Robben on fire for Bayern
BERLIN, Germany — Dutch winger Arjen Robben hit a hat-trick as Bayern Munich hammered Hertha Berlin 6-0 on Saturday but league leaders Borussia Dortmund beat Bremen to stay five points clear.
Having hammered Hoffenheim 7-1 last Saturday in the Bundesliga, then demolished Basel 7-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals, Bayern have now scored 20 goals in their last three games.
“We dropped our concentration just before the half-time break and we wanted to go out there and raise our game,” said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm. “We did that perfectly.”
Bayern’s director of sport Christian Nerlinger said his team had pulled together following their 2-0 away defeat at Bayer Leverkusen a fortnight ago.
“We showed from the first moment that we wanted to win the game, we were now a united team, the victory was well deserved,” he said.
“After the Leverkusen defeat, a jolt has passed through the team and they have pulled together as a group.”
Germany striker Mario Gomez, the league’s top-scorer with 22 goals in 25 games, netted a second-half penalty to leave him with eight goals from three games having hit four against Basel and three against Hoffenheim.
In total, the 26-year-old has already scored 35 in all competitions.
Likewise, Robben now has seven goals from his last three matches as Bayern’s purple patch continues.
Berlin, who have lost nine of their last 10 games, gave away three penalties and defeat to Bayern sees them drop to 17th, second from bottom, after Freiburg’s 3-1 win at Hamburg.
Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller gave Bayern an early lead before Robben netted twice, including a penalty, to make it 3-0 at the break.
With 50 minutes gone, the Berlin defence was blitzed with two goals in as many minutes as Gomez fired home from the penalty spot after France winger Franck Ribery was fouled by Hertha defender Alfredo Morales.
Robben then robbed Berlin’s Christoph Janker of possession and although the Hertha goalkeeper got a glove to the ball, Bayern’s Toni Kroos netted the rebound to make it 5-0.
Morales, 21, who has made only 10 Bundesliga appearances, gave away his second penalty of the game when he again fouled Ribery and Robben slotted home the spot kick to complete the scoring.
Dortmund’s Japan winger Shinji Kagawa scored an early goal to seal his team’s 1-0 win over Bremen, setting a new club record of 20 matches without defeat.
“My only criticism is that we didn’t take our chances earlier, we left the game open for too long,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.
“Consequently, we weren’t sure of the win until the very end. But I was very happy with the performance, we were very alert and alive.”
Third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach picked up their first win in four games after a late winner from Igor de Camargo sealed their 2-1 victory at Bayer Leverkusen.
Dortmund-bound Marco Reus, who will join the defending champions next season, scored one and created the second.
The attacking midfielder showed great finishing to put his side ahead on seven minutes, before the hosts hit back when ex-Germany striker Stefan Kiessling equalised with 15 minutes left.
But Reus’s mazy run on 88 minutes put de Camarago clear to round Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and score the winner.
Lucien Favre’s Gladbach host Bayern on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the German Cup with Borussia chasing their third win over Munich this season after home and away victories in the league.
Germany’s remaining Europa League teams, Schalke 04 and Hanover 96, are in action on Sunday when the Royal Blues are at bottom side Kaiserslautern and Hanover host Cologne.