Bayern Munich secured their first home win of the campaign with a comfortable 6-1 victory over Mainz at the Allianz Arena on Saturday as the reigning Bundesliga champions put the pressure on rivals Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.
Mainz shockingly opened the scoring with a great header from Jean-Paul Boetius, who capitalised on poor defending from Benjamin Pavard.
However, the French defender made up for it with a great half volley to give Die Roten a much-needed equaliser. Bayern then took the lead with a brilliant free-kick from David Alaba in stoppage time of the first half.
The Bavarians continued as they left off as Ivan Perisic, who made his first start for the club, scored a great header to put Bayern comfortably ahead.
Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies all scored late on to give Bayern a huge victory and put down a marker ahead of their crunch tie against Leipzig.
Key Talking Point
The reigning Bundesliga champions started this season extremely slowly and were lethargic again on Saturday, with Boetius' goal a great example. It was looking like it would be a miserable game as Bayern were unable to break down a resolute and inspired Mainz defence but, as so often with the German giants, their class prevailed soon after.
Niko Kovac's side are gifted with supreme individual talent and superbly executed finishes from Pavard and Alaba gave the Bavarians some momentum, crushing Mainz's spirit in the process. The individual brilliance from the squad was too much for Mainz and they cruised home to another victory.
It seems as though Kovac's side are finally up to speed and have gained some confidence and momentum. It has come at the right time as they need to be at their best to try and beat their next opponents - in-form title rivals RB Leipzig.
Starting XI: Neuer (7); Pavard (9), Lucas (7), Süle (7), Alaba (8); Thiago (7), Kimmich (7); Coman (8); Coutinho (7), Perisic (8); Lewandowski (8).
Substitutes: Muller (8), Davies (7), Cuisance (6).
STAR PLAYER - There were several great performances in the Bayern squad but Benjamin Pavard was the standout player. His goal and assist from right back were more than enough for Bayern to seal their first three points of the season at the Allianz Arena.
Despite falling asleep for the Mainz goal, he made up for it with a great performance in the latter stages of the first half and the whole of the second period. A brilliant half volley, which was similar to his stunning World Cup goal, gave Bayern a much-needed equaliser.
His superb cross for Perisic's first goal for the club showcased Pavard's great attacking play despite being a natural centre back. His performance showed that Kovac's decision to deploy the Frenchman at right back was more than justified.
What an insane game for Pavard. Hope he picks MOTM over there. Well deserved.— Elias (@I__Ga) August 31, 2019
Benjamin Pavard looooooves himself a volley— A West (@ayyy_west) August 31, 2019
Key Talking Point
Despite conceding six, Mainz's main problem was their attacking threat as they were unable to get the ball out of their half with an outlet. That has been their problem for the last few seasons as they lack a standout player to help push them into the top half of the table.
Die Nullfünfer struggled to really test Manuel Neuer, aside from the well-worked early goal, and they'll be hoping that they can be much better in front of goal in their upcoming fixtures.
It was really looking like a decent performance in the first half from Mainz but Bayern's quality was too much for them and in the end they got overrun as their heads started to drop.
Starting XI: Muller (5); Pierre-Gabriel (6), Niakhate (6), Hack (6), Martin (6); Baku (6), Fernandes (6), Latza (6); Boetius (7); Onisiwo (6), Burkardt (6).
Substitutes: Szalai (6), Kunde (6), Juste (6).
STAR PLAYER - A terrible result for Mainz and they will be hoping to put this behind them. They did have a great start to the game, all thanks to Jean-Paul Boetius.
His brilliant movement in the box fooled Pavard as he got in front of him and nodded home an early lead. He was always the outlet for the side and was often cynically fouled, his pace a threat to Bayern's defence.
However, it was far from enough as Mainz were trounced despite a decent outing from Boetius.
Lovely to see JP Boetius having scored for Mainz today, even though they got battered.— Kaustubh Pandey (@Kaus_Pandey17) August 31, 2019
Another one of those players who I grew up thinking that he'll be playing for a top club when he was at Feyenoord.
Goalll J.P Boetius Opens the score for Mainz at the Alainz Arena. Pavard 🙆🏾 Lost his man, lack of concentration. A good start for Mainz as they have scored only their second league goal this season and that's Boetius second goal against Bayern. pic.twitter.com/n65f1YDTUs— Lavogez (@captainkoke) August 31, 2019
Oh JP Boëtius you are the love of my life— Conor Garratt (@conorgarratt) August 31, 2019
Bayern needed that win to put pressure on rivals Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig as the title race starts to heat up, and they got it. They have put down a marker to show they are still the best team in the country.
Die Roten next face fellow title challengers RB Leipzig in what will be a hotly contested affair and the result could have a detrimental effect for either team come to the end of the season.
Mainz welcome Hertha Berlin and will look to bounce back in a match where they can hope to take some points.