Benjamin Pavard abandons social distancing as he hugs team-mates after scoring in Bayern Munich’s win over Union Berlin… but Robert Lewandowski stuck to elbow bumps as gap at top goes back to four points
- The Bundesliga continued to lead football’s restart with the champions in action
- Bayern Munich beat Union Berlin 2-0 in the German capital club’s empty stadium
- With no fans to distract him, Robert Lewandowski swept in his first-half penalty
- Benjamin Pavard sealed the points but broke social distancing in celebration
- Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke 4-0 on Saturday but Bayern moved clear again
Bayern Munich reinstated their four-point lead over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday, shaking off their lockdown rust to cruise past Union Berlin 2-0.
With the soon-to-be-familiar echoed calls and eerie silence in the 22,000 stadium providing the backdrop, the Bundesliga continued to lead football’s comeback with all eyes on the late kick-off.
As both Bayern and Union’s substitutes sat scattered in the stands, the German champions took control of their first trip to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.
Robert Lewandowski was on target with a penalty as Bayern Munich beat Union Berlin
The star swept home a 40th minute penalty after a stuttered run-up to take the lead
The match formed part of day two of the Bundesliga’s restart without fans in the stadiums
The Union supporters were cruelly denied the chance to support their club as they hosted the Champions League winners for the first time, with the popular promoted side still settling in during their first Bundesliga season.
They had little answer for Bayern’s muscle though, and Serge Gnabry would have been Bayern’s first post-lockdown scorer if an offside Thomas Muller hadn’t tapped in his goal-bound effort after 18 minutes.
They were instead gifted their opener 40 minutes in, when ex-Dortmund star Neven Subotic clumsily swiped Leon Goretzka down within 18-yards of the hosts’ goal.
Substitutes sat socially distanced in the stands, the only spectators in the 22,000 ground
Thomas Muller thought he had opened the scoring after 18 minutes, but was ruled offiside
Without the hostile Union fans’ whistles and jeers, Robert Lewandowski reignited his prolific form, stuttering his run-up before firing in the spot-kick for 1-0.
The Pole’s muted celebration saw him merely hand out fist bumps, adhering to protocols banning unnecessary contact.
Bayern never stepped into top gear in the second-half, looking sleepy in midfield under the late-evening sun, grateful for a gentler restart against a hard-working Union who lacked final-third talent.
Benjamin Pavard opted to hug his team-mate in celebration, as Lewandowski stayed distanced
Alphonso Davies was a threat but Bayern were pedestrian at times with the silent backdrop
Benjamin Pavard met Joshua Kimmich’s 80th minute corner to seal the win for Bayern
The win was sealed with 10 minutes to go as Joshua Kimmich’s out-swinging corner was met by Benjamin Pavard’s powerful header, seeing the Frenchman instantly forget social distancing rules and run to embrace his team-mates.
The final whistle was met with tumbleweed rather than a roar, as Bayern moved four points clear of Dortmund yet again after BVB’s 4-0 win over Schalke on Saturday.
Union next face their city rivals Hertha Berlin in a game that will sorely miss having fans in the stadium, as the underdogs look to continue exceeding expectations by hovering above a relegation battle.
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