'Re-Vidal-ized' Bayern surge with Lewandowski a 9/10 in victory
Chasing a sixth consecutive league title, Bayern Munich cruised six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable 3-0 win over Augsburg, courtesy of Arturo Vidal's opener and a goal in each half from the prolific Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern comfortably won the Bavarian derby, making it eight wins in succession in all competitions under Jupp Heynckes, including five straight in the Bundesliga to move nine points clear of deposed leaders Borussia Dortmund. Just five games ago when Heynckes took over, Bayern languished five points behind.
Manager rating out of 10
10 -- Heynckes has completely transformed Bayern's fortunes in just over a month, leading the serial champions imperiously to the top of the Bundesliga, garnering 14 more points than hapless BVB and five more than nearest challengers RB Leipzig. Including his treble-winning season in 2013, Heynckes is revelling in a whopping 30-game Bundesliga unbeaten run.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Sven Ulreich, 7 -- Another tidy clean sheet from backup keeper Ulreich, who is even getting cheered for his kicking skills these days and a top save from Michael Gregoritsch also won roars of approval from an appreciative home crowd.
DF Rafinha, 6 -- The Brazil international replaced David Alaba in the starting lineup, filling in capably at left-back this time. He's a reliable squad player proficient in any number of defensive positions across the backline.
DF Mats Hummels, 7 -- Always a threat from set pieces and hardly tested at the back by an anaemic Augsburg front line.
DF Niklas Sule, 7 -- The imposing raw bundle of muscle enjoyed a relatively untroubled afternoon alongside Hummels in central defence.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 8 -- Racked up a leisurely 50th Bundesliga win in only his 62th appearance -- no player has ever reached this landmark quicker than the German, whose cross for Lewandowski's second goal was a thing of beauty.
DF Juan Bernat, 7 -- Injured during the summer tour of Asia in July and the Spain international gave a decent account of himself, slotting into left midfield on his return after ankle ligament damage.
MF Javi Martinez, 8 -- Hugely underrated, providing a combative shield in front of the defence. Bayern look much more solid with him in the team.
MF Arturo Vidal, 9 -- Recalled to the starting lineup and "Re-Vidal-ized" amid transfer rumours linking him with a winter move. Vidal was outstanding in a more advanced attacking role, playing his football with a smile on his face. He fired into the roof of the net just after the half-hour mark for the opener and scavenged the ball in midfield before feeding Lewandowski, who did the rest. He could have had another, heading against the bar early in the second half but Marwin Hitz somehow grabbed the rebound. Deservedly picked up standing ovations when he came off late on. That has not often happened for the Chile international of late who has struggled this season in Munich.
MF James Rodriguez, 8 -- Showed Heynckes he means business in Bavaria by coming back early from national-team duty with Colombia to make sure he kept up the momentum of his decent start at the club. His work rate and engine continues to surprise, effortlessly churning out the kilometres on the pitch. The ball just sticks to the Colombian playmaker's left foot, who put in another industrious and inventive performance.
MF Arjen Robben, 7 -- Bayern's captain received standing ovations once again from the adoring Munich faithful when he was substituted. However, if truth were told, this was not one of his best performances, such are the standards he has set.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 9 -- Recovered from a slight hamstring injury which kept him out of international action. He provided a couple more examples of his clinical finishing technique - taking his tally to 13 goals in 12 games this season. He has now notched an amazing 18 in 13 games vs. his favourite opponent, Augsburg. A goal in each half means he is also averaging two goals a game sporting his new blonde haircut.
DF David Alaba, N/R -- Missed Austria's two international friendlies to shake off a knock on the ankle and eased back into the fray by Heynckes with 17 minutes remaining for the tiring Bernat.
MF Corentin Tolisso, N/R -- Bayern's record signing replaced captain Robben with 12 minutes remaining and too late for a rating.
MF Sebastian Rudy, N/R -- Replaced Vidal for the final 10 minutes with the minimum of fuss.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.