Robert Lewandowski’s 26th league goal of the season ensured Bayern Munich made a winning return to Bundesliga action, beating Union Berlin 2-0 to re-establish a four-point lead at the top.
In the oddly sterile setting that will be the norm for the foreseeable future following the coronavirus suspension, Benjamin Pavard’s second-half header with 10 minutes remaining added to Lewandowski’s opener from the penalty spot as Union were beaten at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.
The hosts took a very cautious approach, leaving their top goalscorer Sebastian Andersson on the bench until the final 15 minutes, and Bayern were largely untroubled as they made it six straight away league victories to pick up where they left off.
Hansi Flick’s side were efficient as they responded to Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 hammering of Schalke ahead of the meeting between the two title protagonists at Signal Iduna Park in nine days’ time. Union stay in 12th place in their first Bundesliga season, seven points clear of the relegation play-off spot.
The visitors hadn’t been at their fluid best during the opening period, but they were presented with the chance to break the deadlock when Leon Goretzka drew the foul from Neven Subotic five minutes before the interval.
By that point, Flick’s men had already had a goal chalked off for offside as Serge Gnabry’s glanced header towards the far post from Goretzka’s flick-on was nudged in from a fractionally offside position by Thomas Muller – correctly disallowed upon VAR review.
Union, without their manager Urs Fischer due to a family bereavement, made the brighter start as Marius Bulter forced an early save from Manuel Neuer from Grischa Promel’s cross before Anthony Ujah sliced his shot over from Florian Hubner’s lofted pass.