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Bayern Munich reclaim top spot after Mane and Musiala masterclass

Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann lauded his “fun to watch” side as they reclaimed the Bundesliga’s top spot with a dominant 6-2 home defeat of Mainz.

“It is a lot of fun to watch them. (We are) a great mix of quality and configuration,” Nagelsmann said. 

“Huge compliments (to the team). It’s unbelievable at the moment.”

Sublime performances from forwards Jamal Musiala and Sadio Mane pushed Bayern two points clear at the top of the table, the first time they have led the league since August. 

Serge Gnabry opened the scoring after just six minutes thanks to an assist from Mane, while teenager Musiala scored his seventh league goal of the season in the 28th minute.

Mainz centre-back Alexander Hack fouled Mane in the box in the 40th minute. The former Liverpool striker took the penalty and while ‘keeper Robin Zentner saved his shot, the Senegalese pounced on the rebound to put Bayern 3-0 ahead.

Mainz, who missed a 45th minute penalty, had another brief glimmer of hope before the half-time break when Silvan Widmer headed in from a corner, but Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka scored from a Mane cross in the 58th minute to give Bayern an unassailable 4-1 lead.

French striker Mathys Tel, 17, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting added goals for Bayern late on, while Mainz’s Marcus Ingvartsen pounced on a mistake from Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to leave the final score at 6-2. 

Mainz manager Bo Svensson congratulated Nagelsmann and Bayern “on a well-deserved victory”, but was deeply unhappy with his own side. “We missed everything. I didn’t like what I saw in the second half,” he said.

Bayern have now won six games in a row, scoring 25 goals since their last-minute 2-2 draw away at Dortmund in early October. 

Dortmund go third

In the late game, Jude Bellingham scored a crucial second-half goal to send Borussia Dortmund to third with a 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Dortmund’s Julian Brandt opened the scoring for the visitors in the 21st minute, latching on to a looping cross from winger Donyell Malen to send a low shot through the legs of Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp.

Dortmund’s lead was short-lived however. Frankfurt scored just four minutes later when a poor attempted clearance from Mats Hummels found its way to Randal Kolo Muani.

The French striker patiently attracted the attention of several Dortmund defenders, before laying off to Japanese international Daichi Kamada to score his seventh league goal of the season.

The visitors reclaimed the lead in the 52nd minute when Bellingham, 19, collected a backheeled cross from Youssoffa Moukoko, 17, before curling a strike past Kevin Trapp. The goal was Bellingham’s fourth in four games for Dortmund.

Immediately after the goal, Dortmund withstood a furious assault from the home side, with centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck clearing off the line to prevent a certain equaliser from former Dortmund forward Mario Goetze.

Dortmund survived a fiery injury time, with five players—three from Frankfurt and two from Dortmund—picking up yellow cards. 

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig lifted themselves up to within touching distance of the top four with a 2-0 win at home against Bayer Leverkusen thanks to goals from Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner. 

Leverkusen have now won just one in six since former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso took over as manager. 

Wolfsburg thrashed a hapless Bochum 4-0 at home, in the Wolves’ most dominant performance since being taken over by former Bayern manager Niko Kovac in the summer.

In Saturday afternoon’s other match, Stuttgart lifted themselves out of the bottom three with a 2-1 victory against Augsburg, thanks to an injury time winner from Waldemar Anton.

The win was Stuttgart’s third in four games since firing American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo.

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