Summary

  • Bayern move three points clear of Leipzig.
  • Defending champions 3-0 up at half-time.
  • Forsberg sent off for visitors.

FC Bayern München opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings after brushing aside ten-man RB Leipzig in the title rivals' final outing of the calendar year.

FC Bayern München 3-0 RB Leipzig

Goals: 1-0 Thiago (17'), 2-0 Alonso (26'), 3-0 Lewandowski (45')

Sent off: Forsberg (30')

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Second-placed Leipzig started with trademark effervescence, but Bayern assumed total control from the moment Thiago Alcantara prodded in the opening goal. Xabi Alonso drove in a second following a mistake in midfield by Naby Keita, before Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg saw red for a scything challenge on Philipp Lahm. Robert Lewandowski compounded matters for the crestfallen visitors by sending Peter Gulasci the wrong way from the penalty spot late in the half.

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Bayern locked down possession after the restart, with the match being played almost exclusively in the Leipzig half. Lewandowski combined brilliantly with substitute winger Franck Ribery, but the Poland international saw his dinked effort swatted over the crossbar by the on-rushing Gulasci. Further efforts from Thiago, Juan Bernat, Ribery and Douglas Costa kept the Leipzig custodian on his toes as Bayern coasted over the finish line.

Bayern string-puller Thiago capped a superlative display with a goal and an assist. © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein

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Man of the match

Enjoying his most productive season to date in a Bayern shirt, Thiago was the on-field orchestrator of a chastening defeat for Ralph Hasenhüttl's wide-eyed ensemble. The Spain international moved the ball effortlessly in the middle of the park and made a number of decisive runs into the Leipzig area.

Talking point

Only goal difference separated the two sides at the top of the table at the start of play, but Bayern made light work of their nearest pursuers when it came to the crunch. Carlo Ancelotti got his game plan spot-on and could do worse than use the performance as a blue print for the second half of the campaign.

Match stats

  • Bayern have gone on to win the title in four of the last five seasons in which they have topped the table at Christmas.
  • Lewandowski is now second on the list of the Bundesliga's all-time leading non-German goalscorers.
  • Thiago and Alonso have each scored a career-best three Bundesliga goals this season.

Line-ups

Bayern: Neuer - Lahm (c), Hummels, Martinez, Alaba (Bernat 67') - Vidal (Kimmich 75'), Alonso, Thiago - Robben (Ribery 46'), Lewandowski, Costa

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Leipzig: Gulacsi - Bernardo, Ilsanker, Orban (c), Halstenberg - Demme, Keita (Kaiser 46') - Sabitzer (Burke 82'), Forsberg - Poulsen, Werner (Selke 59')

Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl

Watch: Lewandowski: 'I could have scored more!'