On-fire Lewandowski hits 100th goal as Bayern Munich maul Mainz

Robert Lewandowski followed up Wednesday’s sensational performance at Wolfsburg with two goals as Bayern Munich earned a comfortable 3-0 win at Mainz. 

The 27-year-old striker also celebrated his 100th — and later 101st — Bundesliga goals in just 168 appearances for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Bayern’s performances in the league this season have followed a consistent trend: The German champions were insipid in the first half before finding their shooting boots after the interval.

With 15 of 20 league goals this season scored in the second half, there was a sense of inevitability when Lewandowski scored twice in 13 minutes. Kingsley Coman added a decisive third to seal the points with around 30 minutes left to play.

Josep Guardiola handed Javi Martinez a starting place after his welcome return from injury, leaving Jerome Boateng on the bench. With just the single appearance last year in an injury-ravaged campaign, Martinez returned to the side in midweek against Wolfsburg and lasted about 67 minutes at the Coface Arena.

After a slow start to proceedings, Bayern was awarded a penalty on 19 minutes. French forward Coman showed a great change of pace on the right-wing and was fouled by Pablo de Blasis. But Thomas Müller lost his footing from 12 yards, blazing his spot-kick uncharacteristically over the crossbar.

Mainz’s stoic defensive performance was admirable, and the penalty will have been a disappointment for head coach Martin Schmidt. Eight minutes later after Müller’s miss, the Carnival Club should have gone ahead when Yoshinori Muto carved out a few yards of space to fire a shot at goal, but the Japanese striker missed the target from around 10 yards out.


Douglas Costa then brought out a wonderful save from Loris Karius on 33 minutes, the Brazilian sprinting clear of the midfield pack and blasting a corker of a shot from 30 yards, which was heading for the top corner. Karius reacted well, tipping the ball over his own crossbar.

Guardiola showed trust in his starting eleven by making no changes at the break. Bayern Munich found an extra gear and Lewandowski continued where he had left off in midweek with the opening goal for the champions. The cross was supplied by Coman as Lewandowski cleverly peeled away from Stefan Bell before heading accurately into the corner.

Thirteen minutes later, the Polish hitman made it 10 for the season, rounding Karius and sliding the ball gleefully into an empty net. Bayern’s 100% record was just about wrapped up ahead of the clash with Borussia Dortmund next week, but there was more scoring on 68 minutes. Costa cruised past his markers on the left, crossing at the byline and Coman drifted in from the right-flank to score Bayern’s third of a comfortable afternoon in Mainz.

"We tried to hold our own," said Mainz manager Martin Schmidt after the defeat. "We managed quite well for the first half, but then we struggled and after going 1-0 down, the players start to think that it’s too hard. I think we just made it too easy for them to score."

According to Bayern captain Philipp Lahm, the record German champions wear their opponents out with their possession only to hit them when they are tired. That may also be an explanation for Robert Lewandowski’s recent success, with his seven goals in the past five days all coming in the second half.

"You could see Mainz running out of energy," Lahm said on his club’s website. "We had more room and the quality to exploit it. It’s nice to have won all of our games, and also to have kept another clean sheet today. It’s nice to be at the top with a few points’ cushion."

Meanwhile, Andre Schubert made it two wins from two as Borussia Mönchengladbach coach as the Foals beat Stuttgart 3-1.

Schubert, who is the interim successor of Lucien Favre, watched his side thrash Augsburg in midweek before starting positively in Stuttgart. Granit Xhaka headed in the opener on 17 minutes and soon after Christian Gentner headed into his own net to send the away side into a 2-0 lead.

Daniel Ginczek scored from the penalty spot on 41 minutes, a deserved reward for Stuttgart’s dangerous attacking play. Yet it was the team’s defensive frailties which punished Alexander Zorniger’s side again as Raffael beat the offside trap to score Gladbach’s third of the game and secure a second win in successive games.

Bayer Leverkusen earned a comfortable 3-0 at Werder Bremen ahead of a UEFA Champions League trip to Barcelona in midweek.

Werder was without US international Aron Johannsson who has been struggling with injury this week. Admir Mehmedi opened the scoring on the half hour mark, his shot taking a wicked deflection against Assani Lukimya.

Julian Brandt and Kevin Kampl scored two goals in eight minutes midway through the second half to secure back-to-back wins for Roger Schmidt’s men after ending a four-game winless streak on Wednesday.

Hoffenheim picked up three points for the first time this season with Kevin Volland scoring a double in a 3-1 win at FC Augsburg.

On nine minutes, Germany international Volland burst inside from the right, all-left-foot, then rifled a shot into the bottom corner. Hoffenheim has shown a penchant this season for losing concentration in matches and this one in Augsburg was certainly going in the same direction.

Halil Altintop struck the crossbar on 29 minutes before Markus Weinzerl’s side equalized eight minutes later through Ja-Cheol Koo. The South Korean had the easiest of finishes inside the six-yard box following a mistake from Oliver Baumann. But Volland and Jonathan Schmid scored late on to send Hoffenheim out of the relegation zone.

Wolfsburg lost even more ground on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Lower Saxony rivals Hannover.

Bas Dost gave the Wolves the lead just before half-time, but a spirited Hannover levelled through Hiroshi Kiyotake in the second half to halt a five-game losing streak and ease a little of the pressure on their coach Michael Frontzeck.

The draw leaves Wolfsburg, regarded by many as the most serious challengers to Bayern this season, already nine points adrift of the record champions.

Schalke moved level on points with local rivals Borussia Dortmund in second place in the Bundesliga thanks to a 1-0 win at Hamburg.

Leroy Sane’s close control let him down when he was put clean through on goal in the first half, but the 19-year-old showed he had not lost his touch on the hour mark as he rounded Jaroslav Drobny and tucked the ball in for the decisive goal – his third in as many games.

The Royal Blues had the better of the game with Drobny the busier of the two goalkeepers, but Hamburg still almost managed to level with a goalmouth scramble going just wide deep into stoppage time.

After conceding their first goal in three games, Hamburg fell to their first defeat in a month and missed a chance to move up to fourth in the standings.