Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich cruise to easy win vs. Hoffenheim
It was business as usual for Bayern Munich after the international break as they saw off 10-man Hoffenheim 4-0 at the Allianz Arena.
Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski gave the reigning Bundesliga champions a 2-0 lead at the interval, with late goals from Arjen Robben and Sebastian Roder stretching the advantage before Adam Szalai got a head start to the dressing room with a late red card.
The win extends Bayern's lead at the top of the table to seven points over Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach, and a third straight Bundesliga title is already looking like it will be theirs.
Bayern had Bastian Schweinsteiger on the bench for the first time this season, but were without the injured Philipp Lahm. Head coach Pep Guardiola picked an even more attack-minded team with Robben, Gotze, Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller supporting Lewandowski.
Seeing that team sheet may have struck fear in Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol, who warned on Friday his team could easily be on the back of a hiding if they did not get everything right.
Gisdol also said that Bayern would be beaten at home sooner or later and his side at least started reasonably.
Anthony Modeste headed Tarik Elyounoussi's cross wide from an excellent position before he wasted another good chance, after Thomas Muller had brought the first save of the game out of Oliver Baumann at the other end.
Baumann could do nothing to stop the in-form Gotze from giving the hosts the lead with a spectacular long-range effort into the top right-hand corner after 23 minutes.
Lewandowski made it 2-0 five minutes before the interval when he headed in Robben's cross at the far post, and the writing was already on the wall for Gisdol's men.
After a spell of sustained pressure which garnered little more than a succession of corners, Bayern appeared to take their foot off the accelerator and start saving energy for their Champions League trip to Manchester City in midweek.
Hoffenheim should have made things interesting with 15 minutes remaining, but Szalai somehow managed to shoot straight at Manuel Neuer with the goal at his mercy from just a few yards out.
There was a cheer as if the third goal had been scored when Schweinsteiger made his first appearance of the season as a replacement for Gotze, and only a few minutes passed before the fans were up on their feet again celebrating a goal when Robben exchanged passes with Lewandowski before beating Baumann.
There was time for Schweinsteiger to provide an assist for Rode to seal the win. Rode then hit the crossbar with another chance.
The game ended moments after Szalai was shown a straight red card for a dangerous foul on Dante.