Germany: Bundesliga
5 - 3
(4 - 1)
FC Bayern
J. Cancelo (15), B. Pavard (18), B. Pavard (35), L. Sané (45), A. Davies (74)
M. Berisha (2), M. Berisha (60), I. Cardona (90)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

15:30 Kickoffs: Bayern crush Augsburg, Leipzig return to winning ways, Stuttgart and Hertha pick up points

FC Bayern München have placed all the pressure on Borussia Dortmund with a thumping 5-3 victory over FC Augsburg at the Allianz. Dortmund must win against Schalke tonight in order to draw level with Bayern on points. The BVB can't hope to finish the weekend in first based on goal differential. 

RB Leipzig move up to third place with a 3-0 win over Gladbach in another of the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs. Relegation candidates Stuttgart and Hertha were able to help their cause a bit by nicking points of Frankfurt and Mainz, respectively, in a pair of 1-1 draws. 
Having fallen to Augsburg in the reverse fixture, FC Bayern have exacted revenge on their regional Bavarian rivals with a scintillating 5-3 victory over Enrico Maaßen's Fuggerstädter at the Allianz. With their fourth straight victory on-the-bounce, Julian Nagelsmann's record champions have made a profound statement in the title race. Bayern move three points clear at the top of the table with the win. The pressure now lies on Borussia Dortmund to catch up in tonight's highly anticipated Revierderby. 

Nagelsmann made five changes too the XI that secured advancement in the Champions' League midweek with a 2-0 win over PSG. Josip Stanisic, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman, and Leon Goretzka all received a rest cure. Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Pavard, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sané replaced the quartet. Lead-striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting - struggling with back problems - ceded the center-forward position to Sadio Mané. In his first start on the comeback trail from his ACL injury, Mané shared the spearheading role with Gnabry in a 3-1-4-2.

Augsburg trainer Maaßen made three changes to the XI that beat Bremen last week. Maximilian Bauer took over for the error-prone Renato Veiga in central defense. Mërgim Berisha returned to the starting lineup to take over for Ruben Vargas. Maaßen had hinted that, with Arne Engels dipping in form, a change was necessary in midfield. As it so happened, a forced change kept Engels on the pitch. Niklas Dorsch - feeling unwell and dropped from the squad - was replaced with Julian Baumgartlinger. The Fuggerstädter lined up in a 4-4-2.

It initially appeared as if another sensational upset was in the works. Pavard gifted Berisha a chance inside of three minutes. The FCA's potential new German national team call-up kept his cool and entered the 18 with a few calm touches. An even cooler finish gave Augsburg an early 1-0 lead. The Bavarian Swabians were nevertheless unable to ride the momentum. Bayern established themselves and an equalizer would not be long in forthcoming.

Cancelo scored the 1-1 at the quarter-of-an-hour mark, shaking off FCA defender Mads Pedersen with a double-dupe before finishing from a tight angle after some nice prep work from Sané and Alphonso Davies. Four minutes after that, the hosts took the lead. A Matthijs de Ligt aerial win and an artistic overhead kick from Mané set up Pavard from close range. The French FCB defender slotted home the 2-1 in the 19th. Bayern essentially supplied uninterrupted pressure until they scored again.

Pavard completed a brace in the 35th. Another strong de Ligt header off a corner was inadvertently sent in Pavard's direction by Augsburg striker Dion Drena Beljo. The Frenchman hit the 3-1 with a fabulous mid-air scissor finish. Augsburg proceeded to fall to pieces. After multiple more close calls, Nagelsmann's record champions got a fourth at the stroke of halftime. Davies and Musiala ran a quick-strike counter after a bad FCA ball loss in the 45th. The onrushing Sané finished off a Mané rebound that FCA keeper Rafa Gikiewicz couldn't handle.

Maaßen went for a quadruple change at the half. Vargas, Elvis Rexhbecaj, Irvin Cardona, and Iago entered for Beljo, Engels, Ermedin Demirovic, and Robert Gumny. Play improved somewhat, though Bayern were undoubtedly still in control. The guests were able to pull a goal back at the hour-mark when de Ligt was adjudged to have hauled down Cardona in the area. Berisha - working in front of Bundestrainer Hansi Flick in the stands - completed his own brace by converting from the spot in the 60th.

Despite the 2-4 scoreline, it never really looked as if Maaßen's men were likely to find their way back into the match. Davies ensured that the slender hope of a comeback was short lived with another goal in the 74th. Feeling comfortable and playful, Cancelo and FCB substitute Mathys Tel played the Canadian into position. Davies finished beautifully off the bounce. The result was effectively sealed with 15 minutes left to play. Subs Cardona and Vargas combined for a meaningless pull-back goal at 90+3.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, Leipzig took some time to get into gear against visiting Gladbach at the Red Bull Arena. After being largely shut down in the opening 45, Marco Rose's German Red Bulls dodged a bullet when Alassane Plea missed the 1-0 from the spot in the 53rd. Former Gladbach keeper Janis Blaswich kept the game scoreless. Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg, and Josko Gvardiol then ran up the score in a fixture that finished 3-0 to the hosts.

There were two 1-1 draws over at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt and the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Frankfurt and Stuttgart shared the spoils after a thrilling second half in which both goals were scored. VfB attacker Silas - dropped from the XI after criticism from his head-coach this week - came off the bench to score a stunning equalizer. In something of a less exciting match, Hertha and Mainz split the difference with goals scored on respective sides of the half.

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