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Bayern 4 Schalke 1

Emphatic win sends rampant Reds up to third

On-fire Bayern took a giant stride towards a Champions League qualifying spot on Saturday, as Andries Jonker’s men brushed aside toothless Schalke and recovered third spot in the table with a performance full of pace, power and passion.

The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw a whirlwind start, with the sides trading early goals through Arjen Robben and a Holger Badstuber own goal, before Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez confirmed FCB’s utter superiority before the break against a Schalke side seemingly preoccupied with other matters, principally their visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The frenetic pace dropped a shade in the second half, but the home side never loosened their grip on the ineffectual visitors, with only Manuel Neuer standing between Munich and a bigger margin of victory at times, although even he was powerless to prevent Müller adding a fourth before the end.

The emphatic win means the champions again reclaim third place in the Bundesliga on 59 points from 32 matches, now two ahead of Hannover after the Lower Saxony side’s defeat at home to Gladbach, and five behind second-placed Leverkusen. The Bavarians will now seek to defend the Champions League qualifying berth in a tricky trip to relegation-haunted St Pauli next Saturday afternoon.