Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry both scored twice as Bayern Munich blew Bayer Leverkusen away 5-1 on Matchday 8 to send out an emphatic statement of their intent.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-5 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski (assist: Upamecano) 4', 0-2 Lewandowski (assist: Davies) 30', 0-3 Müller (assist: Süle) 34', 0-4 Gnabry (assist: Müller) 35', 0-5 Gnabry (assist: Goretzka) 37', 1-5 Schick (assist: Wirtz) 55'
Lewandowski wasted little time in getting his name on the scoresheet, his back-heeled flick from Dayot Upamecano’s cross in the fourth minute ending a two-match barren run in the Bundesliga. It was largely one-way traffic towards Lukas Hradecky's goal after that, with Leroy Sane striking the base of the post from 25 yards and Leon Goretzka seeing a powerful drive from distance saved by the Leverkusen custodian. There was a sense that it was just a matter of time before the next goal arrived - and so it proved, with Bayern scoring four more across a seven-minute spell. Lewandowski finished off a wonderful team move from close range, Thomas Müller deflected in Niklas Süle’s shot and then Gnabry struck twice to put the outcome of the game beyond all doubt.
The flow of the game remained similar after the break as the visitors pinned their hosts back into their own half early on. Leverkusen did pull a goal back against the run of play though, Florian Wirtz threading a clever pass into the run of Patrik Schick, who lashed a shot past Manuel Neuer from 10 yards. Bayern’s lead never looked in any danger, however, and Julian Nagelsmann felt his side were comfortable enough to take off Lewandowski and Müller, with Goretzka having already been replaced at half-time with an eye on their upcoming UEFA Champions League encounter away to Benfica on Wednesday. Bayern were not quite as swashbuckling after that, although Süle went close with a header and also had a stinging drive from the edge of the box saved by Hradecky. The damage had been done in the first half though, and Nagelsmann’s charges saw the game out to reclaim top spot from Borussia Dortmund.
- Lewandowski's brace means he has now scored two or more goals in 73 different Bundesliga games. Only Gerd Müller, with 87, has more.
- Upamecano provided an assist for the first time in a Bayern shirt.
- With 29 goals already this season, Bayern have equalled the league record they set after eight matchdays in 19776/77.
- Wirtz has scored, assisted or both in all nine of his competitive club appearances this season.
- The Leverkusen teenager has provided the assist for five of Schick's seven league goals in 2021/22.
- Lewandowski moved up to joint-second with Naldo on the Bundesliga’s list of all-time foreign appearance-makers with 358. Claudio Pizarro leads the way on 490.
Watch: Nagelsmann: "Important to send out a statement"
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Frimpong (Bellarabi 64'), Kossounou, Tah, Bakker - Demirbay, Amiri - Diaby (Adli 64'), Wirtz (Retsos 79'), Paulinho (Tapsoba 46') - Schick (Alario 79')
Unused subs: Lunev, Sinkgraven, Hincapie, Sertdemir
Out: Andrich (suspended), Baumgartlinger (knee), Fosu-Mensah (knee)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Süle (Richards 72'), Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies (Stanisic 40') - Kimmich, Goretzka (Sabitzer 46') - Gnabry, Müller (Coman 64'), Sane - Lewandowski (Musiala 64')
Unused subs: Früchtl, Choupo-Moting, Sarr, Tolisso
Out: Pavard (suspended), Ulreich (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Gnabry: "A perfect game from us"