Robert Lewandowski’s double enabled Bayern Munich to kick off the second half of their season with a hard-fought 2-1 away victory over Hamburg, a result that takes the reigning Bundesliga champions 11 points clear at the summit.
Pep Guardiola’s men, who face a Champions League last 16 first leg tie with Juventus in exactly a month’s time, took the lead just before the break when Lewandowski converted from the spot after Thomas Muller had been brought down by Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler.
The hosts came out fighting for the second half and pulled one back on 53 minutes, Xabi Alonso inadvertently putting the ball past Manuel Neuer when attempting to clear a dangerous Aaron Hunt free-kick.
Lewandowski, however, had other ideas and reestablished the visitors’ advantage eight minutes later, deflecting Muller’s shot over the line for his 17th Bundesliga goal of the campaign and the game’s eventual winner.
Bayern return to league action next Sunday, with Hoffenheim providing the opposition at the Allianz Arena in an afternoon kick-off.