Union triumph in derby to leave Hertha 2nd-bottom, Bayern win

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Union triumph in derby to leave Hertha 2nd-bottom, Bayern win

Hertha Berlin are stuck in the Bundesliga's automatic relegation places after being outwitted 4-1 by visitors Union Berlin in the city derby on Saturday.

Grischa Prömel scored the key goal for 2-1 as seventh-placed Union racked up a third win over their rivals this term.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich earlier needed a Robert Lewandowski penalty eights minutes from time to seal a 1-0 home win over Augsburg on and move closer to their 10th straight title.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund had won 2-0 at struggling Stuttgart on Friday and Bayern's fortunate win means the gap is nine points with just five games left this term.

Wolfsburg overran third-bottom Arminia Bielefeld 4-0 thanks in part to two Lukas Nmecha goals, Cologne came back from 2-0 down to beat Mainz 3-2 and bottom side Greuther Fürth lost 2-0 at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

At a packed and lively Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Felix Magath was taking charge of his first Hertha home game after a coronavirus infection kept him out of the 3-0 win over Hoffenheim in March.

His side had lost 2-1 at Bayer Leverkusen last weekend and made a bad start against Union, goalkeeper Marcel Lotka forced into some superb first-half saves.

Stevan Jovetic had to be substituted on 20 minutes to compound Hertha's woes before Genki Haraguchi's diving header gave Europa League-chasing Union a deserved lead on the half hour.

Union's Timo Baumgartl turned a cross into his own net early in the second half before Prömel headed in and the excellent Sheraldo Becker netted on the counter-attack.

Sven Michel added the late gloss and at the end Hertha fans threw plastic objects in the direction of their own team, while demanding the players removed their jerseys.

"We pushed but it just wasn't enough," Hertha's Lotka told Sky as they remained level with Bielefeld, who occupy the relegation play-off spot on goal difference.

"It is getting tighter and tighter and we are running out of games."

Bayern were beaten 1-0 at Villarreal in midweek in their Champions League quarter-final first leg and they again looked off the pace against fellow Bavarians Augsburg.

Perhaps with minds on the Villarreal return leg on Tuesday, Bayern failed to create a meaningful chance in the opening period.

Inspiration was sorely lacking so Jamal Musiala was thrown on at the break for Serge Gnabry.

Almost immediately Lewandowski went close with a header but his fellow Pole Rafał Gikiewicz was in fine form in the Augsburg goal, also keeping out a drive from Joshua Kimmich, who later hit the bar.

Bayern were then somewhat lucky after the referee reviewed the video monitor and decided Reece Oxford was guilty of handball. Lewandowski sent his compatriot the wrong way for his 32nd goal of the league season.

"We deserved to win in the end and at this stage of the season you don’t have to really shine, you just have to win," said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Bayern are almost there even if they still need to face Dortmund in Munich on April 23.

Sunday's action focuses on the race for the Champions League places with third-placed Leverkusen going to Bochum, RB Leipzig in fourth hosting Hoffenheim and fifth-placed Freiburg at Eintracht Frankfurt.

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