Bayern Munich’s Germany star Mario Goetze came off the bench to score the opening goal in the European champions’ comprehensive 3-0 win at his former club Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Goetze, who joined Bayern for 37 million euros (US$50 million) in July after 12 years at Dortmund, gave the perfect reply to the chorus of boos he received at Signal Iduna Park.
The 21-year-old smashed home a Thomas Mueller pass on 66 minutes, before the floodgates opened and Arjen Robben and Mueller added late goals in the final five minutes.
“A 3-0 win sounds clear, but they matched us for most of the game, the 1-0 lead we took was decisive,” said Robben, who captained the Netherlands for the first time on Tuesday last week. “They also had their chances. I enjoy duels like this. How many small boys dream of playing in games like this?”
It was a commanding performance and the first time Bayern have beaten Dortmund in six Bundesliga attempts, dating back to February 2010.
Again, Munich ran out winners in a replay of May’s UEFA Champions League final.
Dortmund had been forced to patch together their back four after both centerback Mats Hummels and leftback Marcel Schmelzer returned from international duty with injuries, but there could be no excuses as Bayern extended their record unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 38 matches and opened a seven-point lead over Dortmund, who dropped to third.
Earlier, Bayer 04 Leverkusen warmed up for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash at home to Manchester United by going second with a 1-0 win at Hertha BSC.
Striker Stefan Kiessling, who has been repeatedly overlooked by Germany coach Joachim Loew since 2010, hit Leverkusen’s first-half winner for his eighth goal in 13 league games.
The win came at a cost, though, as Germany winger Sidney Sam is doubtful after suffering a suspected torn thigh just four minutes into the game and was due to undergo a scan yesterday.
Leverkusen are second in Group A, just one point behind David Moyes’ Premier League side.
Sixth-placed Schalke 04, who are away to Steau Bucharest in the Champions League tomorrow and second in Group E behind Chelsea, drew 3-3 at Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Royal Blues flew into a 2-0 lead after only 18 minutes away from home, but leaked three goals in 12 disastrous second-half minutes.
Eintracht, who are just above the relegation places, hit the back of the Schalke net four times in those 12 minutes, but one of their efforts was ruled offside.
Frankfurt’s Spanish midfielder Joselu scored twice, with the former Real Madrid player adding to his earlier header when he slammed in a long-range shot on 68 minutes.
Germany defender Benedikt Hoewedes saved Schalke’s blushes when he hit the top-right corner to equalize with just four minutes left.
VfL Wolfsburg’s four-match winning streak, which has seen them climb to fifth in the league, was ended when they were held to a 1-1 draw at second-from-bottom Nuremberg.
The hosts’ striker Daniel Ginczek equalized after 19-year-old Maximilian Arnold had converted Brazilian playmaker Diego’s final pass for Wolves just before the break.
SC Freiburg stayed in the relegation places despite their 1-0 win at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, while Augsburg moved up to 10th after their 2-0 win at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Yesterday, Hamburg SV were due to host Hannover 96 without Dutch captain Rafael van der Vaart, who is expected to miss the next four weeks with an ankle injury.