BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich shrugged off a couple of lackluster performances to start its traditional Oktoberfest celebrations with a 4-0 rout of Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Robert Lewandowski marked his 100th league appearance for Bayern with his 81st and 82nd goals, which came on the first day of the 184th beer festival. Bayern players traditionally go on an annual team visit to Oktoberfest, which ends Oct. 3.
On the field, Bayern needed to show a reaction – after last weekend’s loss at Hoffenheim and an uninspired Champions League opener against 10-man Anderlecht on Tuesday – and the home side wasted little time in breaking the visitors’ resistance.
Mainz, the last side to beat Bayern at home in March 2016, at no stage looked like doing it again.
”We were never 100 percent satisfied the last few weeks. It was obvious there was room for improvement, and today we had a game where we performed better on the pitch, perhaps a bit more like a team,” said Thomas Mueller, who claimed his first goal of the season after 10 minutes, though Arjen Robben provided a decisive deflection.
Goalkeeper Rene Adler made two good saves in succession to deny Robben and then Arturo Vidal from the rebound, and Kingsley Coman missed an open goal by striking the crossbar, but it was only a matter of time before the lead grew.
Robben scored minutes later, a rare goal with his right foot after Joshua Kimmich sent him through. The Dutch winger ran to the sideline to celebrate with substitute Franck Ribery, suggesting Tuesday’s frustration was over. Ribery had thrown his jersey at the dugout after he was taken off against Anderlecht, and Robben had sharply criticized the team’s performance.
Five minutes into the second half, Lewandowski slid in to meet Mueller’s cross.
The Polish striker wasn’t satisfied with that, claiming his second of the day with a brilliant header inside the far post with just over 10 minutes remaining.
”We want to keep going,” Mueller said. ”It won’t do us any good to keep the agitation going, but especially in the busy weeks we have to concentrate on football … Today was a start.”
Leon Goretzka scored late to give Schalke a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen.
Lamine Sane rewarded Bremen’s early endeavor with the opening goal in the 20th minute, only for the good work to be undone almost immediately when Milos Veljkovic scored a bizarre own-goal. Both Veljkovic and Sane wanted to clear the ball – Sane with a bicycle kick and Veljkovic with his head. Instead Sane kicked his teammate in the head and the ball ended in their own net.
Goretzka got the winner with seven minutes remaining after a corner for Schalke to claim its third win from four games.
SUPER SUB STRIKES
Substitute Caiuby’s stunning strike gave Augsburg a 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt. The Brazilian midfielder was only on the pitch for eight minutes when he looked up and let fly from almost 30 meters (yards) to crash the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Luka Jovic pulled one back but it wasn’t enough for the home side despite a frenetic finale.
Promoted Stuttgart defeated Wolfsburg 1-0 in a game overshadowed by Christian Gentner’s injury. The Stuttgart captain was struck in the head by Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels’ knee when he emerged to claim the ball. Gentner was taken off on a stretcher.
Leipzig was hosting Borussia Moenchengladbach later Saturday.
More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga