Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt: 6 Things We Learned
Bayern Munich continued their dominance at the top of the Bundesliga table with a formidable 5-0 win over lowly Eintracht Frankfurt that now sees Pep Guardiola's side sit comfortably with 13 points between them and second place.
With the visitors playing a slightly weakened side due to Armin Veh's insistence on prioritising his coming games, Bayern didn't take long to break through with a wonderful opening goal from none other than Mario Gotze.
The young attacking midfielder chested a loose ball down on the edge of the box and unleashed a volley that managed to beat Kevin Trapp at his far post. It was a fitting goal for what would be a long, long evening for the visiting side.
Franck Ribery would then double Bayern's lead a moment before half-time when a stray Mario Mandzukic header found space, which the wideman happily took advantage of. Ribery struck the ball true, and the Bavarian side were well on their way to victory.
The second half was no kinder to Frankfurt when the floodgates truly burst in the final third of the game following a quick double from Arjen Robben and Dante in the 67th and 69th minutes, respectively. Mandzukic, the only true goalscorer on the pitch who had yet to score, had a late consolation goal, and it was an altogether easy day at the office for the German champions.
Here's what we took from the game.
Armin Veh Was Right to Prioritise Fixtures
Frankfurt haven't had a great season so far. Armin Veh's side went into Sunday's match against the league leaders just two spots and one point ahead of a dreaded relegation spot. As such, he chose to rest certain first-team players for next week's bottom-of-the-table clash with Eintracht Braunschweig.
This, of course, means that the likes of Stefan Aigner and Takashi Inui will be fully fit and fresh in a game that the Eagles will undoubtedly have to win. Though not exactly in the spirit of the game, this is a very calculated move from the experienced manager.
Gotze Looks Better in Midfield
Mario Gotze has had a mixed back of results since joining Bayern's squad. Under Guardiola, the former attacking midfielder at Borussia Dortmund has often found himself as the lone striker in some of the Catalonian's tactics, to which he has found little success.
Yet today's match had the German international back in his usual role behind the main striker, where he simply thrived. Late runs in to the box are how Gotze made his name and surely where he is best suited in this formidable Bayern side.
Guardiola Will Have to Eventually Compromise Lahm
Much has been made of Philipp Lahm's interesting evolution under Guardiola, as he now commands a spot at the foot of Bayern's bulging midfield.
Yet as each game goes on, with Bayern admittedly continuing to win at a canter, the fill-in right-back Rafinha continues to show defensive frailties that won't be so discreet against greater sides.
Furthermore, with the imminent return of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, the coach will eventually have to make the decision to either move Lahm back to right-back or simply not use one of these two world-class midfielders.
Ribery Returns with Impeccable Consistency
Franck Ribery's return to football in 2014 was always going to cause fireworks, yet the performance he put in throughout tonight's game was as if he never spent a few weeks on the injury table at all.
Bayern looked like a different side from the one that struggled to break down Stuttgart last week, and that was largely to do with the return of their wonderful left winger. With a goal to boot, the Frenchman will be over the moon with the start of his year.
Frankfurt Continue Drop Down the Table
This loss to Bayern ended Frankfurt's three-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, but more importantly, it meant that the side could do very little to stop their slow drop down the league table.
With Nurnberg's win over Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart's improved performances, despite losing against Bayern and Bayer Leverkusen, Frankfurt not only face pressure from the sides above them but also those climbing from beneath.
Bayern Continue Formidable Home Form
Sunday night's win over Frankfurt was Bayern's 18th consecutive home game in which they haven't dropped a single point.
Their away run is almost as formidable, plus the Bavarian side have managed to score in a record 56 consecutive Bundesliga games. This side are quite simply too good for this league at the moment.
Guardiola's men could not look more comfortable.