A stunning performance from Claudio Pizarro was a highlight of an exceptional Bayern Munich performance, the league leaders recording their 10th Bundesliga victory in style with an 9-2 destruction of sorry Hamburg.
The Peruvian notched his first four goals of the season in the Allianz Arena as HSV folded without fight, while Xerdan Shaqiri, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben's double added to the humiliation for the hapless visitors, who had late consolations thanks to Jeffrey Bruma and Heike Westermann.
While Borussia Dortmund's last-gasp victory meant that Bayern could not be crowned champions in March, Jupp Heynckes' men nevertheless knew that another win would leave the claiming of the Bundesliga title as little more than a formality in coming weeks. With that in mind, and despite resting several first-team players, Die Roten gave an exhibition of football as they destroyed HSV from the first whistle.
With just six minutes on the clock, and after a slightly nervous start, Bayern were on the board. Hamburg's defence were complicit in the strike as they stood off first the advancing Toni Kroos, and then Xerdan Shaqiri; the Switzerland international made them pay with a brilliant left-foot shot that flew low past Rene Adler and inside the post. The visitors briefly raised hopes of coming back with a wicked effort from Heung-Min Son that was saved by Manuel Neuer - but there was no slowing down the rampant hosts.
The Hamburg backline did well to deny Robben, who was waiting to convert Pizarro's low cross, but later let themselves down. A quick corner was nodded in by Bastian Schweinsteiger, criminally unmarked. The floodgates were now well and truly open; Claudio Pizarro was the next man to make the scoresheet, again from a quickly-taken corner, converting Javi Martinez's flick on to record his first goal of the season.
The Peruvian had been used only sporadically for Bayern throughout 2012-13, but he was enjoying immensely a rare start in the Allianz Arena. A perfectly-timed backheel completed an exchange with Robben, and the Netherlands star did not let his side down as he fired the return into the corner of the net, giving Adler no chance to save. Hamburg were reeling, four down within little more than 30 minutes, but Bayern were in no mood to let up.
A clinical move from the Bundesliga leaders left Shaqiri free in the box and, although the forward could not add his second with an effort off the post, Pizarro was on hand to tap in and put Die Roten 5-0 ahead, entering the dressing room to rapturous applause at half-time.
Bayern could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the accelerator after such an electric half, but there was no sign Hamburg would be spared further humiliation as they continued to rain in goals. A brilliant burst from Robben down the right left Heiko Westermann standing, and his cross was turned in with a cheeky backheel from Pizarro as El Conquistador celebrated his hat-trick. The Peruvian turned provider just seconds later; chasing down Bruma deep in the Hamburg half, Claudio took the ball cleanly and unselfishly laid off to Robben, who chipped over Adler for the seventh of the evening.
Substitutes Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller were determined to join in the festivities, and combined perfectly to tee up Pizarro for a fourth and continue the rout; although Jeffrey Bruma at least hit a consolation late on, the goal only spurred a furious Bayern to restart their offensive and hit again through Ribery. Heike Westermann hit for a second HSV strike, but it did little to dull the party for Die Roten as they completed a sensational win.
With seven games left in the season, Bayern need just two points to ensure their crowning as Bundesliga champions, wresting the title of Dortmund after two consecutive runner-up finishes.