Bayern Munich made it seven consecutive wins in the Bundesliga after overcoming Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena.
Goals from Thiago Alcantara, Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski maintained their 100% winning start to 2019, amid a spirited fightback from the visitors.
Bayern took the lead in the fifth minute, when Thiago met Kingsley Coman's low cross, before placing clinically beyond goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
The hosts threatened an onslaught, only for their opponents to respond on 25 minutes. Striker Anastasios Donis picked up the ball from 25 yards out and dispatched a curling effort past the helpless Manuel Neuer, for his third goal this term.
It was the ever-lively Coman that would spurn two chances for the shell-shocked hosts. After forcing Zieler to tip over a rasping shot, Thomas Muller's movement presented the Frenchman with an opening, but screwed his attempt wide in a frustrating period.
Niko Kovac's side came out the firing blocks from the restart and restored their lead, when substitute Serge Gnabry's shot ricocheted off the visitors Christian Gentner.
Then, in a frantic two minute spell, Robert Lewandowski spurned a penalty when he struck the outside of the post, after Gonzalez had struck woodwork at the other end.
But the Polish talisman would eventually atone for his miss late on. First, Leon Goretzka beat the flapping Zieler to make it 3-1, before Lewandowski rounded the German to maintain the six point gap between themselves and leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Key Talking Point
With ground to make up after Dortmund's emphatic victory 24 hours before, Kovac would have earmarked this game as a must win against their lowly opposition.
Unhappy with Bayern's lacklustre opening, the Croatian flung on the attacking Serge Gnabry in place of Javi Martinez and the forward duly repaid his manager's faith. Despite a defensively shaky performance, Kovac would have been delighted with his sides clinical attacking display, especially ahead of a critical domestic and European period.
Starting XI: Neuer (7), Kimmich (6), Sule (6), Hummels (5), Alaba (6), Martinez (6), Thiago (7), Muller (7), Goretzka (6), Coman (8*), Lewandowski (7).
Substitutes: Gnabry (8), Rodriguez (6), Davies (N/A)
At the forefront of Bayern's attacking intents, Kingsley Coman took advantage of Franck Ribery's absence with a brilliant display. Assisting Thiago's opener, Stuttgart's back line couldn't deal with the Frenchman's quick feet in and around the penalty area.
Although Coman wasn't able to open his account for the campaign, he was pivotal to breaking down a stubborn Stuttgart defence.
After enduring a torrid World Cup campaign with Germany, Mats Hummels' performance was symptomatic of his diminished confidence.
Partnering regular Niklas Sule, the 30-year-old looked vulnerable and simply couldn't handle the physical Donis, who often got the better of his counterpart.
Starting XI: Zieler (5), Beck (6), Kabak (5), Kempf (5), Insua (6), Ascacibar (6), Gentner (6), Esswein (6), Gonzalez (6), Zuber (5), Donis (6).
Substitutes: Thommy (5), Sosa (N/A), Didavi (N/A).
Following a 13th win of the campaign, Bayern travel to in-form Bayer Leverkusen on matchday 20 seeking a ninth game unbeaten.
Meanwhile, struggling Stuttgart host mid table SC Freiburg a day later looking to haul themselves out of the relegation playoff spot.