Uli Hoeneß predicted an explosion from Bayern this weekend, and the Andries Jonker era at the club duly opened with a mighty bang, Mario Gomez blasting a first-half hat-trick to set Munich on their way to a crushing victory over dismal Bayer Leverkusen.
The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Bastian Schweinsteiger hand his side a dream start with a seventh-minute header which cannoned off Bayer skipper Simon Rolfes on its way into the net. Gomez exploited some calamitous defending to double the lead on the half-hour, and smacked two more goals past the abject visitors before half-time.
Eren Derdiyok pulled one back on the hour as FCB’s concentration briefly faltered, but Franck Ribery restored the four-goal advantage 15 minutes from time, and it could even have been more as the men in red wrapped up a supremely comfortable and heartening win.
Bayern’s tenth victory in their last 13 Bundesliga meetings with Bayer, combined with Hannover’s goalless draw away to Hamburg on Saturday, means the champions are back up to third in the Bundesliga on 55 points from 29 matches, one ahead of Hannover and six behind second-placed Leverkusen. The Bavarians continue their league quest away to struggling Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday afternoon.
Jonker’s first line-up showed four changes compared to the 1-1 draw with Nürnberg last week, as the new boss turned to experience for the run-in. Ex-Leverkusen stalwart Jörg Butt took over from Thomas Kraft in goal, with Daniel van Buyten, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Miroslav Klose in for Toni Kroos and suspended pair Arjen Robben and Holger Badstuber.
Skipper Philipp Lahm, Luiz Gustavo and Danijel Pranjic lined up alongside Van Buyten in the back four, with Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery declared fit to start in midfield. Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez completed the line-up, with Klose slated for the slot in the hole behind Gomez.
Current Bayer supremo and future FCB boss Jupp Heynckes sent out a relatively defensive 4-5-1 formation, although lone striker Derdiyok was supported by counter-attacking specialists Sidney Sam, Renato Augusto and former FCB man Michael Ballack.
Just seven minutes after referee Manuel Gräfe whistled the match underway on a glorious Bavarian spring afternoon, the home side had the start they wanted when Schweinsteiger flicked Ribery’s near-post corner towards goal, the ball smacking off Rolfes’ face and over the line.
It was an encouragingly lively opening from FCB, but the flow was interrupted after a quarter-hour when Pranjic pulled up with a strained hamstring, Diego Contento coming on in his place. The visitors began to see more of the ball and Butt had to look lively as Sam closed in, but Munich continued to show the greater focus and doubled their advantage with 28 minutes played.
The goal was netted by Gomez but created by Müller’s determination and neat pass, although the Germany man was aided and abetted by an appalling howler from Arturo Vidal, whose suicidal attempt at a back-heel in his own box invited and received suitable punishment.
The home side comfortably controlled the play without over-exerting themselves after that, but left the visitors reeling with a deadly burst in the dying minutes of the first half. Gomez completed a 17-minute hat-trick to move onto 21 goals for the season, first turning in Müller’s 44th-minute cross after a fine burst from defence by Van Buyten, and then arrowing a drive through keeper Rene Adler’s legs from an excellent Schweinsteiger pass.
Ribery and Gomez combined superbly to create the first chance after the restart, only for Tymoshchuk and Müller to get in each other’s way. Bayer sub Stefan Kießling steered his side’s first genuine chance past the post with almost an hour played, but Derdiyok hit the target a couple of minutes later when Schweinsteiger failed to deal adequately with a high ball into the box.
Ballack headed over the bar and Butt got down sharply to Derdiyok’s snap effort, before the excellent Gustavo came up fractionally short with an attempt to release Ribery just yards from goal. However, the Frenchman was not denied for long, adding his name to the scoresheet after 75 minutes with a shimmy and finish into the corner from Van Buyten’s return pass.
Andi Ottl and Breno replaced the limping Schweinsteiger and Van Buyten for the last few minutes, in which Müller put one a shade too high and Ottl crashed a header off the bar, as a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for FCB and their fans drew to a highly satisfactory end.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
|Bayern Munich - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 5-1 (H-T: 4-0)|
|Bayern Munich||Butt - Lahm, Van Buyten (Breno 84), Luiz Gustavo, Pranjic (Contento 15) - Tymoshchuk, Schweinsteiger (Ottl 80) - Müller, Klose, Ribéry - Gomez|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen||Adler - Balitsch, Schwaab, Reinartz, Castro (Bender 46) - Vidal (Kadlec 80), Rolfes - Sam, Ballack, Renato Augusto (Kießling 56) - Derdiyok|
|Substitutes:||Giefer, Hyypiä, Vida, Barnetta|
|Referee:||Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)|
|Goals:||1-0 Schweinsteiger (7), 2-0 Gomez (28), 3-0 Gomez (44), 4-0 Gomez (45+1), 4-1 Derdiyok (62), 5-1 Ribery (75)|
|Yellow Cards:||Tymoshchuk / Vidal|