Robert Lewandowski scored his 27th and 28th Bundesliga goals of the season as Bayern Munich consolidated top spot with a resounding 5-1 win at home to lowly Cologne.
Bayern were able to name Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry among the substitutes again, but there was nothing to suggest they'd need them in what was a wholly one-sided first half. Leroy Sane tested Timo Horn and Niklas Süle rattled a stanchion, before Leon Goretzka floated a superb cross onto the head of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to head home from two yards. Lewandowski sent a difficult header wide soon after, but stuck away his obligatory goal just past the half-hour mark. The Pole kick-started the move with a clever back-heel into the path of Goretzka, who raised the stakes by coolly nut-megging Rafael Czichos and returning the pass. Lewandowski made no mistake with his finish to put Bayern in complete control.
Cologne hadn't remotely tested Manuel Neuer in the first period, but scored with their first effort on goal after the restart. A miscommunication between David Alaba and Jerome Boateng helped as Ondrej Duda played in Ellyes Skhiri, who held off Alphonso Davies before chipping over the advancing Neuer for 2-1. That prompted Bayern head coach Hansi Flick to call on the cavalry. Gnabry and Müller duly entered the fold, the latter setting up Lewandowski within 14 seconds of his introduction to give the record champions welcome daylight. A rare mistake by Neuer let in Dominick Drexler, but the Cologne substitute's effort at the unguarded net came back off the far post. It proved a costly miss as Gnabry scored quick-fire close-range goals to put the game well and truly to bed and consolidate Bayern's lead at the summit.
- Lewandowski’s 28 goals after 23 matchdays is a Bundesliga record. He’s only failed to score once across his last 13 league outings.
- Choupo-Moting scored his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern, and his first in the German top flight for 1553 days dating back to 27 November 2016. He's now scored for all five of the Bundesliga clubs he's represented: Hamburg, Nuremberg, Mainz, Schalke and the record champions.
- Gnabry scored his sixth and seventh Bundesliga goals of the season, but first from the bench. He's now scored nine against Cologne - more than against any other Bundesliga club.
- Bayern have conceded 32 goals after 23 matches - their worst defensive record at this juncture for 29 years.
- Skhiri scored his fourth of the season - two having come in Dortmund in November.
- Cologne haven’t won in Munich since February 2011.
Watch: Gnabry: "I'm happy Jamal Musiala chose to play for Germany"
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Süle, Boateng, Alaba, Davies (Hernandez 72') - Kimmich (Martinez 87'), Goretzka - Sane (Dantas 87'), Choupo-Moting (Gnabry 64'), Musiala (Müller 64') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Hoffmann, Sarr, Roca, Coman
Out: Costa (metatarsal), Nianzou (thigh), Nübel (ankle), Pavard (not included), Tolisso (thigh)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Cologne: T. Horn (c) - Cestic, Mere, Czichos (J. Horn 46') - Wolf, Skhiri, Özcan, Jakobs (Katterbach 85') - Duda (Meyer 71), Rexhbecaj (Drexler 71') - Dennis (Thielmann 46')
Unused subs: Zieler, Schmitz, Limnios, Ehizibue
Out: Andersson (knee), Bornauw (back), Hector (thigh), Kainz (knee)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Watch: Choupo-Moting: "I'm happy to be back and to have scored"