Arturo Vidal scored his fourth Bundesliga goal in as many games as Bayern Munich cemented their place at the top of the standings with a battling 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Vidal (20')
Tom Starke was handed an unexpected start in the Bayern goal after Sven Ulreich suffered a calf injury in the warm-up. The veteran custodian made a strong save from Ante Rebic in the seventh minute, but Frankfurt fell behind - somewhat against the run of play - when the unmarked Arturo Vidal rose unmarked at the back post to head home a pinpoint Joshua Kimmich cross. Kingsley Coman and Vidal went close to doubling Bayern's lead, either side of half chances at the other end for Rebic and Jetro Willems.
Tempers flared in the 71st minute of a keenly contested second period, when Frankfurt's Marius Wolf clipped the heels of James Rodriguez. Match referee Harm Osmers brandished the red card, only to call the 22-year-old back onto the field of play and downgrade his decision to a caution, after consultation with Video Assist. Frankfurt carried the greater threat as Bayern defender Niklas Süle stuck out a boot to deny Sebastien Haller a certain goal, but the Bundesliga leaders held on to move seven points clear at the summit and claim the nominal Herbstmeisterschaft (Autumn Championship).
Man of the Match
Making his first appearance since coming out of retirement in the summer to help with Bayern's mini injury crisis between the posts, 36-year-old Starke put in a commanding performance - particularly in the first half.
- Bayern's Kimmich and Starke made their 100th Bundesliga appearances. Rafinha made his 300th.Vidal has opened the scoring with 12 of his 21 competitive goals for Bayern.Frankfurt were unbeaten in six, until back-to-back defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern.Bayern's substitute bench had almost twice as many Bundesliga appearances combined (935) than the Frankfurt starting line-up (468).Franck Ribery made his 365th competitive appearance for Bayern - as many as current sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. No non-German player has made more.Frankfurt are without a win in 13 Bundesliga games against the Bavarians (10 defeats).
Watch: Kimmich's Bundesliga journey - from start to finish
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Salcedo, Abraham (c), Falette - Wolf, Boateng, Fernandes (Jovic 71'), Willems (Tawatha 78') - Barkok (Stendera 82') - Haller, Rebic
Subs: Zimmermann, Jovic, Gacinovic, Stendera, Russ, Hrgota, Tawatha
Absentees: Meier (ankle), Fabian (back), De Guzman (shoulder), Mandela (knee), Mascarell (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Bayern: Starke - Kimmich, Boateng, Süle, Rafinha - Javi Martinez, Vidal (Tolisso 55') - Coman (Lewandowski 83'), James, Ribery (Alaba 68') - Müller (c)
Subs: Hoffmann, Alaba, Hummels, Rudy, Tolisso, Lewandowski, Wriedt
Absentees: Neuer (foot), Thiago (thigh), Robben (match fitness), Friedl (pelvis), Ulreich (calf)
Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Watch: Kimmich: "Sometimes you have to fight"