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Ninth straight home win

Reds breeze past outclassed Stuttgart

Free-scoring Bayern maintained their perfect home record this season and consolidated their hold on top spot in the Bundesliga with a comprehensive 4-0 demolition of South German rivals VfB Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon, the Reds’ seventh consecutive league success at the Allianz Arena and their ninth straight home win in all competitions this term.

The 75,000 capacity crowd saw Pep Guardiola’s men tear into their opponents from the off and take an early two-goal lead through Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa. Prolific duo Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller sent the rampant Reds four clear before half-time, although one of the biggest cheers of the day was reserved for sub Holger Badstuber on his comeback from a lengthy injury lay-off.

The result means Bayern hold an eight-point lead at the top of the standings overnight as the champions are up to 34 of a possible 36 points, with Dortmund second on 26 prior to Sunday’s Ruhr derby. The domestic league now takes a two-week break for internationals, with the Bavarians returning to action in the challenging away trip to Schalke on Saturday 21 November.

Four changes for Pep

Guardiola made four changes to the team that turned on the style in the 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal in midweek, with Joshua Kimmich, Rafinha, Robben and Arturo Vidal returning to the starting line-up in place of Philipp Lahm, Javi Martinez, Thiago and Xabi Alonso. The rested quartet took seats on the bench where they were again joined by Badstuber and Mehdi Benatia.

The league leaders began with captain for the day Manuel Neuer in goal behind a nominal back three of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Rafinha, with Vidal and Kimmich in central midfield, and a hugely potent front five of Costa, Kingsley Coman, Robben, Müller and Lewandowski.

Exhilarating first 45 minutes

After referee Bastian Dankert whistled the match underway on a fine autumn afternoon in Munich, the home team set up camp in the Stuttgart half and peppered the away goal with shots, VfB keeper Przemyslaw Tyton saving well from Vidal and Lewandowski putting a header over the bar.

The opener duly arrived in the tenth minute but actually came from a Bayern counter-attack following a Stuttgart corner: Rafinha set up the charge as six red shirts bore down on the one white jersey of Serey Dié, with Robben expertly chesting Costa’s centre past Tyton to finish off the move.

The VfB keeper saved from Lewandowski and Müller as the men in red scented blood, but the visiting defence was ripped to shreds again after 18 minutes when Müller broke down the right and provided the assist for Costa to make it two with a low left-footed drive.

Bayern kept up the pressure with Vidal and Robben seeing shots blocked and Tyton making another great stop from Lewandowski’s superb effort, but there was a stroke of luck for the Reds on 34 minutes when Filip Kostic crashed VfB’s first chance against Neuer’s crossbar and away to safety.

The action switched to the other end with Tyton denying Robben and Costa seeing his follow-up blocked, before Lewandowski made it three in the 37th minute with a tap-in after an exquisite exchange of passes between Müller and Robben.

Still the med in red were not done for the first half and it was 4-0 only three minutes later when Tyton spilled Coman’s drive, Vidal’s follow-up header came off the bar and Müller stooped to nod the ball over the line.

FCB stroll to victory

Benatia came on for Boateng at the start of the second half, but it was VfB who showed first with Timo Werner netting only for provider Daniel Didavi to be somewhat controversially flagged offside. The crowd rose on the hour to acclaim Badstuber’s long-awaited return to competitive action, with Robben guiding a delicate lob just wide of the target and Tyton yet again performing heroics to deny the Dutchman and Kimmich in short order.

Stuttgart certainly had every reason to thank their Polish shot-stopper for keeping the score down as Tyton bravely dived at the feet of his fellow-countryman Lewandowski, although Neuer had also been called on to save from VfB sub Philip Heise, before Guardiola sent on Thiago in place of Costa for the last 20 minutes.

Both Robben and Lewandowski came within inches of making it five, but Bayern were content to let the pace drop towards thew end before Mr Dankert blew for time on a fully deserved and clear-cut victory for Guardiola’s team.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley