Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich scored three goals in eight minutes to lay the foundations for a 4-0 victory over Hertha Berlin on Saturday and move five points clear at the top.
“The whole team put in a superb performance. When you lead 3-0 after 13 minutes then you can play your top football and that is what we did for long stretches of time, especially in the first half,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.
Top scorer Mario Gomez took his league tally to 10 with a brace while Franck Ribery, who also created two goals, and Bastian Schweinsteiger added one apiece for Bayern, who have conceded only one goal in all competitions this season.
The Bavarians have 22 points from nine games, five ahead of Borussia Moenchengladbach who drew 2-2 with Bayer Leverkusen.
“We also wasted several chances and could have won by a higher score. But overall the team was very serious, focused and hungry for success,” Heynckes told reporters.
Andre Schuerrle broke Gladbach fans’ hearts by thundering home an 87th-minute equaliser for 10-man Leverkusen who had Gonzalo Castro sent off for dissent midway through the second half.
Gladbach had only themselves to blame after they missed several chances following goals from Marco Reus and Patrick Herrmann in the second half. They are one point ahead of Borussia Dortmund, 2-0 winners against Werder Bremen on Friday.
VfB Stuttgart moved up to fourth with a 2-0 win over Hoffenheim. Promoted Augsburg celebrated their first Bundesliga victory with a 1-0 win at Mainz, sealed with an 88th-minute penalty.
Mario Mandzukic scored twice to give VfL Wolfsburg a 2-1 win over Nuremberg and lift them to 12 points in 11th place.
Schalke 04 suffered a 2-1 defeat against visitors Kaiserslautern after both teams ended the match with 10 men.
Schalke had ‘keeper Ralf Faehrmann sent off for a foul after 28 minutes and Kaiserslautern’s Christian Tiffert converted the penalty but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar returned the favour on the hour by netting a spot kick.
The visitors, also down to 10 after Rodnei was sent off for a foul on Jose Manuel Jurado that led to the penalty, struck back with Dorge Kouemaha heading in the winner at the far post on 72 minutes.
Promoted Hertha, looking for their first win in Munich in 34 years, had no time to settle. Gomez, set up by Ribery, rifled in from 20 metres after five minutes.
Ribery slotted in a low cross from Jerome Boateng, who had left two defenders standing, two minutes later. The Frenchman, in superb form this season, then set up Schweinsteiger for the third goal with the Berlin defence in tatters.
Bayern eased off in the second half but Gomez made it four when he beat former Bayern keeper Thomas Kraft from the spot after Ribery was fouled.
Bottom-placed Hamburg SV travel to Freiburg on Sunday while Hanover 96 can move into second spot with a win over Cologne. — Reuters