Bayern Munich came from behind to earn a fantastic 6-1 victory over struggling Werder Bremen on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a hat-trick from Philippe Coutinho and a Robert Lewandowski brace.
Bremen took the lead on 24 minutes, Milot Rashica turning Jerome Boateng inside-out before lashing a vicious strike beyond the helpless Manuel Neuer.
Coutinho equalised for the hosts on the stroke of half-time however, when Serge Gnabry toe-poked a ball across the face of goal, and the Brazilian forward duly tucked it away.
Bayern then took the lead in first-half added time, Coutinho turning supplier to clip a delicious ball through to Robert Lewandowski, who calmly slotted home beyond goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
Coutinho continued his excellent display into the second half, adding a third just after the hour-mark. The forward controlled a glorious ball over the top from David Alaba, and he produced an outrageous lob to leave Pavlenka completely stranded. Lewandowski then completed a brace of his own, latching onto the end of a delicious Thomas Muller pass and putting the game well beyond doubt.
Muller later added a goal of his own, tapping home from close range, before Coutinho curled a trademark screamer from long-range into the top corner of the Bremen net to round off a sensational afternoon for the hosts.
Key Talking Point
For all of Bayern's excellent attacking play, they do look unbelievably vulnerable in defence. Back-to-back Bundesliga defeats highlighted just how susceptible the German champions are to the counter attack, and they were pulled apart time after time in the first half by the electric Rashica.
Boateng has been an excellent servant for Bayern over the years, but the World Cup winner's best form is certainly behind him. The 31-year-old was targeted by Bremen, and he was beaten all ends up by Rashica on a number of occasions, including in the opening goal of the match.
Boateng was substituted at half-time as Bayern rejigged their formation, and they looked much stronger without the defender in the side. When a player becomes the obvious target for each team he comes up against, it becomes only a matter of time until he's squeezed out of the side completely.
The end of an era, perhaps.
Starting XI: Neuer (6); Pavard (7), Boateng (5), Alaba (7), Davies (7); Goretzka (8), Kimmich (7), Thiago (8); Gnabry (7), Lewandowski (8), Coutinho (9)
Substitutes: Perisic (7), Muller (8), Singh (6),
STAR MAN - Only one man staked a claim for this prestigious prize on Saturday.
In the midst of a fluid and exciting attacking display by Bayern, Philippe Coutinho stood head and shoulders above everyone. The German champions struggled in the initial exchanges, but Coutinho was in the right place at the right time to pull his side level and calm the nerves around the stadium.
What followed was an absolute masterclass in the attacking midfield role. The Brazilian floated between the lines, drawing his opponents out of position, and he produced killer pass after killer pass to bamboozle a hapless Bremen backline.
Not to mention, the ex-Liverpool star bagged a hat-trick. If you close your eyes and imagine a 'Coutinho' goal, that was exactly what he pulled out of the bag to complete his treble. Cutting in from the left-hand side, he whipped an unstoppable effort beyond Pavlenka, which dipped, swerved and flew into the top corner.
As close to a 10/10 performance as you can get.
Starting XI: Pavlenka (5); Gebre (5), Selassie (5), Veljkovic (5), Gross (5); Sahin (5), Lang (6), Eggestein (6), Klaassen (6), Augustinsson (6); Osako (5), Rashica (8)
Substitutes: Friedl (5), Bittencourt (5), Bartels (N/A)
Bayern follow up their superb display against Werder Bremen with a trip to an impressive Freiburg side, as Der FCB attempt to climb towards the summit of the Bundesliga table.
Werder Bremen looked dangerous on the break against Bayern on Saturday afternoon, and they'll be hoping to get all three points when they host FC Mainz on Tuesday evening.