Bayern Munich 5-0 Freiburg: Normal service is restored for Bayern
Julian Nagelsmann saw the Bayern Munich he was looking for as the reigning champions crushed Freiburg 5-0 to leapfrog their visitors into second place in the Bundesliga.
Serge Gnabry, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane and Marcel Sabitzer scored in a rout at the Allianz Arena as Bayern kept up their remarkable home record against Freiburg.
Bayern have never lost at home against Sunday's opponents in the Bundesliga, with this success meaning they have taken 20 wins and three draws from their 23 clashes in Munich.
Results and performances in the Champions League have been good for Bayern, but in the Bundesliga they have been inconsistent. Now, perhaps, after last week's jolt of letting Borussia Dortmund pinch a point from 2-0 down, we might start to see coach Nagelsmann's men at their clinical best domestically on a regular basis.
Bayern began this game two points behind their visitors, just the third time they had ever gone into a Bundesliga game against Freiburg trailing them in the standings.
A strong start from Bayern resulted in them leading inside 13 minutes thanks to Gnabry's fine header after Mark Flekken's sharp save from Leroy Sane's close-range shot resulted in the ball looping up towards the penalty spot.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when Choupo-Moting was not sufficiently closed down inside the penalty area by Matthias Ginter, with the striker drilling a low shot across Flekken and inside the left post.
Gnabry hit the left post before Sane struck in the 52nd minute to effectively kill the game, as a fierce 22-yard shot with his left foot sped past Flekken into the left corner.
With the pressure off, Mane got in on the act with a neat lob after Philipp Lienhart made an embarrassingly poor attempt to cut out Gnabry's floated pass from the right flank. Sabitzer added the fifth in the 80th minute, capitalising on more messing defending before sweeping home from 15 yards.
What does it mean? All too easy as Bayern rally to Kahn's call
Oliver Kahn, Bayern's goalkeeper-turned-CEO, made it clear on social media and then at the club's AGM on Saturday that he expects better from this team. In turn, that inevitably applies to Nagelsmann, the coach who has struggled to maximise the talent at his disposal over the first two months of the season.
Bayern came into this game having won just one of their last six in the Bundesliga (D4 L1), with Nagelsmann knowing a string of wins in the Champions League could not continue to paper over cracks in the team's domestic form.
In the end, it was a stroll against a team who had been unbeaten in their last 11 games across all competitions (W8 D3), with Bayern's front four each helping themselves to a goal before Sabitzer grabbed the fifth. Bayern finished 8-0 on top in shots on target.
Alphonso Davies suffered a bruised skull in Bayern's prior Bundesliga game, a 2-2 draw with Dortmund, but the Canadian left-back was passed fit to feature here and was prominent early on, sending a scorching shot just over before teeing up Sane for the shot that led to the opening goal.
He had 94 touches, the third-most among Bayern players, and won four of his five duels while completing 63 of his 68 passes (92.6 per cent).
Swarming trio leave Freiburg floored
Between them, the three Bayern men who played just off striker Choupo-Moting had 12 attempts on goal in this one-way game. Sane had five, Gnabry four and Mane three, and Sane and Gnabry both laid claim to an assist to go with their goals.
This was Bayern somewhere close to their riotous best, when the rest of the Bundesliga cannot handle them. They trail shock leaders Union Berlin by four points, but do not expect that to be the case for too long.
Midweek DFB-Pokal duty awaits these teams, with Bayern away to Augsburg in Germany's domestic cup competition on Wednesday, while Freiburg host St Pauli on the same day.