A hat-trick from Germany striker Mario Gomez gave Bayern Munich a 3-0 victory at Kaiserslautern on Saturday that sent them to the top of the Bundesliga for the first time this season.
Bayern have nine points and top the table on goal difference from Werder Bremen, who came from behind to win 2-1 at Hoffenheim thanks to goals from Marko Arnautovic and Markus Rosenberg.
Saturday’s late game between defending champions Borussia Dortmund and last season’s runners--up Bayer 04 Leverkusen ended in a 0-0 draw, leaving both teams on seven points.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes fielded a changed starting XI at Kaiserslautern, with Arjen Robben absent because of a groin injury and Rafinha, Luis Gustavo and Toni Kroos on the bench.
It did not prevent Bayern from dominating proceedings at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion, however, and after squandering several chances they took a 37th-minute lead when Gomez converted a penalty.
Bayern were awarded a second penalty in the 55th minute, following a foul on Thomas Muller, and although Gomez’s spot-kick was parried by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, the former Stuttgart man ghosted in to place home the rebound.
Gomez completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute, taking his tally for the season to four goals, by finishing off good work from Muller with a left-foot shot.
“I’ve always said that the team will improve from match to match,” Heynckes said. “And we can still get better.”
Bayern, who thrashed Hamburg SV 5-0 last weekend, have not -conceded a goal since they lost 1-0 at home to Borussia Moenchenglad-bach on the opening day.
Despite the absence of goals, the encounter between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund was a lively one that saw both sides finish the game with 10 men.
Dortmund were initially indebted to their goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who produced a string of reflex stops to repel a home side spearheaded by the irrepressible Andre Schuerrle.
However, the match tipped in Dortmund’s favor in the 64th minute when Michal Kadlec was sent off.
Shinji Kagawa and substitute Kevin Grosskreutz both went close for the visitors, before a red card for Germany starlet Mario Goetze in the 77th minute canceled out Dortmund’s numerical advantage.
Dortmund center-back Mats Hummels looked to have given the visitors victory late on but his goal was ruled out as the referee had already blown his whistle.
Hamburg endured another dismal afternoon after throwing away a 3-2 lead to lose 4-3 at home to Cologne, which left them rooted to the foot of the table.
South Korea striker Son Heung-min gave the hosts the lead in the 62nd minute, but Christian Clemens was left unmarked to equalize from a corner in the 84th minute.
Worse was to follow four minutes later, as a weak attempted punch from Hamburg’s Czech goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny allowed Kevin McKenna to volley in the winner.
SC Freiburg, ninth last term, secured their first win of the season with a 3-0 success at home to VfL Wolfsburg.
Oliver Barth opened the scoring with a 30th-minute header, before Erik Jenvresik scored the second goal 10 minutes later.
Congolese midfielder Cedrik Makiadi sealed victory in style just before the hour, seizing on a weak defensive header to thrash a volley inside the right-hand post.
In the day’s other game, Nuremberg won 1-0 at home to Augsburg, who are one of three teams in the division — alongside Kaiserslautern and Hamburg — that are still seeking a first victory.