Robert Lewandowski claimed the record for the most goals scored by a foreigner in the Bundesliga as champions Bayern Munich swept past Freiburg 3-1 on Saturday, while Werder Bremen look set to be relegated after losing at Mainz.
After Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern an early lead at a spectator-free Allianz Arena, Lewandowski scored twice in the first half to give him 33 league goals in 30 matches this season, having netted a total of 48 times in 41 games in all competitions.
The Poland striker’s tally beats the previous record of 31 goals set by Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2016/17 for Borussia Dortmund before he moved to present club Arsenal the following season.
With one game left, Lewandowski remains well short of Gerd Mueller’s remarkable all-time record for the most goals in a German league season when he scored 40 in 1971/72.
The pressure was off Bayern as they were crowned Bundesliga champions for the eighth consecutive season in midweek.
Bayern coach Hansi Flick rotated against Freiburg with New Zealand midfielder Sarpreet Singh given his first start after becoming the first player of Indian origin to appear in the Bundesliga last December.
At the foot of the table, Bremen are set to be relegated for the first time in 40 years after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Mainz.
Swedish winger Robin Quaison and Dutch attacking-midfielder Jean-Paul Boetius handed the hosts a comfortable lead, before Japan striker Yuya Osako gave Bremen hope by making it 2-1 with half an hour left.
Swiss substitute Edimilson Fernandes settled the matter when he got in behind the Bremen defence and made it 3-1 on 85 minutes for Mainz, who will now stay up.
The result leaves Bremen second from bottom and two points from 16th place which triggers a relegation play-off at the end of the season.
To have any chance of staying up, Bremen must now beat Cologne at home next weekend and hope 16th-placed Fortuna Duesseldorf, who drew 1-1 at home to Augsburg on Saturday, lose at mid-table Union Berlin.
– Haaland strikes again -The race for the final two Champions League is wide open after teenage phenomenon Erling Braut Haaland clinically converted two crosses to seal Dortmund’s 2-0 win at third-placed RB Leipzig.
Dortmund, who will finish second, and Bayern have both qualified for next season’s Champions League, but two out of Leipzig, Gladbach and Leverkusen can still join them.
Haaland now has 13 goals in 14 league games since joining from Red Bull Salzburg and he showed more lethal finishing to convert crosses by 17-year-old US midfielder Giovanni Reyna and then Julian Brandt.
Haaland has 44 goals in 39 games for Dortmund and Salzburg this season.
Germany striker Timo Werner, who joins Premier League giants Chelsea next month, failed to add to his tally of 26 league goals, second only to Lewandowski.
Moenchengladbach boosted their chances of Champions League football next season with a 3-1 win at bottom side Paderborn, who had defender Uwe Huenemeier sent off for a double yellow card.
Germany midfielder Lars Stindl scored a penalty, then grabbed a goal after winger Patrick Herrmann gave Gladbach an early lead.
Leverkusen dropped to fifth, two points behind Gladbach and three adrift of third-placed Leipzig, after their 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin, whose Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha and former Watford forward Dodi Lukebakio both scored.
Schalke’s freefall continues as they are now 15 games without a victory as David Wagner’s side was hammered 4-0 at Wolfsburg, who stay sixth in the Europa League places.
Schalke’s Welsh striker Rabbi Matondo scored his first league goal since September, but Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst led the charge by scoring twice to leave him with 16 goals this season.
Union Berlin, who were fined by the German league for breaking social-distancing rules for an impromptu party with their fans in the stadium car park after their survival was confirmed on Tuesday, crashed 4-0 at Hoffenheim.