Created on 23-09-2014 at 21:48 PM
Bayern are top of the Bundesliga for the first time this season after a comprehensive 4-0 victory over SC Paderborn on Tuesday evening. The minnows led the league going into the fixture but were outclassed at times by the slick and effective home side, who were again superbly marshalled by the outstanding Xabi Alonso.
The 71,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Pep Guardiola’s men explode off the blocks and take a two-goal lead in the first 15 minutes through Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski. If there was to be a criticism it was that the home side failed to turn their first-half superiority into more goals, but after a quieter spell in the second half, Götze made absolutely sure of the points with a 78th-minute third before Thomas Müller rounded off the scoring five minutes from time.
The emphatic win means the champions are up to 11 points after five games and lead the standings for the first time this term. The next two fixtures in the packed autumn schedule see the double winners visit FC Köln next Saturday, before the long Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday 30 September.
Guardiola made a total of five changes to the side held to a goalless draw at the weekend by Hamburg, fielding arguably his best-available line-up at the present time. Sebastian Rode, Alonso, fit-again Arjen Robben, Götze and Lewandowski took over from Juan Bernat, Rafinha, Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg, Xherdan Shaqiri and Claudio Pizarro.
It meant the Bavarians lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, Rode, Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba in a traditional back four, Alonso as the defensive pivot, Philipp Lahm, Götze, Müller and Robben in midfield, and Lewandowski at centre-forward.
SCP keeper Lukas Kruse had gone more than four hours without conceding a league goal, but he was picking the ball from the back of his net twice in the first quarter of an hour after referee Sascha Stegemann whistled his second top flight match underway. The first goal came on eight minutes and was initiated by Robben cleverly finding Müller in the box. The striker neatly back-heeled into the path of the unmarked Götze, who had time to pick his spot and open the scoring.
Lewandowski and Götze had already tested Kruse before FCB doubled their lead in the 14th minute when Polish hitman Lewa took a touch to control Lahm’s pass and crash a swerver into the far corner. The Reds threatnened to run riot for a spell now but Lewandowski saw two shots blocked and Kruse saved from Alaba.
The visitors’ were clearly rattled but created a great chance on 24 minutes when Idir Ouali burst past the last FCB defender, but the French-Algerian schemer scuffed his shot with only Neuer to beat. However, it was panic stations in the SCP defence whenever FCB attacked with intent and Götze sent a bouncing shot inches wide, Robben aimed two trademark drives just past the post, Götze shaved the upright off his right boot, and Lewandowski narrowly missed out as the champions finished the first half on the front foot.
Ultimately comfortable victory
Rafinha replaced Boateng for the second half but FCB remained on the attack, with Alaba, Götze and Robben combining well to set up Lewandowski only for the Pole to lose his footing. The home team eased back a shade for a while, allowing SCP sub Süleyman Koc and Elias Kachunga to fashion half-chances.
That persuaded the Reds to up the pace again on the hour with Robben, Lahm, Müller and Lewandowski fashioning an opening for Götze, but Neuer had to make a good save after 70 minutes when the lively Koc arrowed a shot towards the near post, and the keeper saved the same player’s chip into the danger zone only at the second attempt.
Lahm dragged a shot wide of the far stick before Juan Bernat replaced Lewandowski for the last 15 minutes, with Müller moving to central striker. Robben was a persistent threat now and set up the third and decisive goal after 78 minutes: although Kruse saved Müller’s close-range effort from Robben’s cut-back, Götze was on hand to smack home the rebound and wrap up the points. Hojbjerg now replaced Alonso, before Müller added his name to the scoresheet with a new-post flick past Kruse from another fine Robben centre. The keeper saved Bayern’s 23rd shot at goal, delivered by Müller, and tipped away a Robben floater before the end of an ultimately emphatic win.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley