Although in some ways it was business as usual for Bayern Munich this afternoon, with Thomas Muller (two) and Robert Lewandowski featuring on the score sheet for the 36th time this season, today’s 3-1 victory over mid-table Darmstadt at the Allianz Arena was far from routine for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Bayern defeat Darmstadt
Playing in front of their home fans for the last time before Tuesday’s Champions League tie at Juventus Stadium, Bayern were surprisingly slow out of the blocks against their newly promoted visitors and would pay the price for their early profligacy in front of goal midway through the first half.
Braving a 25-minute onslaught from the hosts which produced good chances for Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben, the away side netted with their first real attempt on goal as ex-Bayern forward Sandro Wagner nipped in front of debutant Serdar Tasci at the near post to head the minnows into the lead.
Guardiola’s men would restore parity however moments after half-time thanks to Thomas Muller’s superb take and finish from Rafinha’s drilled cross into the penalty area. One spectacular finish soon became two for Muller on 71 minutes, this time controlling Vidal’s centre on his chest before acrobatically volleying past busy visiting goalkeeper Christian Mathenia.
Strike partner Lewandowski inevitably made his own mark on proceedings, side-footing into the net from the returning Franck Ribery’s precise left-wing cross seven minutes from time to make the points safe for the German champions who temporarily go 11 points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit of the Bundesliga.