Bayern hit Stuttgart for six

Munich - 71,000 fans were treated to a seven-goal bonanza at the newly-expanded Allianz Arena on Sunday evening as FC Bayern Munich thrashed southern rivals VfB Stuttgart 6-1.

Warning shot

The Bavarian giants hit back in emphatic style to cancel out Martin Harnik's opening goal, with Thomas Müller (2), Toni Kroos, Luis Gustavo, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Mandzukic filling their boots in an awe-inspiring display of attacking football that also saw Stuttgart's Vedad Ibisevic sent off with 16 minutes remaining.

Jupp Heynckes made two changes following the opening day win at SpVgg Greuther Fürth, bringing in Schweisteiger and Franck Ribery for Xherdan Shaqiri and Arjen Robben (flu), while Kroos took the role of creator-in-chief behind lone striker Mandzukic. The shake-up appeared to disrupt Bayern's rhythm early on, as Harnik ghosted past a static back four and saw his fierce strike superbly pushed onto the bar by the full-stretch Manuel Neuer inside four minutes.

The Bayern faithful refused to let their side's early wobble dampen the mood, and the players duly responded in the 12th minute when Schweinsteiger guided a loose Stuttgart pass to Kroos, who sent a low effort straight at Sven Ulreich from 14 yards.

Quick-fire turnaround

Bayern were slowly kicking into gear, but Müller could only direct his cross down the keeper's throat following a flowing move across midfield. Some classy one-touch passing nearly produced the opening goal as Gustavo shot wide from the edge of the area, before Harnik volleyed home Arthur Boka's raking free kick with aplomb, very much against the run of play in the 24th minute.

That proved just the wake-up call Bayern needed as, within the space of eight minutes, Müller stuck away his second of the season and Kroos lashed in a ferocious effort to complete the turnaround. The record champions were in rampant mood, stretching their lead courtesy of Gustavo's unstoppable hit two minutes before half time.

Rampant Reds

The red machine turned things up a notch after the restart, with Mandzukic helping himself to his second of the campaign and involved again as Müller nodded home Bayern's fifth from close range. It got worse still for the Swabians when Schweinsteiger got his head on the end of Müller's right-wing cross to net Bayern's third in four barnstorming minutes.

The last half-hour resembled a training exercise for the Bundesliga leaders, with Müller passing up a decent opportunity to complete his hat-trick when through on goal. The Mexican waves were in full flow by the time Ibisevic was shown a needless red card for lashing out at Jerome Boateng, before birthday boy Javi Martinez took his Bayern bow with his new side having long done the hard work.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge

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