MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Champions Bayern Munich delivered a scintillating first-half performance to demolish visitors Werder Bremen 6-1 on Tuesday and open up a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Bayern’s fifth straight league win, which included a Serge Gnabry hat-trick, equalled the Bundesliga record for the longest unbeaten run against one team, with Bayern having now gone 26 league matches without defeat against Werder.
They also have the second best attack in the history of the Bundesliga with 47 goals from 14 matches, one less than their run at the same stage in the 1976/77 season.
In-form Germany international Jamal Musiala, who fans hope will be equally effective at the World Cup later this month, showed outstanding composure when he picked up the ball in the box in the sixth minute, sidestepped one opponent and slotted in with his left foot.
It was the 19-year-old’s ninth league goal of the season as Bayern met Werder for a Bundesliga record 111th time.
The visitors struck against the run of play only four minutes later with Anthony Jung wrongfooting keeper Manuel Neuer with a low shot but Bayern’s pressure was relentless even after Senegal international Sadio Mane had to leave the pitch injured after 20 minutes.
They went on to score three times in six dizzying minutes to kill off the game.
Gnabry curled in a superb shot in the 22nd before fellow Germany international Leon Goretzka added another four minutes later.
Gnabry then tapped in his second goal of the evening in the 28th from a perfect Leroy Sane assist as Werder were unable to stop Bayern’s runs through the centre.
Sane should have scored himself early in the second half, but he hit the post with only keeper Jiri Pavlenka to beat as Bayern gradually eased off.
Gnabry bagged his hat-trick in the 82nd after weaving past four Werder players before France youth international Mathys Tel made it half a dozen goals for Bayern with a solo effort two minutes later.
The Bavarians are now on 31 points, four ahead of second-placed Freiburg, in action at RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Union, who face Augsburg, are third on 26.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)