Bayern Munich successfully defended their lead in the tight title race with an impressive show of power against upstart Union Berlin. The playful and clearly superior record champion won the top duel in the snow flurry against partly overtaxed Iron with 3:0 (3:0) and took over after his gala again the traditional top place, which the equal points Dortmund had taken over at short notice.
After the recent unrest, the well-deserved success in the duel of opposites was of enormous importance for FC Bayern and its coach Julian Nagelsmann. A further damper would have significantly exacerbated the already tense situation before the weeks of truth with the second leg of the round of sixteen against Paris St. Germain.
But Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (31st), Kingsley Coman (40th) and birthday boy Jamal Musiala (45.+1) ensured clear conditions in front of 75,000 spectators in the Allianz Arena before the break. "Record man" Thomas Müller prepared two goals in an exemplary manner for Sadio Mané's comeback.
After their first competitive defeat this year, Union is now three points behind Munich and BVB. Three days after the Europa League success against Ajax Amsterdam, the Berliners had nothing to oppose the strong Bayern.
Kahn urges concentration
How important the game was for the Munich team was also underlined by a team evening on Friday. CEO Oliver Kahn had once again warned that the stars had to "show that they are Bayern Munich".
Nagelsmann made four changes in the starting eleven after the 2:3 in Gladbach, with Dayot Upamecano missing red-locked. Müller, who was substituted against Borussia after just 16 minutes, started again. For the 33-year-old, it was the 430th league game for Munich. He is now ahead of Kahn and behind Sepp Maier (473) number two in the Bayern ranking.
And it was also the eager Müller who had the first big chance in the 5th minute - but forgave in the Munich snow. Despite initially adverse conditions, the committed Bavarians were wide awake and oppressively superior right from the start.
In front of the Union goal some turbulent scenes took place, but only after half an hour the Munich rewarded themselves after flanking Coman and header by Choupo-Moting. The Bayern Express now got rolling. Apart from a chance by Aissa Laidouni (37th), there was nothing to see from the Berliners.
Bayern kept up the pressure even after the break. Alphonso Davies failed free-standing to guest goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow (48.), Müller hit the post (62.). In the 65th minute, the spectators cheered over the substitution of Mane. The top star had suffered a tendon tear on his right fibula in mid-November and missed the World Cup with Senegal after the following operation.
Mane also gave Müller a top chance, but Rönnow reacted strongly (71st), Davies also failed again (86th). For the guests, only Sheraldo Becker (58.) provided after the break for goal danger.