Arjen Robben scored a hat trick as Bayern Munich routed Schalke 5-1 on Saturday to extend its Bundesliga lead to 20 points, a league record after 23 games.
David Alaba opened the scoring with a deflected free kick in the third minute, Robben chipped in his first in the 15th, Mario Mandzukic’s header made it 3-0 in the 24th, and Robben claimed his second in the 28th, with a fine finish inside the far post.
"It was embarrassing what we delivered in the first half," Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes said. "We had much too much respect."
It was utter dominance from Bayern in the first half, with more than three-quarters ball possession, 409 completed passes to Schalke’s 65, and a successful pass rate of 91 percent.
"The first half was the worst I have ever seen from us," Schalke coach Jens Keller said.
His side improved after the break, and pulled one back through former Schalke player Rafinha’s own goal off a corner in the 64th. Robben claimed his third from the penalty spot in the 77th, after Kyriakos Papadopoulos was sent off for conceding the foul on Mandzukic. TV replays showed it was a harsh decision.
"It was fun today," Robben said.
Schalke was beaten 6-1 at home by Real Madrid in the Champions League midweek, and sporting director Horst Heldt said, "Altogether it was a disastrous week." Bayern stretched its league record unbeaten run to 48 games after its 15th win in a row also a league record.