Robert Lewandowski struck twice as Bayern Munich set a Bundesliga scoring record in bouncing back from their shock midweek German Cup thrashing with a 5-2 triumph at Union Berlin.
That kept the champions top of the Bundesliga on Saturday by one point from Borussia Dortmund, who won 2-0 at home to mid-table Cologne with goals either side of halftime from Thorgan Hazard and Steffen Tigges.
Lewandowski’s early double took Bayern to 35 goals for the season, a feat unmatched by any other side after 10 games, and further strikes from Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman and Thomas Muller confirmed victory.
Niko Giesselmann and Julian Ryerson twice reduced the deficit to two goals but Union could not salvage their superb unbeaten home record and suffered a first defeat in front of their own fans in 21 games.
Bayern looked a different side to that which crashed 5-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
“Everyone expected it but when everyone expects it the pressure is high,” Muller told Sky Sports. “We wanted a footballing reaction.”
“It was a very dominant performance in the first half hour, there could have been another goal or two,” added Muller.
Union fans had been waiting more than two years to see their team host Bayern at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei since earning promotion in May 2019.
Bayern’s previous two games in Berlin’s eastern borough of Kopenick were played without fans present due to coronavirus restrictions. Some 16,500 were allowed Saturday despite rising infection rates for Union’s biggest crowd since the pandemic started.
Despite the loss, the home fans cheered the efforts of their players at full-time with the team still a strong sixth in the table.
“The club is unique. This was special,” said Union goalkeeper Andreas Luthe. “The people realize you can lose at home to Bayern and life goes on. That’s what we’ll try to show.”
Freiburg, who can go level with Bayern by winning in Munich next week, strengthened their grip on third 3-1 at home to bottom side Greuther Fuerth while Mainz maintained their European push with a 2-1 success at second-last Arminia Bielefeld.
Wolfsburg, under new coach Florian Kohfeldt wona 2-0 victory at Bayer Leverkusen, who were fourth at kick-off time.