Bayern Munich scored a spectacular 5-2 win over Hoffenheim on Sunday morning, coming from 2-0 down to claim the three points at the Allianz Arena.
Hoffenheim took the lead after just three minutes when Mark Uth tapped home Serge Gnabry’s saved penalty, after Joshua Kimmich had brought down the latter in the box.
Gnabry then made it two against his parent club with a crisp, low strike into the bottom-left corner from distance, leaving Sven Ulreich with no chance in the Bayern goal.
Roberto Lewandowski pulled one back for the hosts when he poked home Joshua Kimmich’s goal-bound shot in the 21st minute, taking Oliver Baumann by surprise as it rolled through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Within five minutes of the Pole’s strike, Jerome Boateng restored parity as he ghosted into the six-yard box unmarked before heading home from a corner.
Kingsley Coman gave Bayern the lead with an excellently composed finish into the bottom right corner after Lewandowski played him in behind on the left-wing.
Just minutes later Arturo Vidal added to the lead, with the Chilean’s back post header from a corner just making it over the goal-line before Uth’s attempted clearance.
The win was wrapped up when Sandro Wagner managed to turn the ball in with his thigh, after Rafinha’s cross was parried by Baumann.
Bayern continue Bundesliga dominance
For Jupp Heyncke’s side, it is now a case of how many points they will win the league by, rather than whether or not they will actually take the crown.
This match made it nine victories in a row in all competitions for Die Roten, stretching over a time period of two months since their last defeat against Borussia Moenchengladbach in November last year.
Another five goals for Bayern means they have scored 12 goals in their last three games, as they continue to assert their attacking dominance over the rest of the league, having scored more goals than any other team.
Despite falling 2-0 behind after just 12 minutes, Bayern had too much firepower for their opponents, with Coman and Arjen Robben causing a huge threat to Hoffenheim’s back three in wide areas, assisted by the overlapping runs of David Alaba and Kimmich.
The visitors were unable to handle the brilliance of Bayern in the final third, and were ultimately overpowered by the league leaders, who continue to romp to the Bundesliga title.
What next for Hoffenheim?
A fourth placed finish for Julian Nagelsmann’s side last term earned them a spot in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League and a real opportunity to progress as a club.
However, Hoffenheim were somewhat unlucky to be drawn against arguably the best club in the final stage of qualifying, ultimately going down to Liverpool over the two-legged tie.
The club have seemingly taken a step backwards in the Bundesliga this season, currently sitting in the lowly ninth position, five points adrift of a return to the top four.
Perhaps the most telling story of the game for Die Kraichgauer was in the Bayern lineup, with two former Hoffenheim players in the starting XI in Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy, as well as Wagner, who started on the bench but came on to score against his former employers.
Added to this, both of the visitors’ goalscorers will not be at the club next season, as Uth has sealed a pre-contract agreement with Schalke for 2018-19 and beyond, while Gnabry will return to Bayern at the completion of his loan spell.
Hoffenheim have a good squad available to them and an excellent young manager in Nagelsmann, but they will need to be able to hold onto their core group of players if they are to progress in the years to come.
Bayern show strength in numbers
One of the most impressive things about Bayern’s performance was the incredible team effort that they put in, and the fact that they were missing a number of key stars on the day.
Thomas Muller and James Rodriguez were rested and started from the bench along with Franck Ribery, while Mats Hummels and Javi Martinez were missing from the matchday squad, along with long-term absentees Thiago and Manuel Neuer.
Bayern showed tremendous depth to fill the voids left by these high caliber absentees, as they did not allow their performance levels to drop, with each of the players on the pitch stepping up to play their part.
Die Roten’s five goals all came from different scorers, a true indication of the unity and teamwork of the Bayern side.
Heynckes will have reason to be very proud of the showing from his side, and will hope that complacency does not creep into the mindsets of his players.