The footballing family had wondered how Bayern would react after the bitter Champions League exit against Liverpool. The German record champions gave the most emphatic of answers, downing Mainz 6-0 to retain their lead in the Bundesliga. Robert Lewandowski handed Bayern an early lead, James and Kingsley Coman rounding off a comfortable three-goal lead before half-time. James netted twice after the restart to bag a hat-trick, Alphonso Davies adding his name to the scoresheet after coming on in the second half. Bayern won their seventh Bundesliga home match in a row and set a record along the way. It was the first time they scored five or more goals in three consecutive league matches.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba at the back. Thiago and Leon Goretzka anchored a midfield featuring Thomas Müller, James and Kingsley Coman, with target man Lewandowski up front. Davies, Franck Ribéry and Rafinha took over from Alaba, Coman and James midway through the second half.
Three up at half-time
Once referee Frank Willenborg had set events in motion, the Reds went onto the front foot and drew first blood after only two minutes. Lewandowski connected with an Alaba cross and impressively slotted home with his first touch. The Poland captain, who made a proper nuisance of himself throughout, almost netted a second but Mainz netminder Florian Müller denied him this time. Coman hit the post from a tight angle, James drawing a save from Müller. The Reds eased off the throttle after 20 minutes, with Mainz looking for an equaliser.
Öztunali fired wide before Neuer beat Boetius to the ball, Mateta seeing an effort blocked. Bayern turned the screw now, and Goretzka finely chested down the ball to invite the onrushing James to crash home. Coman added a third before half-time, curling past Müller from 20 yards to crown a solo run.
James stands out, maiden goal for Davies
Proceedings were similar after the restart. James banished any last lingering doubts with an Arjen Robben style finish, cutting inside from the right and blasting into the far corner of the net. The Colombian made things awkward for the sorry visitors when he lifted past the onrushing Müller to round off a hat-trick. But if James stood out, it was not because the others did not stand tall.
Goretzka teed up Lewandowski, who saw his effort parried, but Davies was on hand to mop up, scoring his maiden goal for Bayern. The Reds increasingly engaged cruise control now but were always dominant, and Willenborg put the visitors out of their misery.
The result takes Bayern onto 60 points from 26 matches, equal on points with Dortmund, who beat Hertha 3-2 on Saturday. A large number of Bayern pros will be away on national team duty before the Reds return to action on 30 March, when they travel to face Freiburg.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Alaba (Davies 59) – Thiago, Goretzka – Müller, James (Rafinha 73), Coman (Ribéry 66) – Lewandowski
Ulreich – Hummels, Mai, Sanches
FSV Mainz 05
Müller – Brosinski, Bell, Niakhaté, Hack, Onisowo – Gbamin, Latza – Öztunali (Donati 75), Boetius (Kunde 46) – Mateta (Aarón 63)
Zentner – Maxim, Quaison, Ujah
Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)
1-0 Lewandowski (3), 2-0 James (33), 3-0 Coman (39), 4-0 James (51), 5-0 James (55), 6-0 Davies (70)
Süle / -