Bayern Munich 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen: Champions get back to winning ways
A brusquely assured first-half demolition job from Bayern Munich reaffirmed their Bundesliga title defence credentials in a 4-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Goals from Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala and Sadio Mane all before the interval put the champions firmly in the driving seat for a deserved victory at Allianz Arena on Friday, before Thomas Muller added a fourth close to the end.
After a dismal domestic run saw them go four league games without a win, questions had been asked about Julian Nagelsmann's side and their purported chances of claiming another top-flight crown.
But for now, they have been emphatically silenced, while Gerardo Seoane's side saw their horror-show start to the campaign worsened in painful fashion on the road.
It took Sane just three minutes to split open the visitors, fed off the right wing and able to roll a deflected strike beyond the wrong-footed Lukas Hradecky.
Musiala followed suit just after the quarter-hour mark, playing a one-two with Muller off a long ball before squeezing a shot in, and Sane added a third from the edge of the box six minutes from the break.
Mane saw a second overturned 10 minutes after the interval when VAR deemed Odilon Kossounou to have been fouled, but that call was likely scant consolation for Leverkusen.
Yet Bayern were not done, and when Muller pressed Hradecky late on, a tragicomic slip from the goalkeeper left an open net for the veteran to turn home and round off a comprehensive win.
What does it mean? Bayern silence critics
After a string of poor results in the Bundesliga, culminating in a loss to Augsburg, many were beginning to wonder if this will be the season Bayern's long hold on the title comes to an end.
If it is, they certainly won't be going down without a fight, with Nagelsmann's side rising to the challenge of getting back on track with aplomb. They still trail surprise leaders Union Berlin by two points having played a game more.
Musiala makes magic
The Germany forward impressed for his country during the international break, moving closer to confirming his spot on the plane to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Here, he resumed his sterling domestic form, with five goals and three assists now in the Bundesliga this season.
Leverkusen woes deepen
Behind early on, the visitors never looked likely to threaten too often - and the occasions where they did were uninspiring at best.
They recorded 10 shots in all - eight before the break, and two after - while they failed to convert any of their five on target, this defeat leaving Leverkusen third bottom with five points.
Both teams return to Champions League action on October 4, with Bayern hosting Viktoria Plzen and Leverkusen travelling to face Porto.