Two goals of the highest order helped FC Bayern München to a 2-1 victory at SV Werder Bremen's Weser Stadium on Matchday 18.
SV Werder Bremen - FC Bayern München
Despite losing former Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro to injury early on, Bremen did not hide their light under a bushel. Serge Gnabry and Max Kruse both made Manuel Neuer work from 20 yards, yet it was Bayern who impassively broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Arjen Robben met Franck Ribery's cut-back with an unstoppable first-time strike. Bayern's second of the afternoon was no less spectacular, David Alaba curling in a postage-stamp free-kick in first-half added time.
Bremen had not scored against Bayern in two-and-a-half years, but the Green-Whites had found the net in their last 16 Bundesliga matches and, after Gnabry lashed wide, Kruse rifled past Neuer to halve the deficit. Testament to Werder's new-found hold on the game, Bayern head coach Carlo Ancelotti sacrificed Ribery, Robben and Thomas Müller in a bid to wrestle back the initiative. The home side probed until the last, but Bayern held firm to maintain their three-point advantage over RB Leipzig at the summit.
Watch: Arjen Robben shares his thoughts on the win in Bremen:
Man of the match
Robben made all the difference for Bayern in the first half, breaking the deadlock and winning the free-kick which gave Alaba his first goal of the campaign. The Dutchman has now registered six goals and four assists in 12 Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
Bremen's year has begun as many expected - with two successive defeats - but they don't come much sterner than Borussia Dortmund and Bayern, and Alexander Nouri will be encouraged by his side's efforts in their battle against the drop.
- Bayern have won their last 13 matches in a row against Bremen.Robben has scored seven goals in as many games against Werder.Four of Alaba's last five goals have been free-kicks, while all 13 of his career Bundesliga goals have been scored with his left foot.
Bremen: Wiedwald - Bauer (Bartels 71'), Sane, Moisander, Veljkovic - Gnabry, Junuzovic (c), Delaney, Garcia (Kainz 81') - Pizarro (Eggestein 19'), Kruse
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm (c), Martinez, Hummels, Alaba - Alonso, Kimmich - Robben (Coman 66'), Müller (Sanches 62'), Ribery (Costa 79’') - Lewandowski
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti