Thomas Muller starred on a milestone appearance and Robert Lewandowski broke a long-standing Gerd Muller record as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich cruised to a 4-0 victory over Wolfsburg on Friday.
Muller marked his 400th top-flight outing for Bayern with the opening goal after seven minutes at the Allianz Arena, before the Germany international teed up Dayot Upamecano for a second after the interval.
Leroy Sane added a third for Julian Nagelsmann’s side and Lewandowski was able to find a record 43rd league goal in 2021 to surpass Bayern legend’s Gerd Muller’s long-standing Bundesliga calendar-year scoring record as the hosts cruised to victory.
Leaders Bayern hold a nine-point advantage at the summit, with Dortmund – who play Hertha Berlin on Saturday – sat in second heading into the mid-season break.
400 – Thomas Müller tonight makes his 400th #Bundesliga appearance for FC Bayern. Since Müller’s debut, only L. Messi (442) and S. Busquets (431) for Barcelona, along with Marseille’s Steve Mandanda (429) have played more games for one club in the big five leagues. Loyal. #FCBWOB pic.twitter.com/DQWrtgrd3C OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 17, 2021
Bayern were soon ahead when Muller poked home from close range after Koen Casteels had parried Serge Gnabry’s strike, before Manuel Neuer thwarted Wout Weghorst at the other end.
Jamal Musiala almost doubled Bayern’s lead but dragged wide, while Casteels denied Lewandowski’s header from point-blank range.
Muller delicately chipped for Upamecano to head into the bottom-left corner after the interval, with Sane expertly curling in via the left post just two minutes later.
Lewandowski then had two opportunities to break Gerd Muller’s benchmark, but wastefully prodded over with the first before an excellent Casteels save denied him from the second.
The Poland striker eventually managed his landmark finish when Musiala selflessly headed across goal for the Poland striker to volley in as Bayern eased to victory.
What does it mean? Bayern title favourites again heading into mid-season break
Bayern, who have not lost any of their last 25 home league matches against Wolfsburg, once again head into the mid-season break top of the Bundesliga – this time leading by at least six points, with Dortmund set to play their game in hand against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
In the three points-per-win era, the Bavarians have won the title in 14 of the 15 seasons when they have been at the summit at the halfway point. By contrast, Wolfsburg have now lost seven consecutive competitive matches.
Gnabry the Great
Muller and Lewandowski seemingly steal the plaudits most weeks, but Gnabry’s dominant performance should not go under the radar.
The Germany winger not only provided an assist but also laid on a team-leading three chances – along with full-back Alphonso Davies and Musiala – as he ensured a torrid game for Yannick Gerhardt at left wing-back.
Weghorst wasted a glorious opportunity to equalise immediately after Muller’s opener and that set the tone for a frustrating performance from the striker.
The Netherlands international cut an isolated figure up top, winning just over a third of his 14 duels, while relinquishing possession a team-high 18 times.
The Bundesliga now takes a break until 2022. Bayern return to action at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on January 7, while Wolfsburg visit Bochum two days later.
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