Bayern Munich continued their winning run in the Bundesliga with a win against Mainz.
A whirlwind 30 minutes in the first half, which included all three goals of the game, made sure that Bayern Munich clinch victory against Mainz at Opel Arena in matchday 20. The victory came courtesy of first-half goals from Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Thiago Alcantara. All three goalscorers have scored in all the three games of Ruckrunde.
Hansi Flick decided to stick with the same starting XI that hammered Schalke at Allianz Arena last weekend. Philippe Coutinho had to settle for a role on the bench, while Alvaro Odriozola will have to wait for his full competitive debut for Die Roten.
Meanwhile, the home side a host number of changes to the team that suffered a 3-1 defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend. Jerry St. Juste and Bote Baku moved back in defense while Daniel Brosinski replaced Aaron Martin in the left-back position. Levin Mete Oztunali took started instead of Karimi Onisiwo in the attack.
The game started slowly as both teams looked sluggish in possession. Mainz had the first big chance of the game as St. Juste’s header from a corner was just wide of the target. Bayern finally broke the deadlock in the seventh minute through a thumping header from Lewandowski.
The visitors camped in Mainz’s half as they continued to create chances and pile on the pressure n the home side. Die Roten’s persistence was rewarded as Muller doubled the lead through a composed finish in the box. Leon Goretzka showed great awareness to square the ball for the German forward.
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Despite their dominance, Bayern looked vulnerable at the back. Mainz came close to scoring their first goal of the game as Leandro Barreira struck the woodwork after Baku delivered a brilliant cross from the right flank. The home side started piling on the pressure, but couldn’t take their chances.
At the other end of the pitch, Bayern were ruthless as they put the game past Mainz by scoring the third goal in the 26th minute. Thiago showed brilliant feet to get past a couple of defenders and smash it past Robin Zentner. The visitors continued to press for goals, but it was Mainz who got the game’s next goal. St. Juste’s header was deflected by Leon Goretzka in the net just before the half-time whistle.
Mainz responded to the first half mauling with a valiant effort at the start of the second half. The hosts were winning second balls and surging forward every chance but lacked the cutting edge in the final third. Die Roten defended resolutely as a team to withstand a sustained wave of attack from Mainz.
Bayern Munich saw out the rest of the game by knocking around the ball and creating some half-decent chances. Flick decided to give Muller and Goretzka some rest by bringing on Philippe Coutinho and Serge Gnabry at the hour mark. The Brazilian playmaker forced a brilliant save from Zentner in the final quarter of the game.
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Mainz will be encouraged with their performance in the second half. However, the damage was done in the first half as Bayern were ruthless in the final third. The defending champions go top of the table for the time being as RB Leipzig plays Borussia Monchengladbach later tonight.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)
Substitutes- Ulreich, Odriozola, Coutinho (↑Goretzka(64′)), Tolisso (↑Perisic(89′)), Cuisance, Gnabry (↑Muller(64′)), Zirkzee
Mainz ( 4-2-3-1)
Substitutes- Muller, Caricol, Bruma, Mwene, Latza (↑Kunde(33′)), Ji, Onisiwo (↑Barreiro(71′)), Szalai (↑Mateta(74′,)), Burkardt