Thomas Muller’s ninth goal in as many Bundesliga games this season extended Bayern Munich’s perfect start with a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The in-form Germany forward made it nine wins from nine league games for the champions with a close-range finish midway through the first half at the Weserstadion, moving them seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.
Muller broke the deadlock after a chipped through ball from Thiago Alcantara, the 26-year-old converting at the second attempt to register Bayern’s 100th goal of the calendar year.
Bayern failed to add to their lead, as Muller and Robert Lewandowski both wasted efforts before Manuel Neuer was needed to keep Pep Guardiola’s side ahead.
Neuer got down well to deny Anthony Ujah just after the hour when the Bremen striker had been gifted a free shot on goal as Rafinha failed to clear.
That was the wake-up call Bayern needed and although they could not find a second goal, they held on for a 12th straight win in all competitions.
Bayern quickly settled into their rhythm and could have gone ahead twice in the opening six minutes but Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal both wasted promising positions with wayward strikes.
Attacks from the home side were few and far between as Bayern dominated possession, but a rare break forward after 13 minutes presented an opening to Melvyn Lorenzen, only for the forward to shoot weakly.
Guardiola’s side soon regained control and should have opened the scoring midway through the half as Muller found Lewandowski unmarked at the back post, but somehow the prolific Poland striker headed wide from six yards.
But Lewandowski’s blushes were spared 60 seconds later as the impressive Thiago found Muller inside the penalty area. Muller’s attempt at a first-time finish saw the ball get stuck under his boot before he quickly adjusted his feet to poke past Felix Wiedwald.
Five minutes after the restart Muller had the chance to double his tally as Juan Bernat delivered a teasing ball from the left. Muller timed his run perfectly only to see his volley fly agonisingly wide.
Despite their control, Bayern were far from their rampant best and it was not until just before the hour that the next opportunity arrived, Philipp Lahm floating a pass into Lewandowski but his backheel lacked power.
And their wastefulness was nearly punished after 67 minutes as Rafinha failed to clear a long ball, which fell at the feet of Ujah only for Neuer came to Bayern’s rescue with a crucial save.
Buoyed by that opening Bremen finished the game strongly with a flurry of attacks, but they lacked quality in the final third and Bayern were left to celebrate yet another win.