Munich - FC Bayern München returned to the top of the Bundesliga table with a comfortable 4-1 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern struggle to find breakthrough
Shawn Parker gave Mainz a surprise lead just before half-time, but the hosts responded five minutes after the restart when Arjen Robben curled the ball past Christian Wetklo to equalise, before Thomas Müller found the net just moments later to put Bayern 2-1 to the good. Mario Mandzukic then got on the end of substitute Mario Götze’s low cross, before Müller completed the scoring from the penalty spot.
The Bavarians, who dominated Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the BayArena a fortnight ago, didn’t take long to get their passing game going against a Mainz outfit who had only picked up one point in the Bundesliga since their Matchday 3 victory over VfL Wolfsburg. Though the visitors saw precious little of the ball in the opening stages, they limited Pep Guardiola’s side to few clear-cut openings.
The first real chance of the match fell half way through the first period when Dante got on the end of Toni Kroos’ free-kick, with the Brazilian’s header sailing just over the crossbar. Bastian Schweinsteiger, fresh from winning his 100th international cap in Germany’s victory over Sweden in midweek, then tried his luck from the edge of the area, but his shot was well blocked by Nicolai Müller.
Parker keeps his cool
The longer the half wore on, the more Thomas Tuchel’s side seemed to gain in confidence and when Jerome Boateng missed his clearance after a long ball forward, Parker was given a clear run on goal. The young forward kept his composure to round Neuer and slot the ball into the unguarded net to give Mainz a shock lead going into the break.
Götze, who got on the score sheet for Germany in Solna, replaced Rafinha at half-time and it didn’t take long for the substitute to make his mark. The summer signing from Borussia Dortmund controlled the ball on the edge of the box, before playing a precise through ball to Robben, who cut inside onto his favoured left foot and fired past Wetklo to equalise five minutes into the second half.
Müller makes no mistake
The turnaround was complete just moments later when the ball fell to Müller near the penalty spot. The 24-year-old placed the ball low past the stranded Mainz keeper to put Pep Guardiola’s side in front for the first time in the match. Suddenly, Bayern looked like scoring with every attack and Philipp Lahm almost made it 3-1 for the hosts, but Wetklo managed to parry the Bayern skipper’s attempt out of harm’s way.
Bayern did get their third soon after and Götze was again involved. The 21-year-old’s low cross found Mandzukic, who fired past Wetklo to give the hosts a two-goal advantage. Mainz skipper Nikolce Noveski then fouled Schweinsteiger in the box, leaving Müller to step up and seal an ultimately convincing win for the record champions.
Matthew Howarth reporting from the Allianz Arena
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