Robben turns back the clock as Bayern top Leipzig to go top of the table
Chasing a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich moved three points clear at the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man Leipzig.
It was déjà vu for Leipzig, in similar fashion to the dramatic midweek DFB Pokal tie; the east German side had to play with 10 men for a vast chunk of the game following captain Willi Orban's red card on 13 minutes for a foul on Arjen Robben.
Two clinical finishes from James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski put the game out of reach and with the fixtures coming thick and fast, Bayern were understandably content to go through the motions in the second half, applying cruise control against a depleted and demoralised Leipzig side.
Three straight wins for Bayern since Jupp Heynckes took over for a fourth time, to move to the top of the tree for the first time this season. Three games ago, Bayern languished five points behind Borussia Dortmund.
A more brutal Bayern side might have put more goals past a demoralised Leipzig side in the second half but, rather sensibly, were happy to reserve their energy for tougher tests ahead.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Heynckes has stabilised, revitalised and transformed Bayern's fortunes, taking the serial champions to what they deem their rightful position at the top of the Bundesliga in a matter of weeks, garnering eight more points than BVB, who were five clear when "Don Jupp" ditched the pipe and slippers and came out of retirement.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Sven Ulreich, 7 -- The hero in midweek didn't have a shot to save in the opening 45 minutes, before second-half substitute Bruma brought out the best in him immediately after the break.
DF David Alaba, 7 -- Roamed the left flank in tandem with James, taking advantage of the acres of space, also going close with a succession of dangerous free kicks.
DF Jerome Boateng, 7 -- A leisurely evening after the red card, but used his pace to bail Bayern out of trouble when Leipzig did threaten briefly on the counter.
DF Mats Hummels, 7 - Never really tested at the back, but always a threat in the air from set pieces, repeatedly going close to scoring with soaring headers.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 7 -- The German wunderkind and former Leipzig loanee is building a burgeoning partnership with Robben on the right flank, and long may it continue.
MF Javi Martinez, 8 -- Always one of the first names on Heynckes' team sheet when fit, and his slide-rule pass to Lewandowski to double the lead was a thing of beauty, taking five defenders out of the game with a single pass.
MF Sebastian Rudy, 7 - Replaced Arturo Vidal in the middle of the park with no thrills and the minimum of fuss and none of the frenzied red-card danger.
MF Thiago, 7 -- Pulled the strings in midfield before slotting into an emergency centre-forward role for the second half after Lewandowski worryingly hobbled off.
MF Arjen Robben, 9 -- Bayern's captain was comfortably the best player on the pitch, "winning" the red card that decided the game and setting up James for the opening goal, turning back the clock with a vibrant display.
MF James Rodriguez, 8 -- On his second Bayern start in a month, James clinically slotted home the opening goal with his potent left foot for his first league goal at the Allianz. He followed up with a snap shot that flicked the top of the net and another couple of shanked opportunities came and went in a busy first half. The Colombian enjoyed a quieter second 45 with the game done and dusted, but still managed to reel off a team-high six attempts on goal.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 7 -- Had failed to score in three games, but doubled Bayern's lead in clinical fashion before limping off just before half-time. Bayern's top scorer took his tally to 10 in 10 league games, but must be a doubt with only a few days rest before Tuesday's Champions League game in Glasgow.
MF Arturo Vidal, 6 -- The game was done and dusted by the time the combative Chilean entered the fray for Lewandowski on the stroke of half-time. None of the rash tackling and controversy from Vidal this time around.
DF Rafinha, N/R -- The Brazil international replaced Kimmich on 84 minutes to allow the German an ovation from the adoring home crowd.
MF Corentin Tolisso, N/R -- Bayern's record signing replaced Robben with four minutes remaining.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.