STUTTGART, Germany: Serge Gnabry of Bayern Munich scored a hat-trick and set up two more for record-breaking Robert Lewandowski in a 5-0 breakdown of host VfB Stuttgart on Tuesday, opening a nine-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
The Bavarians, who secured the unofficial ‘autumn championship’ before the start of the three-week winter break next week and are chasing a record-lengthening 10th consecutive league title, now have 40 points from 16 games.
Second-seeded Borussia Dortmund, on 31 of 15 games, will play against Greuther Fuerth on Wednesday.
Gnabry, who had six goals in the first half alone, put the visitors ahead in the 40th minute, curled a shot into the far top corner and grabbed his second goal in the 53rd.
He then found Lewandowski, who broke the ball over keeper Florian Mueller, for Bayern’s third goal in the 69th and another for the Polish striker with a selfless cut.
Lewandowski’s second goal of the evening meant he equaled Gerd Mueller’s 1972 record of 42 Bundesliga goals in one calendar year. He can break the record on Friday in their last league game of the year against VfL Wolfsburg.
Gnabry got his reward for being selfless and scored his hat-trick in the 74th to complete the defeat.
Stuttgart, which saw an end to their unbeaten run of three games, is in 15th place on 17 points.
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