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'Laying down a marker'

FCB with 'perfect response' to top table during international break

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Just four days after their Champions League elimination to Liverpool, FC Bayern proved with a 6-0 win over Mainz that they have put the shock of their European exit behind them and are fully focussed on the club’s two remaining competitions, the Bundesliga and DFB Cup. “We all showed a really good reaction, and that’s what I expect,” FCB head coach Niko Kovac declared after the match.

The record champions left 13th-placed Mainz in little doubt who would win at the Allianz Arena when Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring inside three minutes. “I’m happy with how we started the game. We were absolutely dominant from the get-go today,” said Thomas Müller. The visitors put up resistance following that early setback, but the record champions ended that shortly before half-time.

Dominated the opponent from the first whistle

Kingsley Coman and James both struck prior to the break before the Colombian hit the back of the net two more times in an undisputed Man of the Match performance. “I’m not just pleased with the result but also the way we played football,” praised Kovac. Everything went Bayern’s way on Sunday evening, so much so in fact that substitute Alphonso Davies even registered his first FCB goal to wrap up the 6-0 win. “It’s great for such a young player,” Kovac enthused.

Bayern’s last three league results have seen a 5-1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach and back-to-back 6-0 victories at home to Wolfsburg and Mainz. It’s a run of fixtures Müller described as a “marker” as the Munich club have reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga and sent out a message by stretching their advantage over Borussia Dortmund to seven goals.

Gather strength for final straight

“We’re ahead now thanks to our superior goal difference, but that doesn’t mean a lot,” Kovac said in warning. The 47-year-old is expecting “a tight race until the end”, but is confident his side won't “let it slip” on the back of their recent results. The latest comfortable win over Mainz was also an indicator that the record champions are not short of confidence despite the early Champions League exit. “We got straight to the point with our performance and it was the perfect response,” explained Leon Goretzka.

After a busy few weeks, the FCB players now have a bit of time to switch off. Sitting top of the table, the record champions can “head into the international break feeling assured and hoping everyone comes back fit and healthy,” according to Kovac. While the club’s international players can focus their attentions on their national teams, the rest of the squad will have a public training session on Tuesday afternoon at Säbener Straße. They will all reunite again in under two weeks and “gather their strength for the final straight,” Kovac declared.

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