BERLIN — Bayern Munich shrugged off a couple of lacklustre performances by routing Mainz 4-0 in the Bundesliga to start its traditional Oktoberfest celebrations on Saturday.
Robert Lewandowski marked his 100th league appearance for Bayern with his 81st and 82nd goals, which came on the first day of the 184th beer festival. Bayern players traditionally go on an annual team visit to Oktoberfest, which ends on Oct. 3.
On the field, Bayern needed to show a reaction — after last week’s loss at Hoffenheim and an uninspired Champions League opener against 10-man Anderlecht on Tuesday — and the home side wasted little time in breaking the visitors’ resistance.
Mainz, the last side to beat Bayern at home in March 2016, at no stage looked like doing it again.
"We were never 100 per cent satisfied the last few weeks. It was obvious there was room for improvement, and today we had a game where we performed better, perhaps a bit more like a team," Thomas Mueller said.
Mueller claimed his first goal of the season after 10 minutes, though Arjen Robben provided a decisive deflection.
Robben scored minutes later, a rare goal with his right foot after Joshua Kimmich sent him through. The Dutch winger ran to the sideline to celebrate with substitute Franck Ribery, suggesting Tuesday’s frustration was over. Ribery threw his jersey at the dugout after he was taken off against Anderlecht, and Robben sharply criticized the team’s performance.
Five minutes into the second half, Lewandowski slid in to meet Mueller’s cross.
The Polish striker wasn’t satisfied with that, claiming his second of the day with a brilliant header inside the far post with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Leon Goretzka scored late to give Schalke a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen.
Lamine Sane rewarded Bremen’s early endeavour with the opening goal in the 20th minute, only for the good work to be undone almost immediately when Milos Veljkovic scored a bizarre own-goal. Both Veljkovic and Sane wanted to clear the ball — Sane with a bicycle kick and Veljkovic with his head. Instead, Sane kicked his teammate in the head and the ball ended in their own net.
Goretzka got the winner from a corner with seven minutes remaining for Schalke to claim its third win from four games.
SUPER SUB STRIKES
Substitute Caiuby’s stunning strike gave Augsburg a 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt. The Brazilian midfielder was on the pitch for only eight minutes when he looked up and let fly from almost 30 metres to crash the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Promoted Stuttgart defeated Wolfsburg 1-0 in a game overshadowed by Christian Gentner’s injury. The Stuttgart captain was struck in the head by Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels’ knee when he emerged to claim the ball. Gentner was taken off on a stretcher.
Lars Stindl earned a 2-2 draw for Borussia Moenchengladbach at Leipzig in the late game with a late goal.
Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita was sent off late for catching Christoph Kramer in the face with his high studs. Kramer, known for playing with concussion in the 2014 World Cup final, was bleeding profusely but came back to finish the game.
"It looked worse than it was," Kramer said.