Bayern Munich edged past struggling Werder Bremen 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of Thomas Mueller’s first half goal to set a Bundesliga record for the best start to a season with their ninth consecutive victory.
Germany international Mueller, in sensational form this season, was left unmarked in the box to latch onto a superb Thiago Alcantara chip and tap in from close range in the 23rd minute for his ninth league goal as Bayern improved the record they had set themselves in the 2012/13 season.
Unbeaten Bayern, who never needed to hit top form and eased off late in the game granting Werder more space, climb to a maximum 27 points, restoring their seven-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who won 2-0 at Mainz 05 on Friday. Bayern face Arsenal in the Champions League next week.
“We won a very difficult game,” said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, whose team are chasing a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title. “Werder were defending deep and they made it really hard for us.”
“It was difficult finding spaces, especially because we did not have wingers. But I want to congratulate my team as this win means a lot to me”, he told reporters.
Bayern were missing half a dozen players, including injured wingers Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman with Guardiola also resting winger Douglas Costa.
But they still comfortably dominated Werder, who have now lost their last five consecutive Bundesliga matches.
The hosts had some efforts on goal and tested keeper Manuel Neuer but neither Anthony Ujah nor former Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro, who came on as a late substitute, could find the equaliser. The former German champions are stuck on seven points in 14th place.
Max Meyer scored a stoppage-time goal to give Schalke 04 a last-gasp 2-1 victory over ten-man Hertha Berlin and keep them firmly in third place on 19 points, one behind Dortmund.
Max Kruse scored a hat-trick as VfL Wolfsburg, who squandered a two-goal lead, beat Hoffenheim 4-2 in a rollercoaster game for their first win in four matches that lifted them to fourth on 15 points.
Fellow Champions League club Bayer Leverkusen drew 0-0 at Hamburg SV with keeper Rene Adler, surprisingly picked to start ahead of Jaroslav Drobny, ensuring a point for the hosts with several superb saves.