FC Bayern climb to the summit as meek Wolfsburg are hit for six

Half a dozen goals, a clean sheet, and the perfect all-round team performance. If FC Bayern München were ruthless last week against Borussia Mönchengladbach, they were simply sublime as an in-form Wolfsburg side were ripped to pieces at a packed Allianz Arena.

Robert Lewandowski maintained his goal-scoring love affair with the Wolves, setting new records. The stunning victory puts Niko Kovač’s men back at the top of the Bundesliga, overhauling Borussia Dortmund.

Patience pays off

Bayern coach Niko Kovač would only make one change to the team that had started in the 5:1 win in Mönchengladbach. The back four were reshuffled again, with Mats Hummels taking the place of Niklas Süle who took his turn on the bench.

As was the case last week, the Bavarians were fast out of the blocks. The red wave streamed forward, and chances started to come. This time, however, there was no early goal. Robert Lewandowski had the first sniff after just two minutes, and both Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller had chances to open the scoring.

The capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena had to wait until the 34th minute, when Joshua Kimmich and Müller combined to unlock the Wolves’ defence. Kimmich eased past two opponents and danced into the box before finding Müller, who made his way to the byline before hooking the ball back into the six-yard box. Gnabry arrived, beat defender Robin Knoche to the ball, and lifted it into the net with ‘keeper Koen Casteels helpless on the ground.

It had been a long time in coming, but nobody was going to argue that the home side did not deserve their lead. For the ninth time this season, we got to see that famous bowl-stirring celebration – though this time it was inadvertently cut short by an ecstatic Müller.

Lewy breaks the record

The home fans had to wait over half an hour for the breakthrough, but this was quickly followed by a second goal. Again, the move was cool and incisive.

Winning the ball in midfield, Die Roten quickly broke up the middle. A lovely through ball from James Rodríguez was collected by Gnabry, and the winger unselfishly squared the ball for Lewandowski, who made no mistake from close range. It was the Polish international’s 196th Bundesliga goal, and the record was finally his and his alone.

It was the perfect team goal, and showed just how valuable Gnabry is becoming to this developing FC Bayern squad. He could have taken the chance himself, but showed not for the first time that he is a genuine team player.

As half-time approached, a botched Wolfsburg clearance fell into the path of a lurking Hummels, but the centre-back could only steer his shot wide of the target.

James. Merciless nonchalance

The defending champions picked up where they had left off at the start of the second half. Wolfsburg were unable to find any space, and there was no let up from the rampant Reds. The home fans did not have to wait long for the third goal. Seven minutes after the restart, a Thiago pass was swept home by James from the edge of the box.

This was Bayern at their merciless best, with that little touch of arrogance. The finish was sublime, beautiful in its sheer nonchalance. Wolfsburg knew that they were done for, and it was now only a matter of knowing when or if Bayern were going to let up.

The Bayern coach decided to switch personnel, but keep the foot firmly on the gas. Martínez and Gnabry made way for Leon Goretzka and Franck Ribéry, and the veteran Frenchman took little time to get into the mood.

As Bruno Labbadia’s side flagged, the chances came thick and fast. Thiago, Lewandowski, Müller and Goretzka all had good sightings of goal inside the space of three minutes.

Rampant Ribéry

The final quarter of the match was all about Franck Ribéry. The veteran turned back the clock with a vintage display, creating three goals in less than ten minutes. Looking like the player that had just arrived in Munich back in 2007, the 35-year-old turned on the style.

After 76 minutes, he set up Müller, whose smart low shot was typically Mülleresque. We all hope that Jogi Löw was watching.

Six minutes later, the Gallic master of trickery was at it again. His beautifully floated cross towards the far post was met by the advancing Kimmich, who nodded the ball past Casteels from a couple of yards out.

The final moments belonged to Ribéry and Lewandowski. Franck charged down the left, dancing inside his marker before sending in another killer cross. Leaning backwards, Lewy delivered a glancing header that was as beautiful as it was precise. Poor Casteels was left rooted to the spot.

It was Lewandowski’s 20th goal against Wolfsburg. His 16th in an FC Bayern Trikot. For Wolfsburg fans, Lewy is the woodsman from Little Red Riding Hood. Their worst recurring nightmare.

Having started the afternoon two goals behind leaders Dortmund, Bayern will finish the weekend two in front. They are back where they belong. On top of the Bundesliga.

Statistical Summary

FC Bayern München – VfL Wolfsburg 6:0 (2:0)
Gnabry 34., Lewandowski 37., 85., James 52., Müller 76., Kimmich 82. / –

FC Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Rafinha – Thiago, Martínez (55. Goretzka) – Müller, James (74. Renato Sanches), Gnabry (54. Ribéry) – Lewandowski

Wolfsburg: Casteels – William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Guilavogui (c) – Gerhardt (83. Mallı), Arnold (68. Rexhbecaj) – Mehmedi (58. Steffen), Brekalo – Weghorst

Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)
Attendance: 75,000

Yellow Cards: – / Rexhbecaj 86.
Red Cards: – / –

Shots: 20 / 4
Passes: 588 / 389
Completed Passes: 520 / 310
Pass Success: 88% / 80%
Possession: 60% / 40%
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offsides: 2 / 3
Corners: 7 / 2