Bayern Munich survived a brief scare to defeat Mainz with a blitz in the second half, ultimately claiming a 5-2 victory on Sunday night.
The visitors took a shock lead as Jonathan Burkardt crossed Bayern’s back line to shoot, with the hosts looking for a whistle that never came. This lead was doubled just before half-time by Alexander Hack, whose shining head passed Manuel Neuer’s outstretched arms.
Mainz’s lead was quickly canceled out in the second half by Bayern, with Joshua Kimmich nodding at the back post after his own excellent job on the right before Leroy Sane leveled him with a low curler from the edge of the box.
Any hopes of upset for Mainz were dashed as Bayern scored three more before full time. Niklas Sule slammed home from a corner before Robert Lewandowski got his usual goals, one from the penalty spot and another from Thomas Muller’s cross from the right.
Here are your player ratings for the Bundesliga champions.
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 6/10 – Leave in two, but also made five saves and made a lot of his passes. Usually imposing at the rear.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – 4/10 – Pretty much everywhere. A bad look for him that Bayern improved significantly after his replacement at half-time.
Jérôme Boateng (CB) – 5/10 – Really fragile in the first period and the performance of Niklas Sule in the second period will not have done good for his future prospects.
David Alaba (CB) – 4/10 – Had a pretty terrible game, with his performance even being described as a “disaster” in some corners of social media. I booked and his head seems to be elsewhere. Metaphorically, obviously. His head is physically where it should be.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 7/10 – Always happy to whistle to the left with the ball at his feet and manage three dribbles.
Corentin Tolisso (CM) – 7/10 – A decent option alongside the more emphatic Kimmich. Did the dirty defensive job, making seven tackles, while his midfielder partner strutted.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 8/10 – Right-back, central midfielder, blah, whatever, wherever Kimmich plays, he delivers. Mainz felt the sting of his razor-sharp quality as the Germany international scored and helped everyone. Had to switch to a more defensive role as Bayern continued with the game.
Leroy Sane (RM) – 7/10 – Scored a delicious equalizer, cutting from the right to wrap low in the far corner. A sort of reminiscence of a certain Arjen Robben.
Thomas Muller (AM) – 7/10 – Always buzzing and exploding in space, according to his role as “raumdeuter”. Place Lewandowski with a cross from the right.
Serge Gnabry (LM) – 7/10 – Did not directly contribute to Bayern’s victory with a goal or an assist, but remained an important part of their counterattack blitz. Had to be substituted due to injury and may well be questionable for Bayern’s next game against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 8/10 – A new year but the same old Robert Lewandowski, who scored his 18th and 19th Bundesliga goals respectively of the season with a penalty and a sweep final. Now four goals ahead of any other scorer in the top five European leagues.