MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – Robert Lewandowski rectified a rare penalty miss by scoring as Bayern Munich stayed six points behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race after Sunday’s 4-1 home win over Stuttgart.
Dortmund opened a nine-point gap by mauling second-from-bottom Hanover 5-1 on Saturday, but defending champions Bayern trimmed the lead back to six with their seventh straight league win.
“It’s an unusual role for us to be chasing in second, but we’ll keep going relentlessly,” said Bayern goal-scorer Leon Goretzka.
“We’ll try to keep winning our games and then we’ll see.”
Bayern had to work for the win and overcome a plucky Stuttgart who finished the first half the better of the teams but ultimately suffered their fourth straight league defeat to stay in the relegation places.
Lewandowski held his head in his hands when his 65th-minute penalty attempt cannoned off the post with Bayern only 2-1 up at Munich’s Allianz Arena and Stuttgart threatening the hosts’ goal.
However, Goretzka spared any blushes with his third goal in two games before Lewandowski added Bayern’s fourth when Joshua Kimmich spotted his run into the area.
The Poland striker made up for his miss by rounding Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler to score his 12th league goal of the season.
Bayern deservedly took the lead after only five minutes when midfielder Thiago Alcantara fired through a gap in the Stuttgart defence.