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Records tumbling

In-form FCB stretch winning run

FC Bayern have continued their winning streak, beaten their own record for the best start to a season and consolidated their place at the top of the table. The Reds are traditionally strong during the famous Oktoberfest, and this season is no exception as Pep Guardiola’s men masterfully pile up win after win. The 3-0 victory over Mainz on Saturday was the seventh win for the German record champions in this season’s Bundesliga campaign. Philipp Lahm and Co are now on 21 points with a goal difference of +20, beating their own best-ever record after seven matches dating back to the 2012/13 treble-winning  season (21/+19).

“It’s nice to have won all our matches and lead the standings by a few points now,” Philipp Lahm commented, satisfied with the Mainz trip. The men from Munich are unbeaten in their last 17 matches during the Oktoberfest. With a win over second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena next Sunday they could match their own starting record of eight wins in a row, also set in 2012/13.

Müller misses penalty

In front of the 34,000 capacity crowd at the Coface Arena it took the Bavarians the whole of the first half to hit their stride, just as in most of their recent games. “We didn’t do badly, but our opponents ran a lot in the first half,” Lahm acknowledged later. “It’s often harder in the first half because your opponents still have the energy to close gaps,” added Thomas Müller, “Mainz made it difficult for us, and that’s what we expected.”

The Germany international had the best scoring chance for the Reds before the break, but missed a 21st-minute penalty earned by Kingsley Coman. “If you shoot the ball into the stands you can’t score a penalty,” the usually reliable penalty taker commented with a hint of irony after the final whistle.

Second-half strength

After the sides changed ends, it was again Robert Lewandowski who set Munich on the road to victory. Four days after bagging five goals against VfL Wolfsburg, the Pole struck a brace in Mainz in the 51st and 63rd minutes, before Coman crowned a commendable performance with his second of the season and his team’s third on 68 minutes. “We scored the goals at the right time and comfortably saw it through to the end after that,” opined Müller.

“We saw that Mainz were getting tired as the second half wore on. It meant we had more space, and we have the quality to make the most of it,” commented Lahm. Müller expanded on that analysis: “Due to our good passing game, it’s not possible to close us down for the full 90 minutes just by running hard.” The stats prove the theory: FCB have scored an outstanding  19 goals and conceded none after half-time this season, whereas their first-half goal difference is a far more modest four scored and three conceded.

“We played very well for 85 minutes. I’m very, very pleased today, because I know how hard it is to win in Mainz,” Pep Guardiola commented after the final whistle. His team face their next challenge just three days from now when Dinamo Zagreb visit the Allianz Arena in the Champions League. “We’re in great shape. Unfortunately, that in no way guarantees victories on Tuesday and then next Sunday. For that, we have to keep working hard,” Müller declared.

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