Arjen Robben adds to tally in Bayern Munich`s birthday win
Bayern Munich celebrated their 115th birthday Friday with a 4-1 win over Cologne to go 11 points clear in the Bundesliga as top-scorer Arjen Robben added to his tally.
Berlin: Bayern Munich celebrated their 115th birthday Friday with a 4-1 win over Cologne to go 11 points clear in the Bundesliga as top-scorer Arjen Robben added to his tally.
The fleet-footed Dutchman netted his 17th goal in 19 league matches this season with a crisp header with 20 minutes left to remain the league`s top scorer.
Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger gave hosts Bayern an early lead at Munich`s Allianz Arena before Franck Ribery added a second inside 10 minutes.
Cologne fought back when Nigeria international Anthony Ujah scored right on the stroke of half-time but Bayern roared back as Robben, then Poland striker Robert Lewandowski extended the hosts` lead.
Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists Bayern are in their most stable era in their rich history and Pep Guardiola`s side are running away with a third straight league title having now opened an 11-point lead.
In just their last four league games, Bayern have now scored 20 goals with Ujah`s header the only blot on their copybook.
Cologne coach Peter Stoeger had said his side needed "a miracle" in Munich and Bayern wasted no time in taking the lead.
They forced four corners in the opening 142 seconds, the last of which Schweinsteiger headed home after just three minutes.
In a perfect bit of symmetry, the goal came after two minutes, 22 seconds into Bayern`s 333rd Bundesliga match.
Ribery added a second with ten minutes gone when he dribbled through a weak Cologne defence and slotted his shot past goalkeeper Timo Horn.
A brief glimpse of the miracle Stoeger craved arrived just before the half-time break.
Ujah rose highest from a corner to out-jump Philipp Lahm and with David Alaba out of position the Nigeria striker headed home right on the whistle.
It was the first Bundesliga goal Bayern had conceded since drawing 1-1 with Schalke at the start of the month and it gave Cologne confidence.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was forced to prove why he was voted the world`s best goalkeeper in 2014 with super saves to deny Ujah and Cologne midfielder Marcel Risse.
But Bayern snuffed out any hope of a Cologne fightback when Ribery whipped in a cross for Robben to head home on 67 minutes.
Robben proved he can set up goals just as well as score them when he produced a superb pass for Lewandowski to chest over the line with 15 minutes left.
Bayern are in action again on Wednesday when they host second division Eintracht Braunschweig in the last 16 of the German Cup.
They host Shakhtar Donetsk on March 11 in the Champions League`s last 16, second-leg after a goalless draw in Ukraine.