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Bayern sank the minnows of Union Berlin in the reopening of the Bundesliga

The Polish international scored the opening goal in the 40th minute from the penalty spot when the Bayern giants won 2-0 on Sunday, the 40th this season in only 34 league and cup matches for Bayern.

France defender Benjamin Pavard headed for his second home in the 80th minute to ensure victory for the visitors to bring Bayern four points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, the 4-0 winners over Schalke over the resumption of the Bundesliga on Saturday after a two-month absence.

Before the league was stopped by the coronavirus pandemic, Union Berlin rallies had become one of the points of discussion this season, the promoted team hit far above its weight, with a surprise home victory over title challengers Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Bayern are also expected to feel heat in front of 22,000 spectators on the unique Alten Foersterei land, but in contrast to the match played behind closed doors and with the same sterile atmosphere that has marked other fixtures at the resumption of action, it has proved easy for league leaders.

Union Berlin did indeed start intelligently to force some early opening, but after that Bayern’s superior quality allowed Hansi Flick’s team to control the game and dominate possession.

Bayern thought it had taken the lead through Thomas Mueller, but his effort in the 17th minute was rightly ruled out because it was offside by Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

The breakthrough came after Union defender Neven Subotic clumsily dropped Leon Goretzka to concede a penalty that Lewandowski lethal converted easily.

It was his 26th goal in the league this season and really got rid of the home side, who did not pay much with top scorer Sebastian Andersson staying on the bench until the closing moment.

The second half was almost a training exercise for Bayern, with Pavard very well sealing three points with a header from Joshua Kimmich’s corner, hugging David Alaba briefly against new guidelines as he celebrated his third goal of the season.

Benjamin Pavarde hugged David Alaba after scoring Bayern's second goal and winning 2-0 over Union Berlin.

That’s all far from the frightening atmosphere that has welcomed other visiting teams this season, with only a maximum of 300 people, mainly players, officials and media, permitted at the stadium.

Bayern Mueller supporters admit that the lack of Union fans has helped his team. “It feels like the atmosphere you get for old man soccer, at 19:00, under the spotlight, but as soon as the ball starts rolling, the game becomes our focus,” he said.

Before the match, police also patrolled the forest near the ground to stop the gathering of fans and the nearby Koepenick train station was deserted compared to the crowded scene on match day.

The guards wearing protective masks sat in empty stands at Union Berlin's home stadium, with all Bundesliga matches until the end of the season played behind closed doors.

While the audience was left cold with new restrictions, television coverage of the restart drew the attention of the audience for Sky Germany.

Saturday’s round of matches attracted more than six million viewers, according to the specialist website DWDL.de, more than double the usual numbers after two months of absence.

Earlier Sunday, Mainz struggled from two goals to save valuable points with a 2-2 draw at Cologne.

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