Munich - FC Bayern München kept up their relentless pursuit of a 23rd Bundesliga title with a comfortable 5-0 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Mario Götze got the party started with a brilliantly executed volley after 12 minutes, with Franck Ribery doubling the lead just before the break. The second half was a case of damage limitation for the visitors, with Kevin Trapp, and his replacement Felix Wiedwald, making save after save to deny Bayern, although proving unable to stop Arjen Robben, Dante and Mario Mandzukic from giving the scoreline a handsome appearance for Pep Guardiola’s men.
The hosts began the game with French wing sensation Ribery back in the starting eleven after injury, Xherdan Shaqiri also being given the nod ahead of Thomas Müller on the right-hand side and Mandzukic leading the line. Frankfurt’s Alex Meier actually had the game’s first opportunity when he shot straight at Manuel Neuer, but thereafter the visitors were on the back foot, a position that rarely changed throughout the 90 minutes.
First it was Mandzukic that drew the first save from Trapp with a low half volley, before Shaqiri fired a shot against the outside of the post. Eintracht looked rattled and it wasn’t long before the spaces in their defence were exploited, although it took a beautifully instinctive finish from Götze from Mandukic's pass to breach Trapp’s goal.
Ribery back in the goals
Things almost got worse for the Eagles midway through the first period when Ribery turned inside Sebastian Jung and laid the ball off for Götze ten yards out, but Trapp produced an outstanding block to keep the deficit down to one. Towards the end of the half, Armin Veh’s team began to provide more of a threat on the break, with Neuer expertly saving from Tranquillo Barnetta’s deflected cross, but Bayern struck a killer blow on the stroke of the half time when Ribery followed up to send a low shot into the corner.
The second goal was the decisive blow for Frankfurt, but the Reds had no intention of playing with any less intensity in the second period, and they might have scored another three by the hour-mark, Trapp saving brilliantly from Rafinha and Götze, as well as diverting Ribery's cute chip onto the bar.
Guardiola opted for a change with some 25 minutes to play introducing Robben, and the Dutchman made it a happy return from injury with the third goal, a powerful close-range effort, before Dante nodded in a fourth as the visitors began to visibly tire.
Mandzukic swept in a fifth past substitute keeper Wiedwald as injury time approached, but Frankfurt’s challenged had all but died by then. They need to regroup for Matchday 20’s clash at home to Eintracht Braunschweig, while Bayern face a derby day trip to 1. FC Nürnberg.
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