Robert Lewandowski grabbed a hat-trick as Bayern Munich scored for a record 66th Bundesliga game in succession to beat Cologne 4-0 and restore their six-point lead at the top on Saturday.
Lewandowski, no stranger to breaking scoring records for Bayern, claimed the opening goal in the ninth minute off a pass from Thomas Müller – after a video review check for offside – with Bayern last failing to find the net in February 2020 in a 0-0 draw against RB Leipzig.
Corentin Tolisso tightened Bayern’s grip on the game with a fine shot into the top-left corner. Cologne thought they had a chance of getting back into the game when Mark Uth put the ball into the net following a Bayern blunder in defence, but it was ruled narrowly offside.
Leroy Sané, back after a positive test for coronavirus, set up Lewandowski for two more goals in the second half. The win saw Bayern recover from last week’s loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, when they had to field reserve and youth players amid a virus outbreak in the squad. Most of the affected players returned to face Cologne, but not left-back Alphonso Davies, who is likely to be sidelined for weeks with heart muscle inflammation.
Hoffenheim came into the weekend in third and harbouring hopes of returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2018-19 but losing to Union Berlin 2-1 didn’t help. Union players scored all of the goals as Andreas Voglsammer canceled out Timo Baumgartl’s early own goal before Grischa Prömel scored the winner.
Bayer Leverkusen took third place from Hoffenheim, defeating Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 despite a pair of penalty saves from Yann Sommer. After the Gladbach goalkeeper pushed Patrik Schick’s spot-kick wide, Robert Andrich volleyed Leverkusen ahead from close range at the resulting corner. Schick added a second goal from a free-kick before Nico Elvedi responded for Gladbach. Sommer saved another penalty from Kerem Demirbay late on.
RB Leipzig’s gradual recovery under new coach Domenico Tedesco took another step forward after beating Stuttgart 2-0 to rise to seventh. Leipzig took the lead against relegation-threatened Stuttgart with an André Silva penalty after defender Konstantinos Mavropanos blocked a cross with his arm.
Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin were both left disappointed after they drew 0-0 in a game between teams failing to meet their respective expectations. Wolfsburg coach Florian Kohfeldt won his first three games in charge in October and November but has failed to win since in the Bundesliga or Champions League, and is under pressure after averaging less than a point per game. Mainz stayed seven games unbeaten at home with a 1-0 win over Bochum.
In Serie A, Ciro Immobile scored two goals and had a hand in another as Lazio won at last-placed Salernitana 3-0. Immobile netted two within three minutes early in the match, before Manuel Lazzari added a third in the second half.
Lazio were looking for their first win of 2022 and got off to the perfect start when Luis Alberto sent in a long ball, which Sergej Milinkovic-Savic backheeled to Immobile for the forward to place into the bottom left corner. Immobile doubled Lazio’s lead moments later, connecting with a Pedro cross at close range.
Immobile almost had a first-half hat-trick but his header bounced off the crossbar and hit the line before going out. He later helped create Lazio’s third as he sent a crossfield pass to Felipe Anderson, who rolled the ball into the path of Lazzari to fire home.
Earlier, Torino fought back to win at relegation-threatened Sampdoria 2-1. Francesco Caputo put the hosts ahead after 18 minutes but Wilfried Singo equalised shortly afterwards and Dennis Praet scored Torino’s winner in the second half.