BREMEN, Germany (Reuters) - Bayern Munich cruised to a 3-1 victory at Werder Bremen on Saturday with striker Robert Lewandowski climbing to second place in the Bundesliga's all-time scorers list as the champions opened up a five-point lead at the top.
The 32-year-old Lewandowski, the 2020 FIFA World Player, twice hit the woodwork early in the second half before tapping in for to make it 3-0 and join Klaus Fischer on 268 Bundesliga goals, second on the all-time scorers list only to Gerd Mueller and his astonishing 365-goal record.
Lewandowski needed 345 matches to reach that mark compared to Fischer's 535 league games.
The Bavarians, who welcome Lazio for their Champions League last 16 second leg on Wednesday, were never troubled by the hosts, and Leon Goretzka headed them into the lead in the 22nd minute.
Thomas Mueller then delivered his second assist of the day and his 13th of the season in the 35th for Serge Gnabry to slot in.
"We were a bit fresher after the first 10 minutes," said Mueller, whose good form could see result in a return for the German national team after more than two years.
"In the second half we not only controlled the game but created a lot of chances. I think we should have scored several more goals. We also hit the woodwork so the win is absolutely deserved.
"Lewy (Lewandowski) knows his status in the team. He fights in every game for his goals for the team."
Lewandowski, who has also played for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, was determined to join the score sheet after the break. But in the 54th minute he headed onto the post and four minutes later fired onto the crossbar.
Twice more Werder keeper Jiri Pavlenka denied him with superb saves.
But a lucky bounce in the 67th allowed the Poland forward to tap in from close range and take his league tally this season to 32 goals, one step closer to Gerd Mueller's league record of 40 goals in a season dating back to the 1971-72 campaign.
Lewandowski hit the post a third time in the 78th minute and Niclas Fuellkrug scored a late goal for the hosts as Bayern moved up to 58 points, with second-placed RB Leipzig, on 53, in action against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
VfL Wolfsburg climbed to third spot on 48 points with a 5-0 demolition of basement club Schalke 04.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Christian Radnedge)