FC Bayern beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 on Saturday afternoon, cutting the gap to the top spot to one point and handing coach Hansi Flick the third victory in his third match in charge. Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, and Serge Gnabry handed Bayern a comfortable half-time lead, Philippe Coutinho rounding off the scoreline midway through the second half.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Pavard, Javi Martínez, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies in a back four. Joshua Kimmich filled the holding role behind Tolisso and Thomas Müller, with Gnabry and Coutinho out wide and striker Robert Lewandowski upfront. Ivan Perišić, Thiago and Leon Goretzka took over from Gnabry, Tolisso, and Kimmich in the second half.
Three up at half-time
The 51,155 full house in Düsseldorf saw Bayern go straight onto the front foot, Lewandowski seeing a shot blocked. A Müller effort was deflected for a corner, but Pavard soon opened the scoring when he deflected a Kimmich effort from the edge of the box. Müller shone with a back-heel into the path of Lewandowski, who fired just wide from a tight angle.
Bayern doubled the advantage when Müller intercepted a clearance, Gnabry's cross inviting Tolisso to fire home. Lewandowski sidestepped three opponents before spreading the ball across goal with the outside of his boot, Gnabry hitting the post. The latter soon atoned for his miss, capitalizing on a mix-up in Fortuna's box, smashing home from close range.
Bayern eased off after half-time, with Fortuna looking for a reply. Neuer proved equal to a Dawid Kownacki effort before Oliver Fink miscued from 20 yards. Lewandowski drew a save from Fortuna netminder Zackary Steffen, but Coutinho made it four when he tapped in a Lewandowski square.
The hosts had the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman's flag was raised for offside. Fortuna's Matthias Zimmermann and Rouwen Hennings fired wide from distance, but chances proved few and far between in the closing stages, match official Frank Willenborg blowing for full-time.
The result means Bayern have 24 points from 12 matches, one point short of leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach, who lost 2-0 to Union Berlin. The Bavarians will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League before entertaining Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga next Saturday.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Steffen - Zimmermann, Ayhan, Adams, Gießelmann - Bodzek, Morales - Thommy (Zimmer 87), Fink (Suttner 65), Kownacki (Sobottka 79) - Hennings
Bormut, Baker, Tekpetey, Ampomah, Hoffmann, Kastenmeier
Neuer - Pavard, Martínez, Alaba, Davies - Kimmich (Goretzka 76) - Tolisso (Thiago 71), Müller - Gnabry (Perišić 63), Lewandowski, Coutinho
Ulreich – Cuisance, Mai, Coman
Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)
0-1 Pavard (11), 0-2 Tolisso (27), 0-3 Gnabry (34), 0-4 Coutinho (70)
Hennings / Martínez