Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben lead Bayern Munich past Dortmund
Chasing a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich effortlessly moved four points clear at the top with a comfortable 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, courtesy of first-half goals from Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski and a second-half tally from David Alaba. Marc Bartra scored a consolation for a well-beaten BVB with two minutes remaining.
Seven straight unbeaten in all competitions under Jupp Heynckes, including four in a row in the Bundesliga to move six points clear of deposed leaders BVB -- just four games ago, Bayern languished five points behind.
A rather sloppy goal to concede at the end, Bayern's first conceded in the league since Heynckes took the helm. However, this will soon be forgotten as Bayern head into a well-earned international break.
Manager rating out of 10
10 -- Jupp Heynckes has completely transformed Bayern's fortunes in just over a month, leading the serial champions back to the top of the Bundesliga. Bayern have garnered 11 more points than hapless BVB, who were cruising when "Don Jupp" reluctantly ditched the pipe and slippers and came out of retirement four games ago. Including his treble-winning season in 2013, Heynckes is revelling in a 29-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Sven Ulreich, 8 -- Produced two stunning saves from the Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko in the first half and another to deny Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after 74 minutes. It needed a special effort from Bartra to beat him as Ulreich conceded his first goal in the Bundesliga since Heynckes took over and, incidentally, since talking to ESPN FC last month.
DF David Alaba, 8 -- Revitalised under Heynckes and back to his elite 2013 form at left-back. Picked up a yellow card for a foul on Yarmolenko but put in a dangerous cross for Bayern's third and final goal of the evening, which Lewandowski may or may not have got a touch to -- the Poland captain later told Sky he had indeed applied the slightest of touches. Soon after the Austrian went off clutching his left leg and now has the international break to recover.
DF Mats Hummels, 7 - Rested in midweek but the former BVB skipper was always going to play a prominent role against his former club. Got a tough time from the thousands of boo boys, but this did not prevent him from giving his shirt to a proud BVB fan at the end.
DF Niklas Sule, 7 -- Replacing Jerome Boateng, the summer signing continued his impressive start to his Bayern career with another wholehearted display at the heart of the defence, and his last-ditch tackle on Aubameyang after 12 minutes proved he is no slouch at sprinting either.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 7 -- The German wunderkind made a miraculous recovery from a stomach bug, flying in on the day of the game to take his place in the starting lineup. Delivered the cross for Lewy's first goal and was full of running on the Bayern right.
MF Javi Martinez, 8 -- One of Heynckes' favourites and could be forgiven a rare moment of sloppiness when he lost the ball in midfield to set up a good chance for the home side. Soon back to his best, steadying the ship in defensive midfield, before hobbling off late on, just after receiving a yellow card for a foul on Julian Weigl.
MF Thiago, 8 -- Another rested in midweek, only coming on for a few seconds in Glasgow, elegantly pulled the strings in midfield in his graceful manner.
MF Kingsley Coman, 7 -- Another lively offering from the improving Coman. Franck Ribery will have work to do to reclaim his place next year.
MF Arjen Robben, 9 -- Bayern's captain opened the scoring with a trademark left-footed goal and continues to turn back the clock with another vintage display.
MF James Rodriguez, 8 -- His work rate continues to surprise, churning out the miles on the pitch. The Colombian laid on Robben's goal in another hardworking and inventive performance.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 8 -- Recovered from a hamstring injury to face his former employer, getting a much better reception from the home fans than Hummels. He doubled the lead with a deft back-heel, which took a deflection off former 1860 Munich talent Weigl past a stranded Roman Burki. He later told Sky he got a faint touch on Alaba's cross for the third. The TV cameras will have to take a closer look.
DF Rafinha, NR -- The Brazil international replaced Alaba on 73 minutes, filling in neatly at left-back. A good squad player proficient in any number of defensive positions.
MF Sebastian Rudy, NR -- Replaced Martinez for the final ten minutes with the minimum of fuss.
MF Arturo Vidal, NR -- The Chilean replaced Rodriguez for the final six minutes with still time to concede their first league goal under Heynckes.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.