Bayern strikes three past Leipzig for empathic title claim

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich swept aside second-placed RB Leipzig in the Allianz Arena with three first-half goals to place a strong title claim.

Thiago Alcantara and Xabi Alonso got Bayern off to a flying start with two goals in a seven-minute spell midway through the first half, while striker Robert Lewandowski added a third from a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Bayern moved three points clear of promoted Leipzig, who had previously lost only one game, at the top as the Bundesliga reached its winter break.

“I’m very satisfied. We were very aggressive and quickly got the game under control,” Bayern’s manager Carlo Ancelotti said after the game.

His Leipzig counterpart, Ralph Hasenhuttl, also recognised Bayern’s superiority.

“That was a lesson for us and a top performance from Bayern. Our system only works when everyone is in synchrony and that wasn’t the case today. I’m still proud of what the team has achieved until now. You don’t get a point deducted for losing 3-0.”

Leipzig had started well, but Bayern managed to get their crucial first goal after 17 minutes which also set the tone for the rest of the game. Philipp Lahm sent in a low cross from the right which Lewandowski fired against the post, but Thiago managed to force the ball over the line with his thigh.

Eight minutes later, Naby Keita was dispossessed by Arturo Vidal in midfield and the ball was quickly worked to Alonso who scored with an angled shot.

Things got worse for Leipzig when Emil Forsberg halted a Lahm breakaway with a studs-up challenge from behind. The referee got out a yellow card but changed to it red amid Bayern protests and after consulting with his linesman – and Leipzig was left to play for an hour with just 10-men from then on.

Another Leipzig error led to the third goal when Douglas Costa was clumsily sent flying by the goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi and Lewandowski converted the penalty.

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