Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann lauded his “fun to watch" side as they reclaimed the Bundesliga’s top spot with a dominant 6-2 home defeat of Mainz.
“It is a lot of fun to watch them. (We are) a great mix of quality and configuration," Nagelsmann said.
“Huge compliments (to the team). It’s unbelievable at the moment."
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Sublime performances from forwards Jamal Musiala and Sadio Mane pushed Bayern two points clear at the top of the table, the first time they have led the league since August.
Serge Gnabry opened the scoring after just six minutes thanks to an assist from Mane, while teenager Musiala scored his seventh league goal of the season in the 28th minute.
Mainz centre-back Alexander Hack fouled Mane in the box in the 40th minute. The former Liverpool striker took the penalty and while ‘keeper Robin Zentner saved his shot, the Senegalese pounced on the rebound to put Bayern 3-0 ahead.
Mainz, who missed a 45th minute penalty, had another brief glimmer of hope before the break when Silvan Widmer headed in from a corner, but Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka scored from a Mane cross in the 58th minute to give Bayern an unassailable 4-1 lead.
French striker Mathys Tel, 17, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting added goals for Bayern late on, while Mainz’s Marcus Ingvartsen pounced on a mistake from Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to leave the final score at 6-2.
Mainz manager Bo Svensson congratulated Nagelsmann and Bayern “on a well-deserved victory", but was deeply unhappy with his own side. “We missed everything. I didn’t like what I saw in the second half," he said.
- Dortmund go third -
In the late game, Jude Bellingham scored a crucial second-half goal to send Borussia Dortmund to third with a 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Dortmund’s Julian Brandt opened the scoring for the visitors in the 21st minute, latching on to a looping cross from winger Donyell Malen to send a low shot through the legs of Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp.
Frankfurt equalised just four minutes later when a poor attempted clearance from Mats Hummels found its way to Randal Kolo Muani.
The French striker patiently attracted the attention of several Dortmund defenders, before laying off to Japanese international Daichi Kamada to score his seventh league goal of the season.
The visitors reclaimed the lead in the 52nd minute when Bellingham, 19, collected a backheeled cross from Youssoffa Moukoko, 17, before curling a strike past Kevin Trapp for his fourth goal in four games.
Immediately after the goal, Dortmund withstood a furious assault from the home side, with centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck clearing off the line to prevent a certain equaliser from former Dortmund forward Mario Goetze.
Dortmund survived a fiery injury time, with five players — three from Frankfurt and two from Dortmund — picking up yellow cards.
After the match, Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner lamented the “brutal" loss, pointing to a denied first-half spot kick against Danish forward Jasper Lindstroem which referee Sascha Stegemann later admitted “should have been a penalty."
Referring to the denied penalty Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said after the game “this is one of those situations where we were lucky."
Lindstroem told AFP “Frankfurt deserved more" out of the game, but refused to blame the referee.
“It’s football and it’s about scoring goals - and today Dortmund scored two, and we scored one."
Elsewhere, RB Leipzig lifted themselves up to within touching distance of the top four with a 2-0 win at home against Bayer Leverkusen thanks to goals from Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner.
Leverkusen have now won just one in six since former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso took over as manager.
In Saturday afternoon’s other matches, Stuttgart scored an injury time winner to beat Augsburg 2-1 and lift themselves out of the bottom three while Wolfsburg thrashed a hapless Bochum 4-0.
Read all the Latest Sports News here(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - AFP)