Munich - FC Bayern München cemented their place at the top of the Bundesliga standings with a routine victory over Hannover 96, making it four wins from as many league games at the Allianz Arena this term with a 4-0 triumph.
Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben both struck braces to secure the points in a game the hosts dominated from start to finish, played in front of a vociferous crowd in the thralls of the final weekend of Oktoberfest.
Given FC Bayern München’s record during the city's famous beer festival in recent years - the Bavarians had not lost in 13 ‘Wiesn’ matches prior to today’s game - the hosts’ furious start to the game came as no surprise. Pep Guardiola could even afford to leave Mario Götze, Thomas Müller and Jerome Boateng on the bench as his troops immediately pressed their guests into their own half.
The pressure was soon too much for Hannover, who conceded before the break for the first time this season. Rafinha played a superb ball over the visiting defence to the unmarked Lewandowski, who was afforded time and space to slot his effort past Ron-Robert Zieler. Robben doubled Bayern’s lead shortly afterwards when he collected a sloppy clearance from Felipe and sprinted forward to smash home an unstoppable shot.
Despite being two goals ahead Bayern were relentless going forward, and toyed with Hannover at will. Xabi Alonso forced Zieler into a smart save with an attempt at a 45-yard lob, before Robben had several more chances after cutting in from the right wing. Yet it was Lewandowski who found the net again, exquisitely bringing down Xherdan Shaqiri’s lofted pass to tuck in his second of the afternoon and give Bayern a 3-0 half-time lead.
There was no let-up for Hannover after the break, with Bayern very much in control of proceedings and enjoying close to 70 per cent possession for the majority of the game. Yet with victory secured Bayern did noticeably shift down a gear or two and no longer attacked with the same purpose and clinical finishing. Robben in particular was guilty of over-complicating matters on a couple of occasions when another goal seemed likely.
The Dutchman made amends in the closing stages though, scoring his second of the afternoon to crown a superb display. Collecting the ball on the right-hand edge of the penalty area, the 30-year-old attempted to find Claudio Pizarro with a through-ball, only for his pass to be blocked. Robben picked up the ricochet, darted inside on to his left boot and rifled the ball past Zieler from ten yards.
The final 4-0 scoreline barely did justice to Bayern’s dominance at the Allianz Arena as they continued their perfect Bundesliga record at home this term, setting them up for what is sure to be a relaxing visit to the city’s Oktoberfest on Sunday.
Line-ups and statistics
Jonathan Stockitt reporting from the Allianz Arena