It was a dominant display from Bayern in interim coach Andries Jonker's first game in charge as a Mario Gomez hat-trick helped put away a lacklustre Leverkusen
Bayern, with experienced warhorses Miroslav Klose and Hans-Jorg Butt restored to the starting line-up, took the lead in the seventh minute. Franck Ribery's corner from the right was helped on by Bastian Schweinsteiger at the near post. Unluckily for the visitors, the ball struck the unassuming Simon Rolfes and ricocheted into the Bayer goal beyond a helpless Rene Adler.
The champions scored a second after 27 minutes after an uncharacteristic error from Arturo Vidal who attempted an outrageous backheel on his own goal line. Thomas Mueller took advantage and squared the ball across the six-yard box, where Mario Gomez found the back of the net via the inside of the post for his 20th goal of the campaign.
Bayern sliced the Leverkusen defence open to add a third goal one minute before the end of the first-half. Daniel Van Buyten surged forward from the back and picked out Muller. Although Muller lost his footing, he still managed to drill the ball across to Gomez, who drilled the ball into the net from twelve yards.
Not finished there, the Bundesliga's top goalscorer Gomez added a fourth in first-half stoppage time to complete his hat-trick. The former Stuttgart hitman, who was picked out by Bastian Schweinsteiger on the right-hand side of the penalty box, blasted the ball authoritatively into the corner, leaving Adler no chance, and capping the ideal first-half for the home side.
Almost out of the blue, Leverkusen pulled a consolatory goal back and in doing so, reminded us all of Bayern's defensive frailties. When the home defence failed to deal with a cross from the right, Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok reacted the quickest to fire the ball home past Butt from six yards.
Franck Ribery added the icing on the cake with the fifth 15 minutes from time. Van Buyten again joined the attack to good effect, picking out the Frenchman, who wriggled past the challenge of Stefan Reinartz before proceeding to find the bottom corner for his fifth goal of an injury-interrupted season. The only real negative for the hosts was losing left-back Danijel Pranjic to injury before the break, however Diego Contento proved a more than able deputy.
Bayern return once more to third place, leapfrogging Hannover whom they lead by a point. Their next game is a trip to Christoph Daum's Frankfurt while Leverkusen, who could go eight points behind Dortmund, host Hoffenheim on Easter Saturday.