Arjen Robben was in fine form as an improved Bayern side easily saw off Hoffenheim...Bayern dominated a lacklustre Hoffenheim to return to winning ways as the champions earned a comfortable 4-0 victory at the Allianz Arena.
Mario Gomez opened the scoring after two minutes and Thomas Mueller doubled the home side's advantage on 15 minutes. The Bavarians continued to dominate but had to wait until the 63rd minute for Arjen Robben to produce outstanding skill to add the third goal which alleviated any fears of the kind of comeback that Bayern were on the wrong end of the week before. The Dutch winger then scored an exceptional fourth to put the cherry on the cake.
The result leaves Bayern in third place, 12 points behind leaders Dortmund who play in Saturday's late kick-off at Kaiserslautern.
Bayern made the perfect start to the game as Thomas Mueller found Arjen Robben who was given the time and space to deliver a low ball to an unmarked Mario Gomez to tap in his 26th goal of the season from 30 games, an exceptional record for a player who flattered to deceive last season.
On 11 minutes the home side came close again after some unsure defending by Hoffenheim. A high-ball was floated into the area and with Gomez putting Marvin Commper under pressure, Tom Starke was forced to punch the ball clear, in the process flattening captain Andreas Beck. The ball fell to Anatoliy Tymoshchuk but Starke recovered well to block the Ukrainian's goalbound effort.
FC Hollywood were threatening to run riot and on 15 minutes added a second. Franck Ribery saw his original effort well saved by Starke but the Frenchman was able to pick up the rebound and cut it back to Thomas Mueller, who after turning David Alaba on the edge of the area fired a low shot into the corner of the net leaving the 'keeper rooted to the spot.
Die Roten continued to dominate and a third goal was nearly added on 39 minutes when Robben's ball into the box found its way to an unmarked Bastian Schweinsteiger who saw his half-volley acrobatically tipped over the bar for a corner.
The champions continued the second half in similar form and could have added that elusive third on 55 minutes. Mueller played a one-two with Gomez before seeing his shot well saved by Starke from 12 yards out although considering the space and time he had, the World Cup Golden Boot winner should have done better.
The third goal to put the result beyond doubt finally arrived on 63 minutes and the impressive Robben was the man to add it. The Dutchman picked the ball up out wide on the right and slalomed past three defenders before sliding the ball past Starke and into the Hoffenheim net.
It was four on 81 minutes and it was that man again Robben. The brilliant winger controlled a cross from Ribery on the edge of the area and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Bayern travel to Mainz next weekend while Hoffenheim will be hoping to pick themselves up when they entertain Koeln.
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