Bundesliga: Bayern takes care of Hoffenheim to maintain league lead
BERLIN (AP) — Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern Munich to restore its eight-point lead over his former club Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 win against Hoffenheim on Sunday.
The Poland striker broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute and sealed the result in the 64th with his 19th goal of the season.
Midfielder Xabi Alonso lined up alongside Holger Badstuber in Bayern's central defense due to Jerome Boateng's groin injury.
The home side dominated but failed to really trouble the visitors until the half-hour mark, when Kingsley Coman rattled the Hoffenheim defense. That led to Douglas Costa drilling in a low cross that Lewandowski stabbed home from close range.
Hoffenheim didn't bother Manuel Neuer until Andrej Kramaric drew a block from the Bayern 'keeper in the 41st.
Oliver Baumann produced a fingertip save to deny Lewandowski after the break and another good block to thwart him from the resulting corner.
Kramaric should have equalized on a rare Hoffenheim counterattack in the 56th, before Lewandowski killed any slim hopes of a comeback with a brilliant finish.
"We wanted to stay compact, and we managed that for long periods, but you cannot defend against everything," said Baumann, who made seven saves.
Philipp Lahm played the ball forward and Lewandowski lifted it over the emerging goalkeeper to settle it. It was the striker's 26th goal across all competitions this season.
"It was a deserved win. We could have won by more. I think it was a step forward," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
Earlier, Anthony Modeste scored late to earn Cologne a 1-1 draw and extend Wolfsburg's six-game run without a win in the Bundesliga.
The French striker struck in the 75th minute, running at defender Dante and curling a fine strike inside the far post from 16 meters (yards) for his ninth goal of the season.
Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler had broken the deadlock eight minutes before with a sweeping volley to Vieirinha's cross, minutes after fans whistled the home side in frustration for not taking its chances.
"It's a shame that they're whistling but I can understand it," Draxler said. "We're not happy at all, we really need a win."
Max Kruse and Andre Schuerrle missed good early opportunities and Luiz Gustavo struck the left post after the break, before Draxler finally made the breakthrough.
But Modeste's equalizer ensured Wolfsburg's longest league run without a win under coach Dieter Hecking continued. Wolfsburg is seven points behind Hertha Berlin in the last automatic qualification place for the Champions League.
"It's clear that people are unhappy. But the lads have to get through it," Hecking said.