FC Bayern München delivered a serious statement of intent against title rivals RB Leipzig on Matchday 16. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
FC Bayern München delivered a serious statement of intent against title rivals RB Leipzig on Matchday 16. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Bayern dismantle new rivals Leipzig to close out the year

In keeping with the occasion, champagne was on the agenda in the wake of Bayern München's year-ending victory over closest Bundesliga challengers RB Leipzig.

"Today, we're doing it in high style," said CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge before raising a glass to his lips.

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"That tasted really good," Arjen Robben confirmed after a few bottles had done the rounds in the post-match changing room: "When you win a game like that so convincingly, it's only right to enjoy it." Enjoy it they did, with Rummenigge stressing "The win was not only fully deserved, it was a demonstration of class. We played superbly and the coach did a great job of preparing the team."

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A demonstration of power, as well, against the upstart Bundesliga debutants who went into the contest at the Allianz Arena level on points with their hosts at the top of the standings. Come the finish, normal service had been resumed and Leipzig headed east to mull over a 3-0 defeat that could easily have been even heavier, had Bayern made better use of one or two of their other chances. 

No-one in the record champions' ranks was splitting hairs, though, as they headed into the festive break on such a comprehensive high. With Bayern still going strong in the DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League as well, skipper Philipp Lahm summarised that "we can be largely satisfied – but we definitely need to improve further and shift up another gear in 2017."

Watch: Lewandowski reviews Bayern's win over Leipzig:

For the Munich club, the new year brings with it the familiar target of more titles, with victory in the Champions League the potential "cherry on top," as Rummenigge acknowledged. They certainly rang out the old one on the right note. Thiago Alcantara, scorer of opening goal against Leipzig, pointed out that the team are getting ever more confidently to grips with coach Carlo Ancelotti's system. The all-star ensemble also displayed an aggressive edge to their game which has not always been present of late. "When our hackles are up, we're a tough team to stop," said Rummenigge. 

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The performance against Leipzig – who had beaten the Bundesliga's three other Champions League group stage contenders – at any rate made light of incipient suggestions Bayern might be sated from years of recent success. For anyone with an eye to topping the Bundesliga pile in 2017, the men from Munich remain unquestionably the team to beat. And on their final shift of 2016, they moved a significant step closer to that record fifth straight title.

Click here to read our review of FC Bayern München's season so far!