February 10, 2018 / 5:10 PM / 10 months ago

Bayern extend dominance over Schalke, Batshuayi strikes again

BERLIN (Reuters) - Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich continued their relentless progress towards a sixth successive title with a 2-1 win over Schalke 04 on Saturday, extending their unbeaten run against the Gelsenkirchen side to 15 meetings.

Bundesliga - Borussia Dortmund vs Hamburger SV - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - February 10, 2018 Borussia Dortmund’s Michy Batshuayi scores their first goal REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

Bayern’s win was their 14th in 15 league games since Jupp Heynckes returned for a fourth stint as coach following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti, although the 72-year-old was absent on Saturday with a heavy bout of flu.

Michy Batshuayi scored his third goal in two games since joining Borussia Dortmund as they celebrated the return of Marco Reus from injury with a 2-0 win over troubled SV Hamburg, whose proud ever-present record in the Bundesliga is in serious danger.

Dortmund moved up to third, but Bayern, who have 56 points from 23 games, stayed 18 clear of second-place RB Leipzig, who have 38 — one more than Dortmund.

Bayern have won 11 and drawn four of their past 15 matches against Schalke, whose last win over the Bavarians was in the 2010/11 season.

The hosts got off to a flying start when Robert Lewandowski scored for the 11th successive home game, in the sixth minute.

The Pole ended a flowing end-to-end move by tapping in from a rebound after Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann blocked Thomas Mueller’s shot.

Franco Di Santo stunned the Allianz Arena by equalising in the 29th minute, burying his shot after Leon Goretzka miskicked from Breel Embolo’s cross.

But Bayern regained the lead seven minutes later with a crafty effort from Mueller who got to the byline, saw that Faehrmann was expecting him to pull the ball back and threaded his shot between the goalkeeper and the near post.

Meanwhile, at the Westfalenstadion Reus was included in the Dortmund starting line-up for his first match since suffering a knee injury in the German Cup final last May and was involved in the opening goal four minutes into the second half.

His cross found Christian Pulisic, who slid the ball to the far post where Batshuayi, who signed on loan from Chelsea 10 days ago, scored into an empty net.

Mario Goetze, himself struggling in an injury-hit season, finished off a counter-attack by dinking the ball over Christian Mathenia in stoppage time for his second goal of the season.

Hamburg, the only ever-present team in the Bundesliga’s 55-year history, are 17th in the 18-club table with 17 points, three adrift of Mainz 05 in the relegation playoff spot

Bayer Leverkusen missed a chance to go second when they lost 2-0 at home to Hertha Berlin and remain on 35 points.

Valentino Lazaro scored two minutes before halftime, the referee confirming the goal after reviewing it on the video replay system (VAR), and Salomon Kalou added the second in the 57th minute after Leverkusen lost possession.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Borussia Dortmund vs Hamburger SV - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - February 10, 2018 Borussia Dortmund’s Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

Eintracht Frankfurt beat Cologne 4-2 to move up to fourth and leave the Billy Goats stuck at the bottom of the table, four points behind Hamburg, while Hoffenheim beat Mainz by the same score.

Adam Szalai and Andrej Kramaric netted two apiece for Hoffenheim and Emil Berggreen bagged both goals for Mainz.

Hannover 96 beat Freiburg 2-1 in the other game.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Ed Osmond, Neville Dalton

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