Bayern Munich playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been struck by how intense the competition is in the German top flight. - © imago images/Pressefoto Baumann
Bayern Munich playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been struck by how intense the competition is in the German top flight. - © imago images/Pressefoto Baumann
bundesliga

Bayern Munich's Philippe Coutinho: "We need to keep working hard to stay top"

Philippe Coutinho says Bayern Munich cannot afford to rest on their laurels after moving one point clear at the top of the Bundesliga standings with victory over Paderborn on Matchday 6.

Coutinho teed up Serge Gnabry for the opening goal at Paderborn's Benteler-Arena before doubling Bayern's lead from close range.

Robert Lewandowski was also on target in a highly entertaining 3-2 triumph that extends record champions' unbeaten start to 2019/20 to six league matches.

Elsewhere, Bayern's nearest pursuers, RB Leipzig, lost 3-0 at home to Schalke, while 2018/19 runners-up Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw by Werder Bremen.

Watch: Philippe Coutinho reflects on Bayern's table-topping win in Paderborn

"Like I've always said, it's a top league," Coutinho told bundesliga.com after the game.

"The Bundesliga always has intense games and anything can happen.

"We're happy that we won the game and that we're in first place. We need to keep working hard to keep this position."

With Coutinho pulling the strings, Bayern have every chance.

Two-hundred-and-eighty-two minutes into his Bundesliga career (five appearances, three starts), the Barcelona-owned Brazil international midfielder has already chipped in with two goals and as many assists.

Only Lewandowski has scored and Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller assisted more for the club in the league this term.

"He's understanding his teammates more and more, and they're understanding his game better all the time," said Bayern coach Niko Kovac recently.

"The way he takes on the ball - his movement and short passes, coupled with his footballing intelligence - he gives us another dimension."

Registering a goal and assist for the second week in a row, Coutinho (l.) was Bayern's standout performer in Paderborn. - imago images/eu-images

Coutinho is set to make his seventh appearance for Bayern in all competitions when the Bundesliga leaders travel to London to take on English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in UEFA Champions League Group B on 1 October.

The 27-year-old is at Bayern on a season-long loan deal, which includes an option to buy.