James Rodriguez takes Munich to top


Sports, Football

Lewandowski dispatched the penalty for his sixth goal in five games.

James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich at the Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo: AP)

Berlin: James Rodriguez scored his first Bundesliga goal on Tuesday to help Bayern Munich go on top the table for the first time this season following a 3-0 win at Schalke.

The Colombian was involved in all three goals after winning the penalty which Robert Lewandowski converted for the opening goal before his deft chip saw Arturo Vidal fire home.

After five games, the victory in Gelsenkirchen put defending champions Bayern top for the first time this season, but Borussia Dortmund can regain the lead if they win at Hamburg on Wednesday.

The away win was a boost for Bayern who confirmed Tuesday that goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer had undergone another operation on his left foot and is out until January.

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti rotated the squad with James on the right wing as one of six changes from the side which beat Mainz 4-0 on Saturday.

James won a penalty on 23 minutes when the video assistant referee confirmed his cross had been knocked away by the hand of Schalke defender Naldo.

Lewandowski dispatched the penalty for his sixth goal in five games.

James, who signed a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid in July, then fired home on 29 minutes when Corentin Tolisso’s pass found him with acres of space in the area.

It was a sublime chip over the Schalke defence from James which was then drilled home by Vidal on 75 minutes.

The win left Bayern two points clear at the summit while Augsburg are up to third, with 10 points.