An Arjen Robben hat-trick helped Bayern Munich open up a 20-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 5-1 win over 10-man Schalke 04, who suffered a second drubbing in four days.
Having lost 6-1 at home to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid on Wednesday in the Champions League, Schalke were put to the sword again at Munich’s Allianz Arena as Bayern went 4-0 up inside half-an-hour.
Bayern extended their record unbeaten league run to 48 matches, dating back to October 2012, and earned their 15th straight league victory.
“My son will enjoy having the match ball, my kids are my biggest fans,” father of three Robben said. “We play with so much aggression and tempo, we really put our foot down.”
With just three minutes gone, left-back David Alaba netted a free-kick, then Robben scored either side of Mario Mandzukic’s header from a superb Alaba cross to make it 4-0 at the break.
Schalke were gifted a goal when Jefferson Farfan’s corner was turned into his own net by Munich right-back Rafinha, in for captain Philipp Lahm, with 25 minutes left.
To compound Schalke’s misery, Greece center-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos was shown a straight red for bringing down Mandzukic in the area.
His foul allowed Robben to wrap up his hat-trick with a 77th-minute penalty.
“You can’t get much worse than that,” said Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes, who had a miserable 26th birthday. “That was highly embarrassing and we need to apologize to our fans.”
Earlier, Borussia Dortmund built on their midweek Champions League victory over Zenit St Petersburg by going second with a 3-0 win at home against Nuremberg.
Jurgen Klopp’s side backed up Tuesday’s 4-2 win in Russia to leapfrog Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who crashed 1-0 at home to FSV Mainz 05, their fifth straight defeat and eighth loss in 10 games.
Dortmund’s Germany defender Mats Hummels celebrated his first game in four weeks after a foot injury by netting the opener at Borussia’s Westfalenstadion.
Turkey midfielder Nuri Sahin fired in a free-kick, and after Robert Lewandowski’s header was saved, Hummels tapped home the rebound just after the break.
Poland star Lewandowski then scored his 15th league goal of the season by converting a superb pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan on 64 minutes before the Armenia international netted his second goal in four days seven minutes from time.
Leverkusen’s dreadful form continued with their fourth straight home defeat as Mainz moved up to sixth with their fifth win in eight games.
Former Liverpool star Sami Hyypia is facing a crisis as his third-placed Leverkusen side last won on Feb. 1 and were also routed 4-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Eric Choupo-Moting slammed home the winner past goalkeeper Bernd Leno on 37 minutes.
Lightning struck twice for Marc-Andre ter Stegen when the Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper scored a bizarre own goal in a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Braunschweig and his opposite number also put one into his own net.
Braunschweig goalkeeper Daniel Davari inadvertently gave Gladbach a first-half lead and ter Stegen returned the compliment when he failed to control a back pass and instead knocked the ball into the net shortly after the break.
There was not the slightest danger when Filip Daems rolled the ball back to Ter Stegen, but the goalkeeper miskicked the ball and it rolled into the net in a moment of pure slapstick.
There was trouble before Werder Bremen’s 1-0 win over Hamburg SV in the north German derby as the visitors’ bus was pelted by Bremen fans, breaking a window.
Police used water cannons to separate rival fans outside Bremen’s Weser Stadion, and eight supporters were arrested.
Bremen grabbed an early winner when Austria midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic fired home after a spectacular back-heel from teammate Aaron Hunt, and the defeat left Hamburg third from bottom while Bremen climb to 12th.
Hanover 96 striker Mame Diouf scored his first goal for a month in his side’s 1-1 draw at Augsburg.