Bayern thumps Hanover, shares 2nd spot

Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller (C) and Hanover's Pirmin Schwegler vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match at the HDI arena in Hanover Saturday. — AFP

BERLIN — Thomas Mueller had a frustrating time in front of goal in his 300th Bundesliga game, but Bayern continued its run of form with a 4-0 win at Hanover Saturday.

Joshua Kimmich's second-minute volley from an awkward-looking flick from Thomas Mueller gave the Bavarians an early lead.

Bayern doubled its lead in the 29th minute when David Alaba rocketed a strike into the top of the net from the edge of the box.

Kimmich turned provider for the last two goals.

In the 53rd minute, he played a low cross for Serge Gnabry who weaved through traffic before toe-poking home from close range.

Ten minutes later, Kimmich floated a perfectly-weighted cross into the path of Robert Lewandowski who headed his 10th goal of the season, going to the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts.

Bayern's win cut the gap to leader Borussia Dortmund to six points ahead of Dortmund's evening game against Werder Bremen at Signal Iduna Park. Hanover sit dead last with 10 points from 15 games.

Elsewhere, Borussia Moenchengladbach, who started the day in second drew 0-0 at wasteful Hoffenheim. The home team dominated throughout, racking up 22 shots to four for the visitors, but were unable to convert.

Schalke's Bundesliga struggles continued, held 1-1 at Augsburg. The visitors thought they had snared the three points in the dying stages after Breel Embolo netted, but the effort ruled out for offside.

Mario Gomez secured a valuable win for relegation-challenged Stuttgart who won 2-1 at home to Hertha Berlin.

Berlin took the lead in the 38th minute through Max Mittelstadt, before Gomez stretched out a leg to tap it into the bottom left corner in the 64th minute.

Gomez added a second just ten minutes later, powering a header into goal after an expert cross from Christian Gentner.

Fortuna Duesseldorf improved their chances of avoiding the drop with a 2-0 home win over Freiburg thanks to two goals from Kaan Ayhan. — AFP