Coutinho and Lewandowski fire Bayern top with Cologne rout
Berlin (AFP) –
Phillipe Coutinho's first Bayern Munich goal and a brace from Robert Lewandowski brace helped the German champions to the top of the Hundesliga with a 4-0 thrashing of 10-man Cologne on Saturday.
Poland star striker Lewandowski put Bayern ahead with just 150 seconds gone at the Allianz Arena after Joshua Kimmich split the Cologne defence before then doubling the hosts' lead with a bullet header from a corner at the start of the season half to take his league tally to nine in five games.
Coutinho, on loan from Barcelona, claimed his first Bundesliga goal on the hour by converting a penalty at the second attempt, when Cologne defender Kingsley Ehizibue was shown a straight red card for bringing the Brazilian in the area when he was one-on-one with Cologne stopper Timo Horn.
Coutinho capped a satisfying day by setting up Ivan Perisic to compound Cologne's misery by slotting Bayern's fourth on 73 minutes.
Bayern top for the first time this season after the win, but RB Leipzig can replace them with a win at Werder Bremen later.
Having also netted in the 3-0 Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday, Lewandowski has scored from each of Bayern's last seven games with 11 goals in all competitions.
He is the first to score in each of the first five league games since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Borussia Dortmund four years ago.
Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from their shock Champions League defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow in mid-week with a 2-0 win over Union Berlin.
Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario scored inside the opening half hour as Leverkusen responded after director of sport Rudi Voeller had accused them of being "scared" against Lokomotiv.
Second-placed Freiburg wasted the chance to claim top spot as forward Lucas Hoeler gave them the lead only for striker Florian Niederlechner to equalise for Augsburg in a 1-1 draw.
Hertha Berlin climbed off the foot of the table with a nervy 2-1 home win over Paderborn, who took their place at the bottom of the league.
Ex-Manchester City winger Javairo Dilrosun weaved past a string of defenders to slot home on 10 minutes before ex-Dortmund forward Marius Wolf netted in the second-half at the Olympic Stadium.
Striker Ben Zolinski pulled a goal back for Paderborn, who pushed hard for a late equaliser without success.
© 2019 AFP