After a stuttering start with two draws in their first four matches, Pep Guardiola's men have once again proven to be without equal in the Bundesliga, with only a long list of injuries littering an otherwise flawless Hinrunde.
After winning the domestic double in his first season in charge, Pep Guardiola was keen to repeat and, if possible, go one better by adding the UEFA Champions League title. "We've always got to improve our style," said Guardiola before the season, although he feared the FIFA World Cup may have negative repercussions on his side.
Those fears proved unfounded even if the loss of key players such as Javi Martinez and Philipp Lahm might have suggested otherwise. Bayern went from strength to strength, opening up an 11-point cushion at the top of the standings, with their tactical unpredictability and strength proving too much for the competition.
- Bayern had more shots than any other side in the Bundesliga, with 321 efforts on goal.
- Only 13.5 per cent of their passes did not find their man - fewer than anybody else in the Bundesliga.
- FCB were particularly stingy in allowing their opponents clear-cut chances, affording them a miserly 12.
- No team ran less on average than Bayern, who covered only 114.5km per game.
- Only SC Paderborn scored a smaller proportion of their goals from set-pieces than Bayern (14.6 per cent).
- Gladbach were the only team to waste more of their big chances (19) compared to Bayern (17).
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Eyebrows were raised when a man who had already won it all - including the UEFA Champions League, twice - agreed to join Bayern at the age of 32, but soon proved to any doubters that he had not arrived to merely wind down his playing career. Instead he set record after record, including having the most touches in any top-flight game. His dedication was hammered home when he gave his first interview in German prior to Christmas.
"It’s my first one so it’s more special than it is for the other boys who are used to it by now."
after Bayern clinched the unofficial crown of autumn champions
Matchday 10: FC Bayern München 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
After struggling in the first half, Bayern really turned on the style in the second period, culminating in Arjen Robben's winning goal.
Click the video below to see highlights of that Matchday 10 encounter.
On 7 January, Guardiola regroups his team for the training restart at the club's Säbener Straße complex. After a training camp in Doha, on 30 January they travel to second-placed VfL Wolfsburg to raise the curtain on the second half of the season. Victory in that game would give Bayern a 14 point lead with 16 matches left - an advantage no club has ever squandered before, but then again, no club has ever been so far in front as FCB currently are at this stage of the season.