Bundesliga: Bayern thump lacklustre Dortmund

April 13, 2008

BERLIN, April 13 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich moved closer to winning their 21st German championship on Sunday by thrashing Borussia Dortmund 5-0 and opening up a 10-point lead over second-placed Werder Bremen.

Bayern were 4-0 up after 22 minutes, Italy striker Luca Toni scoring twice after Lukas Podolski and Ze Roberto had given them a two-goal lead inside 10 minutes. Andreas Ottl got the fifth in midway through the second half.

The two teams will meet again next Saturday in the German Cup final in Berlin.

Bayern are top with 60 points, with six matches remaining. Werder Bremen, after a 5-1 win over Schalke 04 on Saturday, have 50 points, two ahead of Schalke in third. Schalke sacked coach Mirko Slomka on Sunday after that debacle.

'This was an important step for winning the championship,' said Bayern's usually cautious sporting director Uli Hoeness.

'We've got a 10-point lead with only three away matches. I don't think there's much that could happen to stop us now.'

Bayern are chasing three titles. They are also in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.

In Sunday's other match, Bayer Leverkusen beat VfB Stuttgart 3-0 to move into fourth place on 47 points.

Even without playmaker Franck Ribery, rested after Thursday's 3-3 draw at Getafe in the UEFA Cup quarter-final, Bayern were awesome at the start.

Podolski opened the scoring in the third minute in front of another sell-out crowd of 69,000 with a curling long range shot from the right to the far post.

Ze Roberto doubled the lead five minutes later when he tapped in a superb Phillip Lahm cross from the left.

Toni got his 17th and 18th league goals of the season in the space of five minutes, opening up a three-goal lead in the top scorers' chart ahead of Stuttgart's Mario Gomez.

Toni first beat Dortmund defender Christian Woerns on the right and fired in from short range and then volleyed home a Ze Roberto lob.

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said: 'We went out at a high pace even though the match at Getafe was so exhausting. The first goal was excellent and once we got ahead everything clicked.'

Dortmund coach Thomas Doll said: 'I'm still trying to figure out what we were doing here. It felt like an execution.'

Dortmund midfielder Florian Kringe was also blunt about his team's performance.

'If you're going to let Bayern play like that you shouldn't even make the trip to Munich,' he said. 'You're better off not even getting out of bed.'