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Bayern 3 Mainz 1

Bayern maintain perfect start with merited win

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Both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were missing, but Bayern still fashioned a victory over Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday and warmed up well for the midweek Champions League meeting with Spanish giants Valencia. Jupp Heynckes’ men looked sharp and dangerous for long spells as the Reds set off into a sequence of seven games in 22 days by maintaining their perfect start to the domestic campaign.

The 71,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Mario Mandzukic put the home side in front with the opening goal after just 101 seconds, before Bastian Schweinsteiger doubled the score a shade over ten minutes later. The men in red, possibly mindful of the European clash just a few days from now, eased back almost immediately and effortlessly protected the lead through to the break.

The visitors had hardly had a kick but perked up after the break and pulled one back just short of the hour through an Adam Szalai penalty. The game livened up considerably, but both Mandzukic and Thomas Müller saw shots come back off the goal frame, before Toni Kroos volleyed home the last kick of the match from a Javi Martinez cross to round off the afternoon in style.

A third win in three Bundesliga fixtures cements Bayern’s place at the top of the early standings on nine points, ahead of a clutch of clubs two points further back. The win is a boost at the start of the typically packed early autumn period, and ahead of two very challenging appointments, the opening Champions League fixture in Munich on Wednesday, and the always tricky trip to Gelsenkirchen giants Schalke next Saturday.