Bayern Munich put further pressure on Borussia Dortmund ahead of their tricky clash with Mainz by opening up an eight-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga with a 5-0 win over strugglers Werder Bremen.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into Saturday’s encounter at the Allianz Arena having preserved a five-point lead over Dortmund with a 0-0 draw at Signal Iduna Park last time out.
And they had little trouble in swatting aside a Bremen team minus the services of the suspended Zlatko Junozovic and Clemens Fritz, who both received fines for deliberate bookings against Hannover last weekend.
France winger Kingsley Coman had a hand in Bayern’s opening two goals, setting up the impressive Thiago Alcantara for the first just nine minutes into proceedings in Bavaria.
Juventus loanee Coman then teed up Thomas Muller to double the lead in the 31st minute as Bremen struggled to cope with Bayern going forward.
Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald helped keep the score respectable for a time but could do nothing to prevent Muller volleying in for 3-0 in the 65th minute, before Robert Lewandowski and Thiago added late gloss to the scoreline.
Bayern started brightly and, after Coman and Jannik Vestergaard traded chances at either end, Thiago struck to break the deadlock.
The former Barcelona playmaker met a superb right-wing cross from Coman with a low, close-range finish.
Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze both went close as Bayern continued to pile on the pressure, with the second arriving just after the half-hour mark.
Again it was Coman with the assist as he surged down the right, beating Santiago Garcia for pace before his delivery was turned in by Muller, whose volley proved too hot for Wiedwald to handle despite the Bremen goalkeeper getting two hands on the shot.
Wiedwald was called upon again late in the first half to keep out Thiago’s deflected strike as Bayern finished the first 45 minutes well on top.
The onslaught continued shortly after the restart – Thiago thundered a volley against the crossbar and Gotze was thwarted by Wiedwald after combining superbly with Philipp Lahm.
Sebastian Rode then curled narrowly over the crossbar, but the third arrived soon after as Wiedwald could only parry a fierce Ribery strike, with Muller there to lash in the rebound.
Lewandowski pounced on a defensive error four minutes from time and, after David Alaba struck the post from range, Thiago tapped in a fifth as attention turns to Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel’s reunion with Mainz on Sunday.
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