BERLIN :Robert Lewandowski netted twice to lead Bayern Munich to a 5-2 victory at Union Berlin on Saturday as the German champions bounced back from their shock midweek Cup exit to stay top of the Bundesliga standings.
The Pole struck with a 15th-minute penalty and hammered in a free kick for his 12th goal of the campaign, with Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman and Thomas Mueller also on target in a rollercoaster game that ended in Union's first home loss of the season.
The Bavarians, beaten 5-0 by Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday in their heaviest ever German Cup loss, moved up to 25 points.
But their backline was again far from solid, forcing keeper Manuel Neuer to make several good saves to protect their lead.
"We are very happy with the reaction we showed today," said Bayern assistant coach Dino Topmoeller, with his boss Julian Nagelsmann still in quarantine following a positive COVID-19 test.
"We controlled the game in the first half but then invited our opponents to make it 3-1 just before the break. We knew we would face a lot of pressure in the second half.
"We can be satisfied with our performance," Topmoeller said after his fourth game in charge.
Borussia Dortmund, 2-0 winners over Cologne, are a point behind in second. Freiburg, who beat Greuther Fuerth 3-1, are third on 22.
RB Leipzig, hosting Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday, failed to close the gap on the top spots after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser for a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt that dropped them to eighth.
Lewandowski converted a penalty before added a second eight minutes later and Sane made it 3-0 in the 35th, with Bayern, who face Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday, keen to prove their Cup loss was just a blip.
But the Berliners were far from done and pulled one back in the 43rd through Nico Giesselmann. Union's Sheraldo Becker then put the ball in the net two minutes later but was ruled narrowly offside.
It was the hosts who got off to a better start after the break, with Bayern's defence looking fragile and Becker and Taiwo Awoniyi finding the space to threaten.
Bayern, however, struck against the run of play with Coman thumping the ball in from a tight angle just past the hour to settle their nerves.
Union still refused to surrender, cutting the deficit again through Julian Ryerson before Mueller delivered the killer blow for Bayern 11 minutes from time and the Germany international has now scored against all the other 17 Bundesliga teams.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ed Osmond)