Bayern Munich illustrated why they are champions-elect as four goals from Claudio Pizarro helped guide them to an awe-inspiring 9-2 demolition of Hamburg.
Bayern are now just one win away from their 22nd Bundesliga title after today's destruction of a shell-shocked Hamburg which, apart from Pizarro's contribution, featured a double strike from Arjen Robben and one apiece for Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xherdan Shaqiri and Frank Ribery.
It could have been even worse for Hamburg with the hosts 7-0 up with 35 minutes remaining, although they managed to get on the scoresheet through Jeffrey Bruma and Heiko Westermann. The scale of victory will also have been noted in Turin with the German side facing Juventus in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final next week.
Although Borussia Dortmund's win over Stuttgart earlier today ensured Bayern could not seal the title with a win, that did not lessen their hunger. They took the lead after just five minutes when Shaqiri picked his spot from nearly 25 yards after being set up by Toni Kroos. Schweinsteiger made it two in the 19th minute with Shaqiri the provider this time, crossing for the Germany international to head in at the near post.
Pizarro nearly made it three soon afterwards, but he did not have to wait long before getting his own name on the scoresheet, pouncing at the far post to bundle the ball in after half an hour. Three minutes later, Robben effectively sealed the win when he exchanged passes with Pizarro before beating Rene Adler inside his near post. There was time for a fifth just before half time with Pizarro on hand to score after Shaqiri's shot hit the post.
The goalscoring continued unabated in the second half with Pizarro and Robben scoring two goals in a minute to make it 7-0. Bayern's biggest win of the season was complete in the 68th minute when Thomas Muller set up Pizarro for his fourth and Bayern's eighth of the evening.
The first blot on the copybook arrived in the 75th minute when Bruma headed in Rafael van der Vaart's cross, much to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's chagrin. Hamburg's already stifled celebrations lasted a matter of seconds before Ribery grabbed Bayern's ninth in the 76th minute.
Only then did Bayern think about saving their energy for Tuesday night, and they conceded a second in the 86th minute with another header from a Van der Vaart cross, this time from Westermann, although there was nothing to celebrate for the Hamburg captain after a humiliating evening in Munich.