Bayern Munich earned their third straight win at the start of the season, beating Nuremberg 2-0 on Saturday, but still found themselves third in the Bundesliga on goal-difference.
French winger Franck Ribery’s header on 69 minutes broke the deadlock before Dutch star Arjen Robben scored for Pep Guardiola’s European champions, who earlier had a first-half penalty saved.
“We allowed them only a few chances, which I liked, and we played better in the second-half,” Guardiola said as Bayern set a new club record of 28 league games without defeat.
The win in front of 71,000 fans at Munich’s sold-out Allianz Arena marks the start of a busy seven days for Bayern, who are away to SC Freiburg in the league tomorrow before traveling to Prague for Friday’s showdown with Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.
Guardiola started with a star-studded midfield featuring wingers Robben and Ribery either side of Spain’s Thiago Alcantara and Germany playmaker Mario Goetze, who made his debut for Bayern after joining from Borussia Dortmund.
The hosts rode their luck in the first half as only the crossbar denied Nuremberg when striker Daniel Ginczek’s shot clattered off the underside of the bar, with Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer beaten.
Bayern were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute by referee Christian Dingert when Robben was brought down by Sweden defender Per Nilsson, although the replay showed the Dutchman used his hand to keep the ball from going out.
Justice was served when David Alaba’s kick was saved by Nuremberg ’keeper Raphael Schaefer.
With time running out, Ribery headed home, before a fine solo effort from Robben on 78 minutes ensured that Bayern would maintain their 100 percent league record this season. Only goal-difference leaves Bayern behind leaders Borussia Dortmund and second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Schalke 04, who need to win at Greece’s PAOK tomorrow to progress to the Champions League group stage after drawing 1-1 in Wednesday’s playoff first leg, suffered another confidence-sapping defeat as they lost 2-1 to Hannover 96.
The visitors had defender Benedikt Hoewedes sent off on 14 minutes for bringing down Hannover striker Mame Diouf with only the goalkeeper to beat and Hungary midfielder Szabolcs Huszti drilled home the penalty.
Diouf then headed home three minutes from the break to leave Schalke reeling before striker Adam Szalai pulled one back for die Konigsblauen in the second half.
There was a flurry of cards in the last 15 minutes as Huszti was sent off for fouling Schalke’s Tim Hoogland, then leftback Christian Fuchs was dismissed five minutes from time for a second yellow card.
Having also been hammered 4-0 by VfL Wolfsburg on Aug. 16, Schalke have just one point from their first three games and lie 14th in the table.
Another defeat at the hands of PAOK would leave manager Jens Keller in a precarious position.
Leverkusen earned their third straight win with a 4-2 victory at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, with Germany winger Sidney Sam scoring twice in front of national coach Joachim Loew.
FSV Mainz 05 are the fourth team to maintain a 100 percent record after they enjoyed a 2-0 win at home to Wolfsburg, who had new signing Luiz Gustavo sent off for a second yellow card in his second appearance since signing from Bayern.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim were held to a 3-3 draw at home by Freiburg in an action-packed game which saw each side finish with 10 men and Freiburg coach Christian Streich banished to the stands.