After two seasons without a trophy, the record titleholders wasted little time in correcting their deficiencies, delving into the summer transfer market to strengthen their squad and shelling out a Bundesliga record fee for Spanish international Javi Martinez. The added depth and defensive stability have been central to Bayern opening up a nine-point gap at the top of the table prior to the winter break, putting them in good stead to add to their title tally in 2013.
Considering they've amassed 42 points and lost just once during the first half of the season, it's difficult to pinpoint where anything changed for Bayern. The 2-1 defeat to Leverkusen on Matchday 9 threatened to throw a spanner in the works, but was followed by four clean sheets from their next five matches. After becoming the first Bundesliga side ever to win all of their first eight matches it's fair to say Bayern's turning point has its roots in the disappointments of last season.
Despite the wealth of talent Bayern have at their disposal, has once again been the standout performer for the Bavarians. The France international's form has correlated with that of his team, as he has regularly wreaked havoc among opposition backlines. On top of completing 84.4 per cent of his passes, the 29-year-old has scored four goals to go along with his seven assists and 87 created chances.
After being converted into a left-back last season, has become an indispensable member of Bayern's first eleven. Furthermore, the two-time Austrian Player of the Year has formed a formidable partnership with the aforementioned Ribery. Providing both an attacking threat (90.1 passes completed) and defensive solidity (65.3 per cent duels won), it's safe to say the future looks very bright for Bayern's young prodigy.
+37 - Bayern boast the best-ever goal difference at the halfway stage of a Bundesliga season.
17 - The record titleholders have sat in top spot at the end of every single Matchday.
11 - FCB have scored more goals on the counterattack than any other Bundesliga side.
309 - No other outfit has had as many shots on goal as Bayern this season.
"We won't let this defeat knock us off course, but we have to make sure we learn our lessons from it," said head coach Jupp Heynckes after Bayern's only loss of the season against his ex-club Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Captain , meanwhile, took a more critical approach: "Leverkusen's victory wasn't undeserved. We let in a ridiculous opening goal and then we let in an equally silly second."