FC Bayern beat FC Köln 5-1 on Saturday, marking the club's 121st birthday in style. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Robert Lewandowski handed Bayern a two-goal lead in the first half. Ellyes Skhiri pulled one back after the restart, but Lewandowski all but closed out the meeting before a brace by sub Serge Gnabry added gloss to the scoreline.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies in a back four. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka anchored a midfield featuring Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala and Choupo-Moting, with Lewandowski up front. Thomas Müller, Gnabry, Lucas Hernández, Javi Martínez and Tiago Dantas came on for Musiala, Choupo-Moting, Davies, Kimmich and Sané in the second half.
The first quarter-hour was an evenly-matched affair, the bold visitors pressing high up the field, but there were no openings worthy of the name. Bayern asserted their authority now, a Süle belter that went wide giving notice of their approach, and took the lead when Goretzka's fine pass invited Choupo-Moting to head past keeper Timo Horn.
The goal had an effect, with Munich firmly on the front foot against the increasingly defensive visitors. Musiala and Lewandowski miscued headers, but Bayern twisted the knife when a Lewandowski back-heel found Goretzka, who nutmegged an opponent before setting up the world's best player, who slotted home from 12 yards. Sané's cross-cum-shot floated wide, and the sides turned round with FCB two goals to the good.
On tenterhooks for 15 minutes
Bayern strangely eased off after the interval, Skhiri soon capitalising on a misunderstanding between Alaba and Boateng and beating Neuer. Köln were buoyed by their goal but big chances proved few and far between for a spell. Bayern restored their two-goal lead when sub Müller set up Lewandowski with his first touch on Saturday, the striker firing past Horn.
A scare came when Dominick Drexler nicked the ball off Neuer's toes but hit the post. Goretzka drew a strong save from Horn but Bayern extended their lead when Hernández' low cross evaded Lewandowski, but sub Gnabry was on hand to slot home. Gnabry rounded off his brace when a Goretzka cross found him at the far post. His headed goal also meant a hat-trick of assists for Goretzka. Max Meyer tested Neuer, and match official Martin Petersen blew for full-time.
The result takes Bayern onto 52 points from 23 matches, five clear of Leipzig, who take on Gladbach later today. The Bavarians will be back in action next Saturday, when they entertain Borussia Dortmund.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Neuer – Süle, Boateng, Alaba, Davies (Hernández 72) – Kimmich (Martínez 87), Goretzka – Sané (Dantas 87), Musiala (Müller 64), Choupo-Moting (Gnabry 64) – Lewandowski
Hoffmann – Sarr, Roca, Coman
T. Horn – Čestić, Jorge Meré, Czichos (J. Horn 46) – Wolf, Özcan, Skhiri, Rexhbecaj (Drexler 71), Jakobs (Katterbach 84) – Duda (Meyer 71), Dennis (Thielemann 46)
Zieler - Schmitz, Limnios, Ehizibue
Martin Petersen (Stuttgart)
1-0 Choupo-Moting (18), 2-0 Lewandowski (33), 2-1 Skhiri (49), 3-1 Lewandowski (65), 4-1 Gnabry (82), 5-1 Gnabry (86)
Alaba, Sané / Czichos