Munich - Every rule is confirmed by an exception - and FC Bayern München are proving to be just that.
League of their own
Indeed, after extending their advantage at the top of the Bundesliga to 19 points thanks to Sunday's 4-0 win at Hannover 96, Pep Guardiola's dream of wrapping the title up within five or six games could be realised sooner than even the most optimistic fan could have expected.
"Anybody can beat anybody in the Bundesliga, except at the moment nobody can beat Bayern," DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga CEO Christian Seifert told Sky Deutschland on Sunday. "The Bundesliga thrives on sporting decisions, surprising defeats, unexpected victories and quite unique stories, but Bayern are running away with it at the moment. It won't always be like this in years to come, though."
The rest of the Bundesliga continues to pose the question as to when Bayern's now 47-game unbeaten streak will finally come to an end. According to FCB captain Philipp Lahm, it may be sooner than many anticipate. "It might look easy, but it's really not that simple," said the 30-year-old. "Our aim is to win every game and we're doing that, but we can't influence what the other teams do."
With a formidable 20 wins from 22 Bundesliga encounters, just one defeat in the UEFA Champions League and a thus far unblemished record in the DFB Cup, Guardiola's Bayern continue to follow in the footsteps of Jupp Heynckes' quadruple-winners, entertaining fans as well as delivering results.
Even Bastian Schweinsteiger, who made his first start following ankle surgery, could barely keep pace with his team-mates in Hannover. "I was just pretending I was upset that [Arjen] Robben hadn't passed me the ball after I'd sprinted to give him an option," joked the German international after a light-hearted touchline altercation with Guardiola following his substitution on Sunday.
Smiles all round
"At my age, it's not like I run that much any more and I'm not the first player not to get the ball after running in support of Arjen," he continued. Claudio Pizarro was unable to contain his grin as he caught Schweinsteiger's pretend fury full on, although Guardiola needed a bit of convincing from sporting director Matthias Sammer that it was all just a bit of a laugh.
"Bastian shouted that it was the last time he'd ever chase him," Sammer smiled. "Bastian is, as we all know, not the greatest of sprinters. It was all just friendly banter." He too was able to smile at the incident which did not detract from yet another sublimely efficient performance from the Bavarians.