Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry scored twice apiece as Bayern Munich demolished Bayer Leverkusen 5-1 on Sunday to return to the top of the Bundesliga table.
Four goals in seven minutes left Leverkusen in tatters before half-time as Bayern made a statement win to underline why they’re chasing a 10th consecutive title and proved they’ve bounced back from a rare defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last time out.
Bayern needed less than four minutes to take the lead with a touch of style from Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski scored a first half brace as Bayern thrashed Leverkusen on Sunday
The Polish striker has now scored nine Bundesliga goals in eight appearances this season
Dayot Upamecano picked up an overhit free kick on the touchline and crossed it low for Lewandowski to score with a backheel.
Lewandowski lost no time ending a blip of two games without a goal.
The Poland striker’s relentless scoring form means that was his worst Bundesliga run since 2019.
Alphonso Davies danced through the Leverkusen penalty area to set up the second before laying the ball off for Lewandowski to apply the finish in the 30th.
Then Leverkusen collapsed.
Thomas Muller (right) was also on the scoresheet as the Bavarians moved top of the league
Thomas Muller claimed the third goal in the 34th minute when Niklas Sule’s shot deflected off his thigh and into the net.
The fourth came seconds after the restart, Gnabry scoring off a Muller cross as Leverkusen’s offside trap misfired.
Then came a fifth in the 37th minute, Gnabry again after combining with Leon Goretzka, as a once-close game turned swiftly into a humiliation.
Serge Gnabry scored Bayern fourth’s goal of the afternoon in their 5-1 rout of Leverkusen
The former Arsenal man completed his brace just two minutes later as Bayern ran riot
For the second season in a row, Bayern came to Leverkusen with the clubs at the top of the Bundesliga table and snuffed out Leverkusen’s budding title hopes.
At least last year it was close – Lewandowski sealing a 2-1 win in added time – but this time, the young, fast Leverkusen team built by new coach Gerardo Seoane was utterly outclassed.
The win returned Bayern to top spot in the Bundesliga after being overtaken when Borussia Dortmund beat Mainz 3-1 a day earlier.
Julian Nagelsmann saw his side move one point clear of Dortmund at the top of the table
Bayer Leverkusen (4-2-3-1): Hradecky; Frimpong (Bellarabi 64), Kossonou, Tah, Bakker; Demirbay, Amiri; Diaby (Adli 64), Wirtz (Retsos 79), Paulinho (Tapsoba 46); Schick (Alario 79)
Subs not used: Lunev, Hincapie, Sinkgraven, Sertdemir
Scorers: Schick (55)
Manager: Gerardo Seoane
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Suele (Richards 72), Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies (Stanisic 40); Kimmich, Goretzka (Sabitzer 46); Gnabry, Muller (Coman 64), Sane; Lewandowski (Musiala 64)
Subs not used: Fruchtl, Sarr, Tolisso, Choupo-Mouting
Scorers: Lewandowski (4, 30), Mueller (34), Gnabry (35, 37)
Manager: Julian Nagelsmann
Bayern’s only loss so far under coach Julian Nagelsmann, the 2-1 defeat to Frankfurt on October 3, was due in large part to an exceptional goalkeeping performance by Kevin Trapp and offers no real blueprint to would-be challengers.
Following Sunday’s humbling, Leverkusen slipped to third, three points adrift of Bayern.
Even before half time, Nagelsmann’s thoughts turned to rotating the squad ahead of a Champions League trip to Benfica on Wednesday.
Davies was withdrawn for the 21-year-old fringe defender Josip Stanisic in the 40th, and Lewandowski and Muller followed him to the bench early in the second half.
Leverkusen salvaged a scrap of pride when Patrik Schick scored in the 51st minute off a sharp through ball from 18-year-old Florian Wirtz, but a comeback was never on the cards.
In eight league games this season, Bayern have scored 29 times to build an imposing goal difference of 22, meaning an average margin of victory of nearly three goals.
Bayern host ninth-placed Hoffenheim on Saturday, while Leverkusen travel to seventh-placed Koln a day later.
Dortmund, meanwhile, are also in action on Saturday when they visit Arminia Bielefeld