BERLIN, Feb 10 : Bayern Munich reduced the arrears to front runners Borussia Dortmund after cursing 3-1 past uninspired Schalke at the 21st round in Bundesliga on Saturday.
Runner up Bayern capitalized on Dortmund's draw and closed the gap to the leaders as an own goal from Jeffrey Bruma and goals from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry were enough to down Schalke.
The "Bavarians" assumed control from the kick off and needed only 11 minutes to open the scoring as Jeffrey Bruma cleared the ball into the wrong goal to give the German record champions the lead.
Schalke staged a passive performance yet they were able to level the scores out of the blue as youngster Ahmed Kutucu finished off a counter attack to make it 1-1 with 25 minutes played.
Bayern remained unimpressed and responded straight away through Robert Lewandowski, who made use of James Rodriguez' square pass to beat Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in the 27th minute.
The hosts' quick response was a wakening call for Schalke, who worked out two opportunities before the break as Weston McKennie's header was scratched off the goal line and Jewhen Konopljanka's shot on target forced Bayern custodian Sven Ulreich into action.
After the restart, Bayern took the reins again but still Schalke were able to produce clear-cut chances as McKennie rattled the left post from very close range before Bruma's dangerous header was tipped to the right post.
However, Bayern staged a clinical chance conversion and responded with the 3-1 lead to smooth the way for the victory as Serge Gnabry headed home Robert Lewandowski's overhead kick in the 57th minute.
The visitors should have added another goal to their lead but Lewandowski missed the open goal from inside the box following the build-up work from James Rodriguez in the 75th minute.
With the victory, second placed Bayern closed the gap to five points to Bundesliga leaders Dortmund whereas Schalke slumped to the 13th position in the standings.
The following fixtures conclude the 21st round in Bundesliga on Sunday: Werder Bremen encounter Augsburg and newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf clash with Stuttgart.(Xinhua)