Goals in the final nine minutes from Luis Gustavo and Mario Mandzukic gave Bayern Munich a sixth league win out of six this season as the Bavarians cantered to a 2-0 win at Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The win took Bayern, seeking to end two years of Borussia Dortmund dominance in the Bundesliga, five points clear of second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, who were due to host SC Freiburg yesterday.
Dortmund enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Borussia Moenchengladbach to show that they are back in the groove after dropping seven points in their opening five matches.
Bayern’s mean machine once again kept a clean sheet — they have conceded just two goals to date this season — and Gustavo’s long-range drive into the top left-hand corner finally broke the deadlock when it looked as if Werder might pinch a point.
Gustavo had come on for Peruvian veteran Claudio Pizarro on the hour and coach Jupp Heynckes pulled off another tactical coup in sending on Xherdan Shaquiri, who combined with Franck Ribery in orchestrating a move which saw Mandzukic finish from close range for his third goal in two games.
“In the first half, we were slow and the players tried my patience,” Heynckes said. “I had to have words with them at halftime.”
Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer told the club’s Web site: “We just didn’t show enough today until we got the first goal. We made a lot of mistakes.”
Bayern, who face BATE Borisov in the UEFA Champions League tomorrow, will expect to keep their run of form going next weekend when they take on midtable TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Dortmund’s thrashing of ’Gladbach took them into third place on 11 points with Schalke 04, who drew 2-2 on Friday at Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Juergen Klopp’s men steamrolled their way to three points courtesy of goals from former ’Gladbach star Marco Reus — who netted the opener in the 35th minute and bagged another midway through the second period.
In between, there were goals for Serbia international Neven Subotic, Ilkay Gundogan — who returned from a bout of flu to great effect — and Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Hannover 96 lost the chance to go joint second after a 1-0 loss at Hamburg SV, now moving up the table after a poor start.
Latvian forward Artjoms Rudnevs scored the only goal for the northerners in the 20th minute as the 1983 European champions exited the relegation zone.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen thanked two quick-fire second-half goals from Sidney Sam, their German-born Nigerian, to see off promoted SpVgg Greuther Furth 2-0.
The win took Leverkusen joint fourth in the table.
Meanwhile, Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic scored the fastest goal of the Bundesliga season to date when he netted after just 24 seconds for VfB Stuttgart at Nuremberg, nipping onto an underhit back-pass from Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio to fire past goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer.
A 75th-minute goal from Martin Harnik clinched the points as Stuttgart won their first match of the campaign.
Hoffenheim and Augsburg parted scoreless to leave the latter rooted to the foot of the table with just two points.
The match at Hoffenheim went ahead against a difficult backdrop for the home side with their 22-year-old teammate Boris Vukcevic still in a coma and in critical condition following a car crash on Friday afternoon.
Hoffenheim said in an earlier statement his situation had not changed sufficiently to give a prognosis on his chances of pulling through and manager Andreas Mueller said “the team were shocked” by the news of his accident.
Mueller revealed the team had at first thought of asking for the match to be called off, but decided they should go ahead.
“Boris is a fighter — and we will fight for him,” Mueller said ahead of the encounter.
Bild quoted Vukcevic’s parents as urging the team to “play for our Boris.”