Bayern Munich captain Thomas Muller scored on a rare start as they took another step toward a record-extending 11th consecutive Bundesliga title by routing Schalke 6-0 on Saturday.
Bayern moved four points clear of Borussia Dortmund before the late game. Dortmund could restore the one-point gap by beating Borussia Monchengladbach at home, while it must also maintain hope in Bayern dropping points in its final two games.
Bayern next plays Leipzig and Cologne, while Dortmund plays Augsburg and Mainz for its last games of the season.
Bayern missed a couple of good chances before Muller finally made the breakthrough in the 21st minute. Muller, who is captain while Manuel Neuer works on his comeback from a broken leg, was making his first start since April 22.
Ten minutes later, Joshua Kimmich made it 2-0 with a penalty awarded through VAR after Cedric Brunner caught Jamal Musiala in the face with his arm. The Schalke defender was booked and Musiala showed no lasting damage.
Serge Gnabry added two more goals in the second half, Mathys Tel added another, and Noussair Mazraoui completed the scoring in injury time.
It continued a long tradition of Bayern routing Schalke. Schalke hasn’t beaten the Bavarian powerhouse in 23 league games since a victory in December 2010, with Bayern clocking up 71 goals in that run.
Union Berlin made its own big step toward Champions League qualification after winning at home over chief rival Freiburg 4-2. Union’s win lifted it three points clear of fifth-placed Freiburg. The top four qualify for Europe’s premier competition.
Bochum climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-2 win over Augsburg. Bochum moved a point above Schalke with two games remaining.
Also, Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Mainz 3-0 and Wolfsburg enjoyed a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim, which is just a point above Bochum.
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