A devastating spell of four goals in the first 29 minutes – along with a missed penalty – plus two more late in the second half – extended Bayern’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga. They will, though be concerned about Sadio Mane, who departed injured in that period – though not as concerned as Senegal, who play their first World Cup game in just 13 days.
It took Bayern just six minutes to take the lead, Jamal Musiala scoring his fourth in four with a lovely composed finish. And though Anthony Jung equalised soon after before Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting missed a penalty, Serge Gnabry with two and Leon Goretzka with one gave them three goals in seven minutes.
Bayern dominated the second half, but with the game safe and as changes were made, their intensity dropped. But as Bremen tried, they added two late goals, Gnabry completing his hat-trick with a lovely finish before the 17-year-old Mathys Tel, on as sub, rushed through the middle and walloped home from 20 yards.
Bayern are going to win the Bundesliga. We knew that before the season started, and we know it even harder now. That being the case, the only question to answer is whether they have what it takes to win the Champions League, and in the last 16 they face those other perennial champions, PSG. There’s no doubt that Bayern are the more cohesive team, with a midfield that is not only far superior to Paris’, but able to compete with any in Europe. But they lack a serious centre-forward and even against Bremen looked dodgy at the back, so the likelihood is that, though they can beat anyone on a good day, they’ll need to satisfy themselves with a 973th league title in a row and whatever domestic baubles they can add.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Serge Gnabry (Bayern): Three different and gorgeously-taken goals.
Bayern Munich: Neuer 6, Mazraoui 6, Pavard 6, Upamecano 6, Hernandez 6, Goretzka 7, Kimmich 7, Mane 6, Musiala 8, Gnabry 9, Choupo-Moting 5. Subs: Sane 6, Sabitzer 6, Coman 6, Gravenberch 6, Tel 7.
Werder Bremen: Pavlenska 6, Pieper 5, Veljkovic 4, Friedl 5, Gross4, Wieser 5, Jung 6, Gruev 5, Bittnecourt 5, Burke 4, Ducksch 4. Subs: Stark 5, Stage 6, Dinkci 5, Schmid 5, Rapp 6.
6’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Werder Bremen (Musiala) Four in four for Musiala! He drives forward and spreads left for Mane, who looks to measure a curler into the far corner. Veljkovic waves a head in the way, but the ball drops back to Musiala, who feints a shot with his right then steps inside with his left and passes cunningly into the far corner with the defenders all committed the other way. It’s gonna be a long night for Bremen.
10’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-1 Werder Bremen (Jung) Who saw that one coming?! Bremen work this beautifully, quick passes when apparently penned in down the right drawing Bayern in, allowing Gruev to spread left to Jung, and alone, all he needs to do is maintain composure to pass into the far corner!
22’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-1 Werder Bremen (Gnabry) This is a lovely finish. Bayern pump a free-kick into the box, it eventually ends up with Gnabry, alone on the left side of the box, and he sends a gorgeous curler spinning into the far side-netting. That ellipsis was deployed for a reason.
26’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-1 Werder Bremen (Goretzka) Again, Bremen are far too open at the back, allowing Kimmich to stride through the middle and play Goretzka in. But there’s still plenty of work to do, Pavlenka charging out, so Goretzka skips over his leg and goes around him, doing brilliantly to stay on his feet before turning into the far corner. these goals have been excellent.
29’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 4-1 Werder Bremen (Gnabry) Goodness me, Werder are being made to pay for their effrontery in equalising. Again, they’re totally exposed through the middle – they’ve lost the head a bit here – Kimmich sending Sane through with no defender anywhere near. He might beat Pavlenka himself, but he’s got Gabry to his left staying behind him, so tees up an open goal. This could get very silly.
82’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 5-1 Werder Bremen (Gnabry) It’s a hat-trick! Mazraoui finds Gabry down the left of the box and he weaves inside one challenge then another, before nutmegging a third defender and the keeper. That is another beautifully-taken goal.
84’ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 6-1 Werder Bremen (Tel) Goodness me, this is a goal! The 17-year-old Tel rushes through the middle and has options to left and right, but he eschews them all to larrup and left-footed from 20 yards that goes in off Pavlenka’s gloves.