Bayern Munich returned to winnings ways after reaching the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals as Eric Choupo-Moting scored one and assisted another in a 4-0 victory at Mainz.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side are just a point clear at the Bundesliga summit after three successive 1-1 draws, but they ended their winless run with a dominant showing at MEWA Arena on Wednesday.
Manchester City loanee Joao Cancelo assisted Choupo-Moting’s opener just 17 minutes into his debut, before the striker teed up Leroy Sane on the stroke of half-time after Jamal Musiala’s 30th-minute strike.
Substitute Alphonso Davies sealed the victory in the second half prior to Alexander Hack being dismissed late on, as Bayern picked up a first win of 2023 to remain on course for a first DFB-Pokal triumph since 2020.
Mainz did not heed the early warning signs against a dominant Bayern and were punished as Choupo-Moting expertly volleyed Cancelo’s right-wing centre past Finn Dahmen at the far post.
Musiala doubled the visitors’ advantage with a pinpoint left-footed finish into the bottom-right corner after Thomas Muller’s delicate pass.
Joshua Kimmich then curled a free-kick from a tight angle against the left post, before Sane calmly finished from Choupo-Moting’s throughball as a rampant Bayern ran riot in the first half.
Hack cleared Muller’s deflected attempt off the line after the interval, while Anthony Caci whipped a rare Mainz chance narrowly wide at the other end.
Davies nodded Kimmich’s right-wing cross past Dahmen for Bayern’s fourth, before Hack was shown a second yellow card for a needless foul on Musiala as Bayern eased to victory.
What does it mean? Nagelsmann pressure eases ahead of key month
Some questions mounted on Nagelsmann after Bayern’s underwhelming start to the second half of the season following the unprecedented World Cup break.
However, the Bavarian giants produced an assured performance to coast past Mainz in search of their 21st DFB-Pokal crown and are still in control of the Bundesliga title race.
A Champions League last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain later this month may still prove pivotal, though, for Nagelsmann to prove his naysayers wrong.
Evergreen Muller matches Maier record
Muller made his 63rd appearance for Bayern in the DFB-Pokal, equalling the club record for outings in the competition set by Sepp Maier.
The veteran Germany international showed all his evergreen class as he created three chances – a game-leading tally before his 64th-minute removal – including his crafty assist for Musiala’s goal.
That’s our Choupo pic.twitter.com/pJUxcRrjer
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) February 1, 2023
Woe for Widmer
Silvan Widmer was up against it from the first minute against Coman, Choupo-Moting and the energetic Musiala on Bayern’s dominant left-hand side.
The Mainz wing-back was cautioned for a late tackle on France international Coman after 24 minutes before an injury forced him off 15 minutes later to cap a frustrating outing.
Bayern return to Bundesliga action at Wolfsburg on Sunday, while Mainz visit unlikely title challengers Union Berlin the day before.
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