Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga table thanks to their 4-1 win over Köln on Sunday, as Robert Lewandowski scored his 40th goal for club and country this season.
Lewandowski only needed three minutes to open the scoring at the RheinEnergieStadion and Kingsley Coman added a second just moments later, while Serge Gnabry put the result beyond doubt with a stunning goal all within a quarter of an hour.
Joshua Kimmich almost added a fourth before half-time but his long-range shot crashed back off the post, while just after the break Köln striker Jhon Córdoba had a goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee.
Gnabry scored his second of the game against the run of play with another brilliant strike from the edge of the area, although Köln’s Mark Uth was eventually able to pull one goal back for his hometown club.
But it was too little too late for the hosts and Bayern eased out the rest of the match to return to winning ways after last week’s draw against RB Leipzig.
Starting XI: Horn (6); Ehizibue (5), Bornauw (6), Czichos (5), Katterbach (5); Skhiri (6), Hector (6), Drexler (6), Uth (5), Jakobs (6); Cordoba (4).
Substitutes: Kainz (6), Schmitz (N/A), Modeste (N/A).
Key Talking Point
It’s a scoreline that will make neutrals think Bayern’s 4-1 win over Köln was just a case of the reigning champions steamrollering their opponents, but Hansi Flick deserves a lot of credit for the way he set up against Markus Gisdol’s side.
Gnabry and Coman showed exactly why they’re such a dangerous double act out wide for Bayern, but it was Thomas Müller’s free role just behind Lewandowski which seemed to cause the most problems for Köln.
The former Germany international picked up two assists inside the opening five minutes and he should have had another two before the half time whistle, while both Jonas Hector and Ellyes Skhiri struggled to mark him throughout the game.
Starting XI: Neuer (7); Pavard (6), Boateng (7), Alaba (8), Davies (8); Kimmich (7), Thiago (7), Muller (9); Coman (8), Gnabry (9), Lewandowski (8).
Substitutes: Hernandez (7), Tolisso (6), Goretzka (6).
For the last couple of years, it’s felt like it was only a matter of time before Müller’s spell at Bayern came to an end, but the club’s Raumdeuter is back to his best under new manager Hansi Flick.
Two assists early in the first half saw Müller continue his fine form over the last few months and he’s now been directly involved in 18 goals in Bayern Munich’s last 16 games, but it was his overall performance against Köln which helped bring out the best of his teammates at Bayern Munich.
Bayern host SC Paderborn next before they can turn their attention to the Champions League knockout stages against Chelsea, while Köln will continue their relegation fight away at Hertha BSC.
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