Munich - FC Bayern Munich breezed back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon with a comfortable 5-0 victory at home to Hannover 96.
Martinez off the mark
Javi Martinez' first ever Bundesliga goal got the ball rolling just three minutes in, with Toni Kroos and Franck Ribery each adding to the home side's tally before the interval. There were further firsts as Dante and Mario Gomez each got their maiden strikes of the campaign in the second period to cap an unblemished performance from Bayern, who open up a nine-point lead at the top of the table.
Hannover were back in action less than 48 hours after drawing with FC Twente in the UEFA Europa League in midweek and Bayern were quick to take advantage of their lethargy. Thomas Müller's left-foot shot led to a third-minute corner, from which Martinez opened the scoring with a spectacular overhead kick, his first goal for the Bavarian giants since arriving in the summer.
The visitors staged a brief riposte midway through the opening period with Szabolcs Huszti, scorer the last time Hannover won in Munich six years ago, delivering a dangerous free-kick which Mame Diouf headed just wide from an offside position. Lars Stindl also forced Manuel Neuer into an important stop, but Bayern soon regained control of proceedings.
Indeed, Kroos had already gone close prior to doubling the home side's tally on 24 minutes, as the Germany midfielder's beautiful sweeping volley from captain Philipp Lahm's measured cross left Ron-Robert Zieler with no chance in the Hannover goal. Cruising, the record champions further extended their advantage before the interval as Müller picked out the run of Ribery, whose majestic first touch took him away from his marker and freed up the space to place past Zieler for number three.
It was a surprise Bayern's incessant probing down the right did not result in a goal for Mario Mandzukic, who twice could have profited from Lahm and Müller crosses. Instead it was Dante who headed home the fourth, the Brazilian's first goal for the club, from a Kroos free-kick. At the other end Diouf turned and shot ferociously, but Neuer beat away what was by this point a futile attempt to salvage something from the match.
Gomez resumes duty
Any such hopes were well and truly quashed when Gomez was brought on for Mandzukic for the final quarter. Last season's second-top scorer had been on the field for just 27 seconds when he registered his first competitive strike since returning from injury, holding off the challenge of Karim Haggui before curling a cool finish into the far corner.
Considering it was only his second substitute appearance of the season, Gomez looked in fine fettle and could have had a couple more by the end, but Zieler twice denied the towering No33 to save Hannover's blushes and keep their goal difference in the black.
Line-ups and statistics
Andy James reporting from Munich