Bayern Munich's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates scoring in Saturday's 4-0 win at Fortuna Duesseldorf
Berlin (AFP) - Managerless Bayern Munich closed the gap at the top of the Bundesliga to just a point with a 4-0 romp at Fortuna Duesseldorf Saturday as leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Union Berlin.
Bayern’s interim coach Hansi Flick enjoyed his third straight win since Niko Kovac was sacked earlier this month as the Bavarians stayed third in the table.
Despite rumours linking ex-Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino to the Bayern vacancy, Flick has been told he will be in charge until at least Christmas.
“I can imagine a lot, but there’s still a long way to go,” Flick replied when asked if he could imagine being made head coach permanently.
“I enjoy the here and now. It will be like that until Christmas and I’m just trying to do my job well.”
A showdown beckons in a fortnight when current leaders Moenchengladbach host Bayern at Borussia Park.
“We feel good, as you can see on the pitch. And I think the way we are playing, and the results, speak for themselves,” said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller.
Bayern routed Duesseldorf with goals by Philippe Coutinho, Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso, with Robert Lewandowski failing to score in a league game for the first time this season and ending his record 11-match run.
- Werner reaches milestone -
The win leaves Bayern third and level on 24 points with Leipzig, who enjoyed a 4-1 home win over strugglers Cologne, who played their first game under new coach Markus Gisdol.
Germany striker Timo Werner celebrated becoming the youngest player to make 200 Bundesliga appearances by opening the scoring for Leipzig after a great cross from winger Christopher Nkunku on 22 minutes.
Leipzig's Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg (L) celebrates scoring with a superbly struck free-kick against Cologne on Saturday
Swedish playmaker Emil Forsberg converted a penalty with half an hour played after a foul on Nkunku before midfielder Konrad Laimer added the hosts’s third goal eight minutes before the break.
The visitors’ forward Rafael Czichos pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 at half-time, before Forsberg smashed home a superb free-kick 11 minutes from the final whistle.
“I had a good feeling as soon as I hit it, I practise them a lot, but that one looked good,” said Forsberg of his curling free-kick.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard, there are a lot of good teams playing well,” he warned with just three points separating the league’s top five teams.
- ‘Ice-cold’ Union -
Nigeria forward Anthony Ujah celebrates scoring Union Berlin's opening goal in their 2-0 win over Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday
Earlier, Gladbach suffered their third defeat of the season as they became the latest top six club to lose at Union.
“Union were ice cold … and scored off their first chance,” said Gladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus, “we ran a lot, but we couldn’t score. It’s a bitter defeat.”
Having already beaten Dortmund and Freiburg this season at their Alten Foersterei stadium, Union took the lead with 15 minutes gone when Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah headed home a cross.
the hosts ensured their third straight league win in stoppage time when winger Julian Ryerson floated in a cross, which deflected off a Gladbach defender to present Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson with an easy header to round off a fine win.
Schalke climbed to fifth as striker Benito Raman and midfielder Amine Harit scored in a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen, whose Japanese striker Yuya Osako grabbed a late consolation.
Freiburg are fourth despite only drawing 1-1 at ninth-placed Leverkusen, whose France Under-21 striker Moussa Diaby scored on his first start to cancel out an early Lucas Hoeler header.
Despite playing with 10 men for the entire second-half, mid-table Wolfsburg managed a 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Their goals came from towering Dutch striker Wout Weghorst and Brazilian forward Joao Victor despite losing defender Marcel Tisserand at the end of the first-half due to a second bookable offence.