Mario Gomez returned to his best form in Bayern Munich's 3-0 victory over Hannover.
Gomez opened the scoring on 21 minutes as he netted a difficult header from Hamit Altintop's cross. Hannover remained in contention until the 77th minute, when the Germany international struck again with an absolute pearler after tying Christian Schulz into a knot. With 40 seconds left to play, Gomez completed his hat-trick with a fine header from Thomas Mueller's cross.
Bayern entered the match with just four of their usual first-team starters, and lacked their usual dominance of possession. Hannover appreciated 49.6% of time on the ball in the first half, and accordingly, the game was played openly. The visitors found chances at a premium, but Gomez netted Bayern's first good chance of the game, and had a fine effort saved before the break following a one-two with Toni Kroos. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who replaced the injured Daniel van Buyten in central defence, headed a corner narrowly wide.
After the break, Gomez did well to set up Kroos, but the midfielder's effort was saved. Bayern were almost made to rue their missed opportunities, as Hannover began a very bright spell. Making his Bundesliga debut, 18-year old defender Christopher Avevor missed an open goal, and Manuel Schmiedebach had a long-ranged effort miss narrowly wide. Ultimately, the day belonged to Gomez, who was simply sensational. After fielding a fine flick, he sealed victory on 77 minutes before rounding off a sparkling performance with his late third.
The result lifts Bayern to ninth place in the Bundesliga table, but the hosts remain just three points behind Hamburg, who are third. Hannover's loss was further soured by the loss of Sergio Pinto, who left the pitch early with an ankle injury. The Reds now stand fifth in the table.