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The joy of six: Bayern thrash Dortmund to close in on Bundesliga title
Bayern Munich hammered Borussia Dortmund 6-0 on Saturday night to move within a point of securing their 28th Bundesliga crown. Former Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski hit a hat trick in the rout. James Rodriguez, Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller were also on the scoresheet.
"We’ve got a quality team with an excellent mentality," said Bayern defender Mats Hummels. “We were solid and played well. We’re not perfect but we know our weaknesses and are working on them.”
It was the first time since April 1978 that Dortmund had conceded five goals in the first-half. Back then Borussia Moenchengladbach put six past them in 45 minutes on the way to a 12-0 slaughter.
In the 40 years since that humiliation, Dortmund have been champions of Germany on five occasions while Bayern have lifted the Bundesliga trophy 22 times.
Dortmund skipper Marcel Schmelzer said: "We worked on things before the match but they didn’t come off. We were second best in everything and just seemed to be outnumbered. They were toying with us at the end."
Bayern would have racked up another title had Schalke failed to beat relegation threatened Freiburg.
But goals in the second-half from Daniel Caligiuri and Guido Burgstaller helped them past the visitors to the VELTINS-Arena in Gelsenkirchen.
However the coronation is likely to come next weekend when Bayern play at mid-table Augsburg.
Dortmund’s annihilation also reinvigorated the race for the positions which lead to participation in next season’s Uefa Champions League.
With six games remaining, Schalke are second on 52 points while Dortmund are third with 48 points.
RB Leipzig, who have 46 points, hold the fourth and final Champions League slot thanks to their 3-2 win at Hannover on Saturday.
After leading 2-0 and 3-1, Leipzig endured a torrid final 10 minutes following Niclas Fuellkrug’s second goal for the hosts.
"The three points are hugely important for us,” said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl. “We are happy that we got the reward for our hard work but we need to regain stability at the back."
His side will also need a favour from Werder Bremen on Sunday. Sixth placed Eintracht Frankfurt could leapfrog Leipzig if they win at the Weser-Stadion.