There were goal-scoring cameos from substitutes Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski as Bayern Munich warmed up for their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid with a polished victory at Hannover.
Bayern didn't take long to kick into gear, with Thiago powering a header over the bar, James Rodriguez firing off target and Hannover goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner saving well from Sandro Wagner and Niklas Süle in quick succession. There was momentary respite for the home side in the 26th minute when Juan Bernat put his body on the line to deny Niclas Füllkrug a certain goal, before Sven Ulreich pulled off a spectacular reaction save to beat away Timo Hübers' inventive near-post flick. Bayern heeded the warning, but could not find a way past Tschauner, the Hannover skipper equal to both Wagner's point-blank header and Thiago's searing drive.
Hannover must have been fearing the worst when Müller - already with 10 career goals against the Reds - replaced Arjen Robben for the start of the second half. He didn't disappoint, the Bayern substitute meeting Bernat's first-time cross with a clinical volleyed finish to cap an effortless move started by James. Lewandowski entered the fray moments later, connecting with Sebastian Rudy's out-swinging corner to bring up his 28th Bundesliga goal of the season and kill off any lingering hopes promoted Hannover had of getting something out of the game. A late Rudy strike ensured Jupp Heynckes' treble hopefuls go into Wednesday's clash with Real in the finest of fettles.
- Bayern have won their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Hannover.
- Along with Werder Bremen, Hannover are Müller's favourite Bundesliga opponent. The Bayern forward has netted 11 times against both clubs.
- Lewandowski is seventh on the all-time scoring charts with 179 Bundesliga goals.
- Lukas Mai made his Bundesliga debut, 22 days after turning 18. He is the first millennial to play for the Bayern first team.
- Bayern's bench had a combined number of 395 goals in 1343 Bundesliga appearances.
- Promoted Hannover ensured their automatic safety last time out. The lowest they can now finish is the play-off place.
Hannover: Tschauner (c) – Hübers, Sane, Elez – Sorg, Schwegler (Maier 80'), Bakalorz (Fossum 69'), Albornoz – Harnik (Sarenren Bazee 64'), Füllkrug, Bebou
Unused subs: Esser, Korb, Ostrzolek, Karaman
Absentees: Klaus (suspended), Prib (cruciate ligament), Anton (tendon), Jonathas (muscle tear)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Bayern: Ulreich – Rafinha, Mai, Boateng, Bernat - Süle – Robben (c) (Müller 46'), James (Martinez 71'), Rudy, Thiago - Wagner (Lewandowski 67')
Unused subs: Starke, Hummels, Ribery, Kimmich
Absentees: Vidal (knee), Coman (ankle), Neuer (foot), Tolisso (shin)
Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Watch: Niklas Süle describes Lukas Mai as "so talented!"