Bayern rolls over Bremen as Lewandowski nets brace

Bremen, Germany ( - Bayern Munich continued its march toward a third straight Bundesliga title on Saturday as Robert Lewandowski scored a pair of goals in the second half to lead the club to a 4-0 win at Werder Bremen.

Bayern was playing without a handful of first-team regulars, including Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, who were out through injury, while goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was rested.

But Pep Guardiola's men didn't skip a beat as Thomas Muller and David Alaba both scored in the opening 45 minutes before Lewandowski's second-half brace killed the match off.

Bayern moves 14 points clear of second-place Wolfsburg, which hosts Freiburg on Sunday.

Muller struck midway through the first half for Bayern as he got in behind the Bremen defense and had his first shot saved by goalkeeper Raphael Wolf, but scored on the rebound.

Alaba then netted his second league goal of the season just before the break when he curled home a free kick from 20 yards.

Bremen came close to pulling a goal back with a wonderful effort from Fin Bartels, who nearly caught Bayern goalkeeper Pepe Reina off his line with a shot from near midfield, only for Reina to recover and manage to tip the ball over the crossbar.

The hosts created a few more chances in an effort to get back into the game, but Lewandowski snuffed out any hope for Bremen in the last 15 minutes.

He scored his first goal in the 76th by nodding home a cross from Muller, and the two combined once again in the 90th with the Poland international finishing off a nice exchange.

Schalke remains outside the top four after being held to a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin that saw the visitors get a goal in the 90th minute from Joel Matip to salvage a point.

Eintracht improved its European hopes by scoring three goals in the first half of a 4-0 victory over Paderborn, Mainz topped Augsburg, 2-0, with goals from Shinji Okazaki and Ja-Cheol Koo, Eugen Polanski scored a goal in each half as Hoffenheim topped 10-man Hamburg, 3-0, and Borussia Dortmund had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Cologne.