Bayern cruised 10 points clear of Leipzig, who surprisingly lost to struggling Wolfsburg, by clinically taking their chances against a decent Frankfurt side. Buoyant Bayern have scored now 28 goals in their last seven games in all competitions. A fifth successive Bundesliga title looks a formality with 10 games remaining.
Bayern returned to their pre-Arsenal form during the first half. Despite being outplayed for long periods, Bayern led 2-0 at half-time, scoring with their only two chances. Effectiveness personified.
8 — Basking in the glow of sealing a 11th Champions League quarterfinal with his sixth different side, the Italian maestro has Bayern clicking through the gears entering the business end of the season.
GK Manuel Neuer, 7 — Enjoyed a disrupted training regime this week with a sore Achilles and calf problems, but fit enough to continue his ever-present record in the Bayern goal and notch his 12th clean sheet in 24 games.
DF David Alaba, 7 — The Austrian endured a nervy start, giving the ball away cheaply, but rectified that early blip by brilliantly setting up Douglas Costa’s goal with a blistering run and delivery from the left flank.
DF Mats Hummels, 8 — Produced a stupendous goal-saving tackle to deny Branimir Hrgota the breakthrough on 19 minutes, immediately congratulated for his stupefying brilliance with a chest bump from his grateful goalkeeper Neuer.
DF Javi Martinez, 7 — Might have conceded a penalty for a tug on Branimir Hrgota’s shirt in the first half. With Boateng back from injury, Martinez took a deserved breather just after the hour mark.
DF Philipp Lahm, 6 — Celebrated 30,000 Bundesliga touches of the ball in the 16th minute but had his difficulties coping with the rapid Ante Rebic during the first half.
MF Arturo Vidal, 6 — Enjoyed an error-strewn start to the game, compounded by a yellow card after a disagreement with Omar Mascarell, meaning the combative Chilean is suspended for the tricky trip to play “A German Team (aka Borussia Monchengladbach) next Sunday. Replaced late on by Renato Sanches with the game in the bag.
MF Thiago, 6 — Less of a presence than he has been in recent weeks as Frankfurt gave as good as they got in midfield.
MF Douglas Costa, 7 — Following Franck Ribery’s long-awaited return from injury, the Brazilian has only started half of Bayern’s league games this season. Endured a disjointed start like the rest of his colleagues but soon went close with a first-time volley before tapping in from close range for his fourth Bundesliga goal of the season. Crowned it with a celebratory acrobatic somersault to boot.
MF Arjen Robben, 7 — A quiet game by his standards apart from a sublime cross for Lewandowski’s second goal, Bayern’s third.
MF Thomas Muller, 6 — Cruelly denied a second league goal by Makoto Hasebe’s last-ditch clearance off the line early in the second half. Seems to be stuck for an age on that solitary Bundesliga goal for the season. However, Muller proved his worth by edging into double figures for assists on the season, nicely laying on Lewandowski’s opener after a tenacious break down the right.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 9 — There is no rest for “goal machine” Lewandowski, who is also the only Bayern outfield player to feature in every Bundesliga game this season. Moreover, the champions-in-waiting simply cannot afford to do without him. He fired Bayern ahead against the run of play on 38 minutes and added another with an equally clinical finish 10 minutes after half-time. He missed his hat trick on 67 minutes, narrowly shooting just past the post. The Poland striker reached the century club for the Bavarians in just 136 games, making him statistically the best Bayern striker ever (in the modern era). More on that in Sunday’s blog…
DF Jerome Boateng, 7 — Recovered from a pectoral injury, Boateng enjoyed his first Bundesliga appearance since the defeat in Dortmund in November. After Martinez and Hummels impressed during his 108-day absence, it’s going to be interesting to see which two central defensive partnership Ancelotti picks in the Champions League quarterfinal next month.
MF Kingsley Coman, NR — The French youngster replaced the centurion Lewandowski with the game done and dusted, showing some nice moves down the right touchline.
MF Renato Sanches, NR — On for Vidal, Golden Boy Sanches almost broke his scoring duck with a glancing header that brushed the post in the dying seconds.