Bremen - FC Bayern München opened up a 14-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings thanks to a comfortable 4-0 win at SV Werder Bremen.
The Green-Whites were already up against it at the break following two superb efforts from Thomas Müller and David Alaba, before Robert Lewandowski sealed the deal with a second-half brace.
Levin Öztunali shinned wide on the volley as Bremen tried to catch Bayern cold inside 35 seconds, but the league leaders weren’t going to allow lightning to strike twice after conceding the opening goal in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Hannover 96. Indeed, despite being without first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Dutch flier Arjen Robben and French winger Franck Ribery for the first time since February 2014, the visitors swiftly found their passing groove.
Lewandowski was the first to test the resolve of Bremen custodian Raphael Wolf, who reacted brilliantly to beat the Polish striker’s header behind for a corner following a fantastic delivery from Rafinha. The signs were there for Viktor Skripnik’s men as Jerome Boateng let fly from 18 yards, with Bayern’s persistence paying off in the 24th minute when Müller curled home a majestic left-footed strike after his initial effort had been well saved.
Bayern had not lost a single one of the 55 Bundesliga outings in which their inimitable No 25 had been on the scoresheet and it looked like that run was only going to continue. Sebastian Prödl conceded a free kick on the edge of his own box for a crude challenge on Mario Götze and, following a cool dummy from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Alaba stepped up to sneak the ensuing set piece inside the unguarded left-hand post.
Both efforts were milestones in their own right for the defending champions, with Müller’s 12th league strike of the campaign his first with his left foot and Alaba’s the Bavarians’ 100th competitive goal this term. Bremen responded admirably enough, albeit forcing just the one real save out of Bayern debutant Pepe Reina - the first Spanish goalkeeper to grace the Bundesliga - courtesy of Fin Bartels’ audacious lob early in the second half.
Lewandowski at the double
The home crowd were encouraged to say the least, but the mood soon dropped as Bayern added a third. Boateng set off on a rampaging run through the centre of the park after winning possession back midway through the Bayern half. His deft clip released Müller, who had the wherewithal to lift the bouncing ball over the onrushing Wolf and into the path of Lewandowski, the Pole with the simple task of heading into the empty net.
Bayern captain Philipp Lahm entered the fray to rapturous applause from the travelling support shortly after, Germany's World Cup-winning skipper making his first appearance since fracturing an ankle in training last November. Sebastian Rode threatened a fourth, before a a blistering breakaway goal involving the imperious Müller and Lewandowski added the gloss to a clinical team display in injury time.
Line-ups and statistics