Gnabry nets twice as Bayern Munich regain top spot

Serge Gnabry (C) scored two goals in Bayern Munich's 4-1 win at Cologne which left the defending champions a point clear at the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday. (AFP / INA FASSBENDER)
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BERLIN (AFP) – Germany winger Serge Gnabry netted twice as Bayern Munich swept back to the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday with a 4-1 away win at Cologne.

After RB Leipzig had claimed top spot in Germany’s top flight for 24 hours with a 3-0 home win against Werder Bremen on Saturday, Bayern wasted no time in regaining first place in Cologne.

Bayern have won seven of their last eight league games, which includes last Sunday’s goalless draw with Leipzig.

Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman netted for Bayern to add to Gnabry’s brace while Mark Uth, on loan from Schalke, scored Cologne’s consolation goal.

Bayern were 3-0 up after 12 minutes as they blitzed the Cologne defence.

The Bundesliga’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski claimed his 23rd league goal with clinical finishing after Thomas Mueller’s pass put him in behind the defence on three minutes.

Lewandowski then moved the ball in the box to Mueller, whose pass found Coman to beat Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn, making it 2-0 after only five minutes.

It was Mueller’s 14th assist this season, leaving him second only to Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, on 16, for chances created in Europe’s top five leagues.

Gnabry then made it 3-0 when his shot gave Horn no chance on it’s way into the bottom corner to leave the home crowd stunned.

With 15 minutes gone, Horn was the only Cologne player in double figures for touches of the ball – three of his 10 were picking the ball out of his net.

Gnabry then fired wide, midfielder Joshua Kimmich hit the post and Mueller went close as Bayern kept up the pressure as it stayed 3-0 at half-time.

However, Cologne went for broke in the second-half.

Home striker Jhon Cordoba could have claimed a hat-trick in what could easily have been a 4-4 draw.

The Colombian forward had the ball in Bayern’s net on 47 minutes, but the VAR ruled the effort offside.

Cordoba again beat Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on 55 minutes, but the offside flag went up.

Gnabry grabbed his second goal – his 12th for Bayern this season – with a stunning effort.

The former Arsenal winger beat three defenders and curled his shot into the top corner on 66 minutes with a superb finish.

Uth pulled a goal back for Cologne on 70 minutes as the hosts finished strong.

Cordoba slammed his fist into the turf in frustration after holding off defender David Alaba only for Neuer to save his shot in 78 minutes.

Burly French striker Anthony Modeste replaced Cordoba, but he squandered two late chances as Cologne kept hammering away at the Bayern defence.

The result leaves Bayern a point ahead of second-placed Leipzig, while Dortmund, who thrashed Frankfurt 4-0 on Friday, sit third and four points back.