only goal of the game.

A quick counter-attack and a clever ball by Leonardo Bittencourt set up the midfielder, whose skilful touch allowed him to fire the ball past Neuer and put his side back in the game.

Substitute Adam Szalai came closest to finding an equaliser for the home side when he forced the Bayern goalkeeper into a low save.

However, Bayern’s win was wrapped up by Lewandowski three minutes from time, Muller passing the ball to the Poland international striker, who slotted it in for his 11th goal of the season.

The win ensures Bayern keep the pressure on top-of-the-table Dortmund ahead of their game with RB Leipzig on Saturday, while Hoffenheim are without a win in their last seven Bundesliga matches.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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