Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka, Thiago Alcantara and Serge Gnabry led Bayern Munich to a 5-0 win over Schalke as the record champions narrowed the gap behind RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga to just a single point.
Not even a minute had been played in this 100th Bundesliga meeting between these two sides when Manuel Neuer gifted Suat Serdar some target practice, but the Bayern No.1 remedied his mistake immediately. Bayern were less forgiving with their first chance of the game, which also came courtesy of a mistake by Markus Schubert which Ivan Perisic guided back for Lewandowski to volley in. After Rabbi Matondo rattled the crossbar, the hosts took total control: Müller thought he had doubled their lead but the offside flag – and VAR confirmation – ruled out his effort, and the same combination of flag and technology curtailed Lewandowski's celebrations at what he thought was his 22nd goal of the season. Neither would deny Müller the joy of doubling Bayern's lead and celebrating a century of goals at the Allianz Arena from close range in first-half stoppage time, though, with Bayern's lead still deceptively slender at the interval.
Schubert had more than made up for his mistake on Bayern's opener with stops from Lewandowski, David Alaba and Thiago before Goretzka threaded the needle to beat him with a finely-executed acrobatic effort. Thiago then started and finished the move which supplied Bayern's fourth, with Lewandowski selflessly setting up the Spaniard rather than seeking a record-breaking 22nd goal of the season. It was Bayern's 54th Bundesliga goal of the season so far – the most for this stage of a season since Werder Bremen scored 57 in the first 19 games of 1985/86 – and there could have been more with Lewandowski striking the woodwork and sending another effort off target before substitute Gnabry put the seal on a comfortable win, which ensures Bayern end Matchday 19 in second place, just a point from the summit.
- Lewandowski has scored in each of his last nine games against Schalke (12 goals); only Klaus Fischer managed such a streak against VfB Stuttgart.
- Only Gerd Müller had ever reached 21 goals in the first 19 games of a season (1972/73), before Lewandowski, who is now back ahead of Timo Werner as the league's top scorer.
- In nine games since Hansi Flick took charge of Bayern, Müller has had a hand in 12 goals (four scored, eight assisted).
- Bayern have scored seven times in the opening 15 minutes of games this season – more than any other Bundesliga side.
- Goretzka scored against his former club for the first time, while it was also his first of the season.
- Bayern are unbeaten in 20 competitive matches against Schalke stretching back to a 1-0 DFB Cup semi-final loss in 2011. Manuel Neuer was in goal for the Royal Blues that day, and the current Bayern captain is yet to lose in 15 games against his hometown club, conceding just five goals.
Watch: Alphonso Davies: "Lewandowski's goals put a smile on everybody's faces"
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies - Kimmich, Thiago (Coutinho 62') - Müller, Goretzka (Tolisso 78'), Perisic (Gnabry 68') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Odriozola, Cuisance, Zirkzee
Out: Coman (knee), Martinez (thigh), Süle (torn ACL)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Schalke: Schubert - Kenny (McKennie 80'), Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka - Caligiuri, Mascarell (c), Serdar - Harit - Gregoritsch (Kutucu 57'), Matondo (Boujellab 57')
Unused subs: Langer, Miranda, Burgstaller, Todibo, Schöpf, Mercan
Out: Nübel (suspended), Sane (knee), Stambouli (fractured metatarsal)
Coach: David Wagner