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Bayern underlines title credentials with 5-1 rout of Cologne

Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski bagged two goals as Bayern Munich routed Cologne 5-1 to end its two-game winless streak and consolidate its league lead on Saturday.

Lewandowski took his season tally to 28 goals as Bayern moved five points clear of Leipzig, which hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach in the late game.

Leon Goretzka, making his first league start since recovering from the coronavirus, lifted a cross for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to open the scoring in the 18th minute, then brilliantly set up Lewandowski in the 34th.

Cologne's Ondrej Duda, left, and Bayern's Joshua Kimmich challenge for the ball during a German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and 1.FC Cologne in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP PhotoAndreas Schaad)

Goretzka received the ball from Lewandowski, turned and played the ball through Cologne defender Rafael Czichos’ legs, before sending it to the right for Lewandowski to score.

Defensive errors from David Alaba and Jérôme Boateng allowed Ellyes Skhiri pull one back for Cologne after the break, but Lewandowski killed off any notions of a surprise when Thomas Müller set up his second in the 65th.

Müller had only been on the pitch a minute, after making his comeback from his coronavirus infection.

Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, center,, celebrates after scoring on penalty kick his side's second goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arminia Bielefeld in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP PhotoMartin Meissner, Pool)

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer almost gifted Cologne a way back when he lost the ball to Dominick Drexler, but the midfielder’s effort came back off the post.

Serge Gnabry, who came with Müller in the 64th, sealed the result in the 82nd and wrapped up the scoring in the 86th.

Schalke moved another step closed to relegation with a 5-1 loss at Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a 3-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld, and Hertha Berlin’s winless streak continued in a 2-0 loss at Wolfsburg.

Dortmund's Reinier , left, celebrates with his teammate Erling Haaland after scoring his sides third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arminia Bielefeld in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP PhotoMartin Meissner, Pool)

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Stuttgart striker Silas Wamangituka, front, and Schalke defender Sead Kolasniac challenge for the ball during a German Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and Schalke 04 in Stuttgart, Germany, Saturday, Feb.27, 2021. ( Sebastian Gollnowdpa via AP)

Wolfsburg's Ridle Baku, left, and Berlin's Deyovaisio Zeefuik challenge for the ball during a German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha BSC Berlin in Wolfsburg, Germany, Saturday, Feb.27, 2021. (Swen Pfoertnerdpa via AP)

Wolfsburg's Paulo Otavio, left, and Berlin's Deyovaisio Zeefuik challenge for the ball during a German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha BSC Berlin in Wolfsburg, Germany, Saturday, Feb.27, 2021. (Swen Pfoertnerdpa via AP)