Bayern Munich romps Eintracht behind Thomas Muller hat trick
BERLIN — Thomas Mueller scored a hat trick as Bayern Munich won 4-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt to increase its overnight lead in the Bundesliga to seven points on Saturday.
Franck Ribery set up Mueller's first two, crossing for the World Cup winner to open the scoring in the 22nd minute and then again to finish a counterattack in the 64th. Mueller completed his hat trick three minutes later and Xherdan Shaqiri completed the scoring in the 86th.
"We're not playing badly at the moment. We're playing to a particular concept, no matter who's playing. We have talent coming off the bench," Mueller said. "We also have excellent individual players who can make the difference."
Bayern is unbeaten, with eight wins from 11 games, 27 goals scored and just three conceded. The defending champion's closest rivals, Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach, were both playing their 11th-round games on Sunday.
Elsewhere Saturday, Schalke disappointed in a 2-0 defeat at Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen was held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by visiting Mainz, Augsburg beat promoted Paderborn 3-0 and Cologne won 4-3 at Hoffenheim.
Bottom side Werder Bremen was hosting fellow struggler Stuttgart in the late game.
Frankfurt made an encouraging start against the league leader but Bayern's sheer quality ensured what transpired to be a comfortable victory.
"The whole world is finding it tough to get something from Bayern," Frankfurt midfielder Marco Russ said.
Ribery played a one-two with Robert Lewandowski before cutting the ball back for Mueller, who scored at the second attempt, with his right knee, after his initial effort was blocked on the line by Bastian Oczipka.
Mueller thought he'd scored again shortly afterward, only for the effort to be pulled back for offside.
Frankfurt finished the first half strongly and Alexander Meier forced a good save from Manuel Neuer in the 41st.
The home side also started the second half courageously, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Mueller claimed his second. Philipp Lahm played the ball over the top and Ribery squared it for Mueller to shoot inside the far post.
He completed his hat trick minutes later, when Mario Goetze helped the ball on after a Ribery throw in.
Bayern's three substitutes were all involved in the last goal. Arjen Robben ran at the home defence and was thwarted by Frankfurt keeper Felix Wiedwald before he played it back to Sebastian Rode. Shaqiri then deflected Rode's effort past the helpless goalkeeper.
"The fans were with us and we delivered a good game. It's a shame that the score was so high," Frankfurt's U.S. international defender Timmy Chandler said.
It was Frankfurt's fourth league loss in a row and its fifth including the German Cup. Tough games await with Borussia Moenchengladbach and then Borussia Dortmund the next opponents.
Freiburg followed up its first win of the season last weekend by claiming a deserved second against Schalke.
Christian Guenter opened the scoring in the 22nd after Sidney Sam lost the ball in midfield.
Jonathan Schmid came agonizingly close to scoring on the hour, when Ralf Faehrmann pushed his effort onto the crossbar, but the Frenchman went one better in the 68th, when he capitalized on a poor clearance from Dennis Aogo to make it 2-0.
Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius made a number of saves to deny Leverkusen, which had 24 efforts at goal, a Bundesliga high this season.
"We're playing well in the Champions League and we're well positioned there," Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt said. "We're playing well in the Bundesliga but we're not well positioned there. We need to change that."
In Augsburg, Tobias Werner scored in the seventh minute for the home side and he made it 2-0 with a diving header early in the second half, when Paderborn's defence left him unmarked. The Augsburg midfielder also created his side's third, with a free kick for Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker to score with a header in the 68th.
Hoffenheim got off to a flying start against Cologne when Adam Szalai scored early, only for Pawel Olkowski to equalize three minutes later.
Matthias Lehmann then put the visitors ahead seven minutes after that with a free kick inside the right post, and Anthony Ujah made it 3-1 after a strong run in the 35th.
Roberto Firmino pulled one back for Hoffenheim four minutes later and the Brazilian equalized with a header before halftime.
However, Olkowski scored Cologne's winner with his second in the 83rd.