Fifth-placed Mainz held up the Bayern steamroller for 40 minutes on Saturday with disciplined and energetic defending, but the patient league leaders struck to deadly effect when their chance came and comfortably made it 16 wins from 20 Bundesliga fixtures this term.
The boisterous 34,000 full house at the Coface Arena watched an engrossing first half in which Jupp Heynckes’ men saw more of the ball but Thomas Tuchel’s lively troops generally held their own. That changed four minutes from the break when Toni Kroos brilliantly released Thomas Müller to open the scoring and hand FCB a crucial half-time lead.
With the home side’s resistance ebbing away, Mario Mandzukic doubled the lead five minutes into the second half after great work from David Alaba, before the towering Croat added the third and wrapped up the points seven minutes later with a header from Philipp Lahm’s cross.
The result takes Bayern onto 51 points from 20 matches and hands Heynckes’ men a healthy 14-point overnight lead in the standings, with second-placed Bayer Leverkusen and third-placed Dortmund potentially taking points off each other when they meet on Sunday afternoon. The Bavarians are back in action at home to Schalke next Saturday evening.
For the third match in a row, Heynckes opted not to rotate his team and began with the likes of Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez, Claudio Pizarro and Jerome Boateng on the bench. Holger Badstuber (cruciate), Rafinha and Xherdan Shaqiri (both ankle) missed the match with injury.
The FCB starting line-up was unchanged from last week’s 2-0 victory over Stuttgart, with Manuel Neuer in goal, Alaba, Dante, Daniel van Buyten and captain Lahm in defence, Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger anchoring the midfield, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery out wide, and Kroos in the hole behind Mandzukic.
Mainz supremo Tuchel turned to home-grown youth product Shawn Parker to stand in for top scorer Adam Szalai, who served out a one-match ban. Otherwise, the name Müller featured prominently on the teamsheets, with Mainz midfielder Nicolai and backup keeper Heinz sharing a surname with FCB attacker Thomas.
The match got off to a brisk start once referee Michael Weiner whistled play underway, with the league leaders moving the ball smoothly and probing for gaps, but Tuchel’s team pressing typically high up the field and looking for openings on the break. Neither defence gave an inch, with the only half-chances in the first half-hour being an Andreas Ivanschitz flicked header cleared by Schweinsteiger from under his own bar, and a Parker shot.
The visitors upped the tempo for a spell but chances proved hard to come by, with another dangerous moment in front of Neuer’s goal when Yunus Malli’s side-footed effort deflected off Dante for a corner. FSV keeper Christian Wetklo was called into action to deal with a Martinez header, but the veteran shot-stopper could do nothing to prevent Thomas Müller dribbling round him after 41 minutes and netting from a tight angle from Kroos’ glorious defence-splitting volleyed pass.
The visitors emerged after the break in determined mood and went two up in the 50th minute, the charging Alaba exchanging passes with both Ribery and Kroos before cutting back for Mandzukic to apply a simple finish. FCB had the bit between their teeth now and added a third on 57 minutes, Mandzukic completing his brace with a simple header after Thomas Müller and Lahm streaked clear down the right and the captain clipped a precise cross to the back stick.
With the outcome now no longer in doubt, Heynckes’ men eased back a shade but still defended stoutly and made the odd chance, with Wetklo saving well from Mandzukic. Gomez, Robben and Luiz Gustavo replaced Mandzukic, Ribery and Kroos in the closing stages, as the visitors calmly ran down the clock through to the final whistle.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
|FSV Mainz 05 - Bayern Munich 0-3 (HT: 0-1)|
|FSV Mainz 05||Wetklo - Pospech, Kirchhoff, Noveski, Zabavnik - Baumgartlinger, Soto (Zimling 62) - N. Müller, Ivanschitz, Malli (Risse 46) - Parker (Caligiuri 84)|
|Bayern Munich||Neuer - Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba - Martínez, Schweinsteiger - Müller, Kroos (Gustavo 82), Ribéry (Robben 76) - Mandzukic (Gomez 76)|
|Substitutes:||Starke, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Pizarro|
|Referee:||Michael Weiner (Ottenstein)|
|Goals:||0-1 Müller (41), 0-2 Mandzukic (50), 0-3 Mandzukic (57)|
|Yellow Cards:||Zabavnik, N. Müller, Risse / -|