Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller strike again as Bayern Munich overpower Hoffenheim
Bayern Munich cemented their place atop the Bundesliga standings, with Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller among the goals once more in an emphatic 4-1 win over Hoffenheim.
Bayern Munich 4-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 Boateng (32'), 2-0 Müller (43'), 2-1 Kramaric (44'), 3-1 Lewandowski (57'), 4-1 Gnabry (63')
Bayern suffered their only competitive defeat of 2020 at the hands of Hoffenheim, and were extremely fortunate not to be staring at a repeat showing at the Allianz Arena. Just six minutes in, Christoph Baumgartner breached the home defence with a cute ball for Ihlas Bebou, who could not find a way past Manuel Neuer's outstretched right boot. Müller curled an effort against the crossbar, before Hoffenheim spurned yet another golden opportunity to strike first. Andrej Kramaric supplied the pass after skinning Benjamin Pavard, but Bebou sent his downward header wide from point-blank range. Those missed chances proved costly as Jerome Boateng powered in a Joshua Kimmich corner and Müller fired in with the aid of a deflection, only for Kramaric to reduce the arrears on the stroke of half-time, the Croatia international applying a fine side-footed finish to Bebou's inch-perfect cross.
Knowing his chance of a 200th career Bundesliga clean sheet would have to wait, Neuer was irked to say the least as he headed for the tunnel at half-time. Bayern's start to the second period did little to appease their skipper - but for his sizeable frame, Baumgartner would surely have levelled within 15 seconds of the restart. Baumgartner sent another attempt over soon after, before Bayern seized complete control of proceedings. Soon after testing Baumann with a fierce effort from a tight angle, Kingsley Coman set up Lewandowski for his 24th league strike of the campaign, with a little help from Stefan Posch's miscued clearance. Coman was at it again just past the hour, collecting from Müller and slipping in Serge Gnabry for a very easy fourth. A VAR review denied Pavard his name on the scoresheet, while Baumann thwarted substitute Leroy Sane. Neuer followed suit with two world-class saves to deny Pavel Kaderabek and Havard Nordtveit as Bayern notched up a fourth straight league win and - temporarily at least - a 10-point lead at the summit.
- Bayern have scored at least once in their last 50 competitive matches.
- Lewandowski has scored in nine consecutive league games. His record is 12; the Bundesliga's 16.
- Müller has reached double figures for league goals for the first time since 2015/16.
- Boateng ended a run of 67 league games without a goal, dating back to his last strike on 27 January 2018 - against Hoffenheim.
- Gnabry, who registered 10 goals and seven assists in 22 Bundesliga appearances during a loan spell at Hoffenheim in 2017/18, ended a run of 11 games (801 minutes) without a Bundesliga goal.
- Kramaric has scored 13 goals in 15 league appearances in 2020/21 - one more than across the entire previous campaign.
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Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Boateng (Süle 87'), Alaba, Davies - Kimmich, Roca (Musiala 69') - Gnabry (Sane 70'), Müller (Choupo-Moting 74'), Coman (Costa 74') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Hoffmann, Sarr, Hernandez, Richards
Out: Goretzka (not included), Martinez (not included), Nianzou (thigh), Nübel (ankle), Tolisso (muscular)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Adams (Vogt 58'), Nordtveit, Posch - Gacinovic (Kaderabek 68'), Samassekou ( Grillitsch 74'), John - Rudy, Baumgartner (Belfodil 74') - Bebou (Dabbur 81'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Adamyan, Bogarde, Beier
Out: Akpoguma (hamstring), Bicakcic (knee), Geiger (hamstring), Hübner (ankle), Sessegnon (thigh), Skov (muscular), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
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