On-fire Reds breeze past Mainz

FC Bayern convincingly beat FSV Mainz 4-0 on Saturday, marking the start of the Oktoberfest in style. Thomas Müller put his side in front after ten minutes with chances coming thick and fast for the record champions, before Arjen Robben doubled the lead midway through the first half. Robert Lewandowski netted a third soon after the restart and completed his brace with a quarter-hour to go.

The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and Rafinha in a back four. Thiago and Arturo Vidal anchored a midfield featuring Müller in the playmaking role, with Robben and Kingsley Coman starting out wide, looking to serve lone striker Lewandowski.

Carlo Ancelotti made five changes to the team that saw off Anderlecht on Tuesday. Hummels and Boateng, making his first start of the season, took over from Javi Martínez and Niklas Süle in defence, with Vidal coming in for Corentin Tolisso. Müller and Coman replaced James and Franck Ribéry up front. After the hour mark Boateng and Robben gave way to Süle and Ribéry, Rudy replacing Vidal with 20 minutes to go.

Dutch nightmare for Mainz

The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Bayern go straight onto the front foot, and they made their dominance count after ten minutes, when Kimmich invited Müller to crash the ball past visiting netminder René Adler with the help of a slight deflection off Robben. Mainz were looking for a reply in an entertaining, up-tempo contest, Robin Quaison breaking free and drawing a sharp save from Neuer. Adler then kept his side in the game, saving a Robben effort and Vidal’s shot from rebound. Mainz were reeling, and the German record champions would have doubled the lead if it had not been for Coman’s extraordinary feat of crashing the ball against the bar from point-blank range.

But Bayern’s relentless pressure soon paid off for a second time, Robben ghosting past the rearguard to find the net with a fine lob over Adler, after which an engrossing game ebbed and flowed with half-chances at both ends before match official Sascha Stegemann blew for half-time.

Lewy adds gloss to the scoreline

The second half started in the same way as the first, Lewandowski soon twisting the knife when he connected with Müller’s pinpoint cross. Müller and Ribéry tested Adler before Lewandowski rounded off his brace, beating the Mainz defenders to a Kimmich cross to head home and take his tally to 82 goals in 100 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern. Kimmich did not score on Saturday, but three assists indicate the Bayern youngster’s commanding performance. Rudy hit the post with a sumptuous volley and Adler performed miracles to deny a Coman effort, before Stegemann put the visitors out of their misery with the final whistle on exactly 90 minutes.

The result takes Bayern onto nine points from four matches. The men from Munich are back in action in just three days, when they travel to face Schalke in the Bundesliga before entertaining Wolfsburg.

Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen

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