Thomas Muller believes he has shown himself to be worthy of a Germany recall but will for now "take it easy" as he continues to star for Bayern Munich.

Muller - along with Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels - was dropped by Joachim Low following Germany's disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign.

The Bayern forward has not featured for his country since, with Low standing by his decision.

The Germany coach said last month Muller "is a great player, no question" but "the future belongs to the young players".

Those comments have done little to quell speculation about a potential return for the 31-year-old ahead of the European Championships at the end of the season, however.

"Hopefully the tournament will take place next year," Muller told ZDF after Bayern's 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid, in which he assisted the fourth goal for Kingsley Coman.

"Everyone can see that I am in good shape. We don't need to say more about it. We'll take it easy and then we'll see what happens."

Muller had a key role in Bayern's treble success in 2019-20 with a record-breaking contribution to their latest Bundesliga title triumph.

His tally of 21 assists surpassed Kevin De Bruyne's Bundesliga benchmark, while he posted career-high, league-leading figures for chances created (84) and big chances created (31).

Muller has been similarly impressive at the start of the new season, too, topping the charts again for assists (four), chances created (16) and big chances created (six) through four top-flight games.

Against Atleti, the first match in Bayern's Champions League defence, Muller played three key passes - second only to two-goal star performer Coman.

Robert Lewandowski maintained his magnificent goalscoring form as Bayern Munich eased to a 4-1 Bundesliga victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Lewandowski scored four times in Bayern's 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin in their last match before the international break and struck twice for Poland in a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in midweek.

The prolific striker took his goalscoring tally for the season to nine goals in seven matches with a first-half double at Bielefelder Alm after playing a big part in Thomas Muller's opener.

He then set up Muller for Bayern's fourth as the champions, who conceded to Ritsu Doan's low drive before losing Corentin Tolisso to a straight red card, made it four wins in a row in all competitions and climbed into second place.

Lewandowski played in Muller with a first-time pass in behind and the attacker converted just eight minutes in after his initial pass to Kingsley Coman - earlier denied a penalty - was cut out.

Tolisso and Muller wasted good opportunities to extend Bayern's lead before clinical striker Lewandowski did exactly that with a thumping strike from 18 yards.

The pair were at it again at the end of the first half as Muller squared to Lewandowski to score his second from a near identical position to the first, helped by a telling deflection.

Lewandowski was denied a third by the crossbar early in the second half but crossed for Muller to volley in from six yards out 100 seconds later.

Bielefeld, previously unbeaten in 10 home games in 2020, did manage to pull one back on the counter just before the hour mark through Doan's shot across Manuel Neuer.

Tolisso was then dismissed with 14 minutes to play for bringing down Fabian Klos as the last man, but Hansi Flick's men came closest to scoring the sixth goal of the match as substitute Javi Martinez nodded against the woodwork late on.

What does it mean? Bayern hot on Leipzig's heels

Bayern's 32-match unbeaten run was ended by Hoffenheim in their most recent away league outing but they have responded in style.

Flick's side are a lethal attacking force, managing 17 shots in total here as they made it 14 goals in four consecutive wins.

They are now a point behind leaders RB Leipzig, who beat Augsburg 2-0 earlier in the day.

Free-scoring Lewa unstoppable

Lewandowski has now scored 213 goals in 258 Bundesliga matches and has found the net against every Bundesliga side - including Bayern - with this double against Arminia.

He had six shots in 86 minutes on the field, half of those on target, and created a joint-high three chances for his team-mates - including key passes for Muller's two goals.

Ortega easily beaten

Stefan Ortega, formerly on the books of 1860 Munich, was beaten four times but could arguably have kept out two of those goals.

His positioning for Lewandowski's first goal was questionable and he got a touch to the striker's shot for the second, though he did make five other saves.

What's next?

Holders Bayern host Atletico Madrid in their opening Champions League group match on Wednesday, while Arminia travel to Wolfsburg in their next league outing in eight days' time.

Robert Lewandowski maintained his magnificent goalscoring form as Bayern Munich eased to a 4-1 Bundesliga victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Lewandowski scored four times in Bayern's 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin in their last match before the international break and struck twice for Poland in a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in midweek.

The prolific striker took his goalscoring tally for the season to nine goals in seven matches with a first-half double at Bielefelder Alm after playing a big part in Thomas Muller's opener.

He then set up Muller for Bayern's fourth as the champions, who conceded to Ritsu Doan's low drive before losing Corentin Tolisso to a straight red card, made it four wins in a row in all competitions and climbed into second place.

Lewandowski played in Muller with a first-time pass in behind and the attacker converted just eight minutes in after his initial pass to Kingsley Coman - earlier denied a penalty - was cut out.

Tolisso and Muller wasted good opportunities to extend Bayern's lead before clinical striker Lewandowski did exactly that with a thumping strike from 18 yards.

The pair were at it again at the end of the first half as Muller squared to Lewandowski to score his second from a near identical position to the first, helped by a telling deflection.

Lewandowski was denied a third by the crossbar early in the second half but crossed for Muller to volley in from six yards out 100 seconds later.

Bielefeld, previously unbeaten in 10 home games in 2020, did manage to pull one back on the counter just before the hour mark through Doan's shot across Manuel Neuer.

Tolisso was then dismissed with 14 minutes to play for bringing down Fabian Klos as the last man, but Hansi Flick's men came closest to scoring the sixth goal of the match as substitute Javi Martinez nodded against the woodwork late on.

Hansi Flick conceded Bayern Munich are "lacking a few per cent" after being bailed out by four-goal hero Robert Lewandowski in their dramatic 4-3 Bundesliga win over Hertha Berlin.

Bundesliga champions Bayern's 32-game unbeaten streak was ended in a shock 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim last week and they nearly dropped two more points on Sunday.

Lewandowski scored either side of half-time to give Bayern a commanding lead, only for Jhon Cordoba and Matheus Cunha to level up for Hertha in an action-packed contest.

Prolific striker Lewandowski completed his hat-trick with five minutes remaining but Jessic Ngankam equalised for the stubborn visitors.

Just when it looked as though Bayern were going to slip up for a second league game running, Lewandowski converted a penalty he won himself three minutes into injury time.

Bayern thrashed Schalke 8-0 in their opening match and have also overcome Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup, but head coach Flick accepted there is room for improvement.

"We must take the overall situation into account. It isn't so easy for the players - not all of them are at 100 per cent," he told reporters. 

"We know we can work better in defence, act as a unit and put our opponents under pressure. We're just lacking a few per cent at the moment. 

"But I'm pleased with the team's mentality - we're at 100 per cent in that regard. We have the absolute desire to win. 

"Now it's about showing the beautiful football everybody loves after the international break. We can perform well despite the tiredness."

Lewandowski's four goals came from 13 shots – the most a player has attempted in a Bundesliga match since Edin Dzeko for Wolfsburg against Freiburg in December 2009.

In the week he was named UEFA's Men's Player of the Year for 2019-20, Flick heaped further praise on the Poland international for his latest match-winning display.

"He converted four chances. Robert is an absolute goal-getter," Flick said. "It's important to me that he also adds the other elements, setting up goals and working defensively. 

"He does so, which is why I'm very pleased with him. He has special qualities. But the way we played wasn't like Bayern, we know that."

Bayern are up to fourth in the embryonic table, a point behind early pacesetters RB Leipzig, and Thomas Muller acknowledged the importance of his side's late win over Hertha.

"Of course we're glad we've kept three crucial points," the Bayern forward said. "Many neutrals will definitely be annoyed at our late winner. 

"It was enormously important for us to stay on the ball after these intense last few days. 

"We can't be happy with our work at the back of course, which goes for the whole team. We must keep going when we're two goals up. 

"We want to do the things for which FC Bayern are admired. We did a few things well today but we must restore this aplomb when we're in the lead."

Thomas Muller shone for Bayern Munich last season but Germany boss Joachim Low is not planning to recall him.

Low announced Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels would not be selected again after Germany failed to get out of the group stage at the 2018 World Cup.

However, the Bayern attacking midfielder rediscovered his best form under Hansi Flick last season, accumulating a record-breaking 20 assists as the Bavarian giants stormed to an eighth straight Bundesliga title.

Bayern went on to clinch a treble by winning the DFB-Pokal and Champions League, with Muller playing a starring role in the 8-2 humiliation of Barcelona in the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

However, Low does not intend to bring the 30-year-old back into the international fold any time soon.

"Thomas Muller is a great player, no question about it, but I trust the boys," Low said following a 1-1 draw against Spain on Thursday.

"I just believe that the future belongs to the young players and they simply need time and space to develop.

"We have coped with the upheaval quite well, so I'll stick to my opinion."

However, with the coronavirus pandemic meaning the 2020-21 season is set to suffer from heavy fixture congestion ahead of the delayed Euro 2020, Low refused to completely rule out the idea of a return for Muller.

"I don't think [the schedule is] okay. The amount of games has an impact on health, fitness and quality. It simply isn't bearable for many years," said Low.

"That's why I'm extremely sensitive. If you don't act wisely and pay attention, we will have big problems in March, April, May. I try to prevent that.

He added: "I'm not a clairvoyant who looks into the future and knows what will happen in March, April. Next year there might be a few injuries and then you can change your mind. But at the moment I don't see that."

Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona and starting a fresh challenge elsewhere would make things interesting for football, according to Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Muller.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi informed Barca on Tuesday he wants to leave after 19 years at the club and it is believed he wants to activate a possible clause to leave on a free transfer during the current window.

Inter, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, who are managed by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola, are considered the realistic candidates to sign the 33-year-old.

Muller considers Messi to be arguably the greatest footballer of all time and is intrigued to see where the superstar forward ends up if granted his wish to leave Camp Nou.

"The day Messi and Barcelona go their separate ways had to come at some point," Muller said at a promotional event for Hoffner.  

"Of course, you would have thought that would be the end of his career but now it seems to be different.

"Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers on the planet, maybe even the best of the last 100 years, although everyone will have their own opinion.

"If you ask Mr. Pele, he may see things slightly differently! But now there will be a change and it could become interesting for football.

"Besides Barcelona fans, which I understand, nobody views this in a bad way, but are instead curious about what new paths could open up."

Bayern, who thrashed Barcelona 8-2 en route to winning the Champions League, had also been tipped to move for Messi should he be available on a free transfer.

However, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge ruled out a move on Thursday and Muller has joked his side were never truly in the running to sign the Argentina international.

"I've spoken to our CEO once or twice in the last few months and I don't think we can do anything about that," he said.

Despite his impact for treble-winners Bayern this season, Muller has been left out of Germany's latest squad for their upcoming UEFA Nations League games against Spain and Switzerland.

The versatile forward has not been called up by Joachim Low since November 2018 and has insisted he is not bothered by the continuous snubs.

"Of course, due to the team success and my role in it, this national team question has surfaced again in the last few months," he said. 

"But relatively clear statements have been made from all sides. That's why there is no new stance and it is currently not an issue for me.

"The young players have developed very well. There is no reason for me to change anything in this direction.

"If the situation were different, I would be the very last one who does not revise a decision. But I currently see no reason. This path is good."

Thomas Muller felt Bayern Munich's DFB-Pokal final victory over Bayer Leverkusen was a "sad moment" because the game had to take place behind closed doors. 

Bayern have been in electric form since top-flight football in Germany resumed after the coronavirus shutdown, storming to an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title before closing out another campaign of domestic dominance with a 4-2 win in Berlin on Saturday. 

David Alaba's brilliant free-kick opened the scoring at the Olympiastadion and Serge Gnabry doubled the advantage. 

Although Leverkusen improved considerably after the break, Robert Lewandowski scored a brace to move past 50 goals for the campaign and seal glory. 

Nevertheless, playing at Germany's most famous stadium without fans led to mixed emotions for Muller.

"It's a bit of a sad moment," he told ARD.  "When the fans are missing at a cup final like this, it's not the same. 

"We did well for most of the way, but it hurts a little bit too." 

Wherever they were watching, once again Bayern supporters had plenty to enjoy from a team revitalised under Hansi Flick, who will now aim to repeat the 2012-13 treble when the Champions League concludes next month.

"We leave the stadium proud that we have achieved this," Flick told Sky. "What the team has achieved in the last few weeks is sensational. The attitude is simply fantastic.

"I am very, very happy. The way the team performs is extraordinary."

There was little doubt over the destination of the trophy after Gnabry drilled home an unerring finish in the 24th minute.

"We are so lucky to have won the double today," he told Sky.

"In the first half we had the game completely under control, we could have scored one or two more goals.

"Then Leverkusen had a lot of counter-attacks, but in the end we won 4-2, and that's the most important thing."

Manuel Neuer is one of the survivors of Bayern's last treble season and the captain is eager to go all the way again.

"We have experienced in the last few weeks how motivated and hungry FC Bayern is," Neuer told Sky.

"What we have achieved is something very special. The attitude was sensational.

"We have a little break now, and then we'll prepare ourselves at the top and of course try to bring in the treble."

Thomas Muller broke Kevin De Bruyne's assist record as he provided his 21st of the Bundesliga season on Saturday.

The Germany forward set up Kingsley Coman to put Bayern Munich 1-0 up against Wolfsburg inside four minutes on the final day of the season.

Muller had equalled De Bruyne's haul from the 2014-15 campaign, when the Belgian was with Wolfsburg, with two assists in Bayern's 4-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on June 6.

The 30-year-old's stunning form helped Hansi Flick's side claim an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

Thomas Muller revealed his pride and emotion after Bayern Munich clinched an eighth straight Bundesliga title on Tuesday.

Bayern endured a poor start to the season, with Muller struggling to maintain his place in the team under Niko Kovac, who was sacked in November.

But Hansi Flick came in as head coach and led the champions to a stunning sequence of results, winning 26 of 29 matches in all competitions.

Their most recent victory at Werder Bremen sealed another championship, with Robert Lewandowski on target before Alphonso Davies' controversial red card gave Bayern a little concern.

After crossing the finish line, Muller reflected on another successful league campaign.

"We had to fight hard, but that describes a bit the situation of the last few weeks," he told ARD. "We stayed with it.

"The fighting spirit, regardless of the quality, is enormous.

"With this comeback that we started and the way we played in the second half of the season, I have rarely had so many emotional moments in Bundesliga matches, whether at Borussia Dortmund [a 1-0 win last month] or today.

"When I look at the boys, we achieved this common goal and it is one that we achieved with pride."

Bayern's celebrations were dampened slightly by restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Muller was determined to enjoy the triumph.

"We will devote ourselves to the evening in compliance with the rules and let the emotions run wild for the time being," he said.

"During the coronavirus period, everyone has to have a single table, but we will not necessarily give up.

"You can still lift a glass two metres away with a little distance."

Peter Bosz is optimistic Bayern Munich will do Bayer Leverkusen a favour on Saturday when the Bundesliga leaders face Champions League hopefuls Borussia Monchengladbach.

Leverkusen head into the weekend just outside the top four in the table, though they only sit behind Gladbach on goal difference.

But, in theory, the two sides have contrasting challenges coming up. Gladbach head to the home of in-form defending champions Bayern, while Leverkusen will be hosted the following day by a Schalke side who have taken a single point from their five matches since the season resumed.

David Wagner is under significant pressure at Schalke and Leverkusen will be overwhelming favourites, despite being the away team.

Bosz hopes they can overcome their hosts and move back into the top four, but that will require some assistance from a Bayern side that will be without key players Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller due to suspension.

"Of course, we can take an important step when you see that a direct competitor [for the Champions League places] is playing away in Munich," Bosz said on Friday.

"Although, I have to say that with Muller and Lewandowski, two important players are missing. Those are two leaders. That will make a big difference.

"But still, Bayern normally has to win this game. We know that, but there's no point looking at the game if we don't win against Schalke ourselves, and that won't be easy, of course.

"I've always said that there are no easy games in the Bundesliga. That also applies to us, but if a direct competitor plays against Bayern, then maybe that's an opportunity for us [to overtake them]."

Bosz confirmed Exequiel Palacios is a doubt due to illness, however the midfielder is just suffering from a sickness bug, rather than coronavirus.

"So, today three players did not train," he added. "Palacios was sick last night. I hope he'll be better tomorrow.

"Well, he doesn't have the illness we've been talking about in the last months, just for your information."

Bayern Munich will be without star duo Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller for Saturday's clash with Borussia Monchengladbach, but the latter's coach Marco Rose is adamant the champions have plenty of depth to compensate.

Lewandowski and Muller have been leading lights for a rampant Bayern this season, with the Poland striker adding his 45th goal across all competitions in the DFB-Pokal semi-final win over Eintracht Frankfurt, while the German forward took his assists tally to 23.

But, after earning yellow cards in the 4-2 weekend win at Bayer Leverkusen – a match in which they were both influential – neither will be able to feature as another of the top-four hopefuls visits the Allianz Arena.

Gladbach travel to Munich in search of a response to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Freiburg last Friday, but Rose is not expecting Bayern to be a significantly easier obstacle to overcome just because Lewandowski and Muller will be missing.

"Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski are major players in the Bayern team. They will be suspended against us, but the club has a group capable of compensating for these absences," Rose said in his pre-match news conference.

"Hansi Flick and Bayern have developed a game idea with which they are very successful. I think they will stick to it and will not change too much. We have also prepared for this.

"To bring back a result from Munich, you have to play courageously, with and without the ball. Although Bayern played yesterday [Wednesday] in the DFB-Pokal, and the players may be accumulating fatigue, they will be able to mobilise their forces on Saturday.

"You need absolute clarity without the ball and you also have to keep the Munich team busy."

Gladbach will be without a key player themselves in Alassane Plea, as the Frenchman was shown a red card in Freiburg following two bookable offences but Rose thinks he was unlucky.

"I interact with my players every day, telling them to accept referee decisions," he said. "But I think that Alassane was put in the wrong light after his red card in Freiburg. I think the card was over the top."

Club sporting director Max Eberl held a similar view during the match and his protestations earned him a red card, meaning he too will have to watch from the stands – rather than the bench – this weekend.

He accepts he probably got a little carried away with his reaction, however.

"I accept the penalty for the red card," Eberl said. "I was too emotional on Friday after the red card. I'm sorry for my choice of words, and I will now watch the game in the stands on Saturday."

While Bayern are sitting pretty at the summit with a seven-point gap heading into the final four matches, Gladbach – holders of the fourth and final Champions League spot – are only ahead of Leverkusen on goal difference.

Hansi Flick felt Bayern Munich deserved their DFB-Pokal win over Eintracht Frankfurt despite "reeling at times".

The Bundesliga leaders booked their spot in the final courtesy of a 2-1 victory as Ivan Perisic and Robert Lewandowski scored at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

Lewandowski's winner came after Danny da Costa drew 2018 champions Eintracht level in the 69th minute and Flick believes his side deserved to progress.

"It was a cup match, our opponents pressed very well, we were reeling at times," the Bayern head coach said, via the club's website.

"But at the end of the day it was a deserved victory. We should have taken our chances and scored one or two more goals, the second half would have been different then. But I still have to pay my team a huge compliment.

"We're on a great run, the players are doing a very, very good job, so we can accept the second half. The main thing was to advance after such a cup fight. It's the step we wanted to take – toward the final in Berlin."

Bayern have won 12 straight games and are unbeaten in 21 outings in all competitions.

Thomas Muller felt defending champions Bayern were tired during their win, which saw them set up a clash with Bayer Leverkusen in the final on July 4.

"Frankfurt showed a lot of fatigue in the first half. We were fresher, we should have taken a bigger lead," the Bayern attacker said.

"But we too were tired and fatigued after the last few weeks, unfortunately it was similar in the second half. We were unusually sloppy. Our pressing wasn't deserving of our name.

"Our defenders did a good job. They stifled a lot, but in terms of our play, the final ball, we can be anything but satisfied. We stepped on the gas after the equaliser."

Bayern are next in action with a clash against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, while Eintracht visit Hertha Berlin on the same day.

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick expressed frustration after Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller earned yellow cards in the win over Bayer Leverkusen that will rule them out of their next Bundesliga match.

Despite falling behind early on, Bayern rallied and ultimately ran out comfortable 4-2 winners, with Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Lewandowski on target. 

For Lewandowksi, his effort took him on to 44 for the season across all competitions, a personal best, while Muller claimed a pair of assists to move him to 20 for the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign, tying Kevin De Bruyne's record.

But both of Bayern's key men were booked, meaning they will miss next weekend's visit of Borussia Monchengladbach.

Although Bayern have a commanding lead at the summit, Flick did not hide his irritation at having the pair ruled out.

"It's annoying but we cannot change it and have to accept the situation," he said.

"You are emotional on the pitch, but I spoke to the referee Manuel Grafe. He said that Lewandowski was hitting the opponent and that's why he saw the yellow card. I didn't see it so I cannot really comment.

"Thomas was blocking the ball when they had free-kick, so the yellow card was okay. It is what it is. We accept it.

"We will have two other players. This is also good sometimes, but it's important that both can play 90 minutes against Eintracht Frankfurt [in the DFB-Pokal] on Wednesday. Then we try to prepare ourselves well for the game against Gladbach."

Goretzka was a standout performer once again and that was not lost on Flick, who is desperate for the Germany midfielder to remain injury-free.

"We are knocking on wood [hoping Goretzka remains fit] and hope he continues like that," Flick said.

"Of course, how we fought back was also due to the intensive pressing – we were more aggressive and had good ball possessions.

"Leon was directly involved in those moments and had a big influence on the first two goals.

"He showed exactly what you need as a team when you still have to find your way to the game. He did that great.

"Regarding his physical condition, he has a very strong role on the pitch and this helps us a lot."

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller reached personal milestones as Bayern Munich broke Bundesliga records in a 4-2 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen.

This was the most difficult remaining game on paper this term for the league leaders, who went into the contest with a seven-point lead over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.

It proved as much in the first half when Lucas Alario's clever finish past Manuel Neuer secured a 1-0 lead for Leverkusen, who were without star man Kai Havertz due to injury.

The advantage was short-lived, though, as Hansi Flick's record-breaking side struck three times before the break through Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry.

Coman's precise finish was Bayern's 62nd goal in just 20 Bundesliga matches under Flick, a number beyond that of any previous coach in the history of the competition.

Muller teed up Goretzka to make it 2-1 and reach 19 league assists for the season, which became 20 in the second half when he crossed for Lewandowski to head in the fourth.

Muller is the first player to reach that number of assists in Europe's top-five leagues since Kevin De Bruyne for Wolfsburg in 2014-15. One more for the Bayern's number 25 will see him move beyond De Bruyne's division record.

As for Lewandowski, his emphatic header brought up 30 league goals for 2019-20 and took him to a remarkable 44 in 39 games in all competitions. It is the most the Poland striker has ever scored in a single season.

Lewandowski's goal took Bayern's tally for this Bundesliga campaign to 90, a league record for a team after 30 matches, as they stretched their winning run to nine consecutive games.

Bayern Munich's ominous charge towards an eighth successive Bundesliga title continued with a crushing 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen, as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller reached impressive personal milestones.

Hansi Flick's side - wearing 'Black Lives Matter' armbands - looked rusty during the opening exchanges on Saturday yet rallied to overpower their hosts and go 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit.

It all began so well for Leverkusen, who opened the scoring early on through Lucas Alario, but they capitulated and conceded three goals in less than 20 minutes – Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry all punishing the hosts.

Lewandowski added a fine header to set a new personal best of 44 goals in a single season, turning in a cross from Muller, who equalled the Bundesliga assists record for a solitary campaign.

Despite not being able to call upon Kai Havertz, missing with a muscular issue, Leverkusen began positively and deserved the lead nine minutes in – Alario prodding past Manuel Neuer after being released by Julian Baumgartlinger.

But their confidence soon vanished and Bayern duly restored parity just before the half-hour mark, Coman slotting past Lukas Hradecky after Goretzka robbed Moussa Diaby to set up his team-mate.

Leverkusen then fell apart late in the half. Goretzka rounded off a well-worked move with a left-footed effort than squeezed under Hradecky's hand, while Gnabry lobbed the goalkeeper to make it 3-1 after a punt up the pitch by Joshua Kimmich.

Peter Bosz took the drastic step of making three changes at half-time, and while chances became slightly harder to come by for Flick's team, Leverkusen did not improve a great deal going forward.

Bayern looked the more threatening and eventually got a fourth just past the hour – Lewandowski belatedly getting in on the act with an emphatic header from Muller's pinpoint cross.

Florian Wirtz, who was introduced at the break, opened his Leverkusen account in style with a curling effort late on to become the Bundesliga's youngest ever scorer at 17 years and 43 days, but it was a mere consolation for the hosts.

 

What does it mean? Bayer's remorse

While Bayern's place at the top was secure regardless of the result, this was an opportunity – albeit a difficult one – for Leverkusen to take charge in the race for fourth after Borussia Monchengladbach's 1-0 defeat to Freiburg on Friday.

They could not do so, though, meaning they remain fifth and outside of the Champions League spots. As for Bayern, they strengthened their grip on the title.

Muller delights

It was another wonderful performance from the Bayern maestro. He teed up Goretzka in the first half and then supplied a lovely assist for Lewandowski to take his tally to 20 for the campaign, matching Kevin De Bruyne's Bundesliga record.

Bailey hooked

It was a difficult day for Leverkusen, particularly their attackers. Diaby was woeful, his end product proving continuously frustrating, but at least he was lively. Leon Bailey, in contrast, offered little before he was withdrawn at half-time.

What's next?

Bayern return to the Allianz Arena for their DFB-Pokal semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday, then host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga three days later. Leverkusen are also in cup action in midweek, against fourth-tier Saarbrucken on Tuesday, and then go to Schalke at the weekend.

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