UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund registered huge wins and hit ten goals between them as they returned to Bundesliga duty in sensational style today.
Having drawn Barcelona in the last four of the Champions League, after beating Juventus in Wednesday's quarter-final, newly-crowned German champions Bayern beat Nuremberg 4-0 at Munich's Allianz Arena despite resting a host of stars. Dortmund hammered bottom side Greuther Fuerth 6-1 with Jose Mourinho, coach of their Champions League semi-final opponents Real Madrid, in Franconia watching from the stands.
Having already been confirmed Bundesliga champions the week before, Bayern extended their unbeaten run in the German league to 20 matches since losing to Bayer Leverkusen last October -- their only league defeat this season. Nuremberg came to Munich unbeaten in their previous nine games and chasing their first win at Bayern in 21 years, but it took just five minutes to dismiss any notion of an upset.
Even with Germany stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Mueller, Brazil's Dante, plus Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic all rested, Bayern were 3-0 up inside 25 minutes. Germany defender Jerome Boateng volleyed home the first with just five minutes gone before the centre-back provided the final pass for Mario Gomez to make it 2-0 on 17 minutes.
Brazil defender Rafinha, in at right-back for Lahm, scored the third on 24 minutes with France winger Franck Ribery captaining the team for the first time since he joined them back in 2007. Nuremberg's luck did not improve after the break when Belgium midfielder Timmy Simons' penalty was saved by Bayern's stand-in goalkeeper Tom Starke, albeit with his head when the ball went through his gloves.
Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed Bayern's fourth on 56 minutes after a final pass from Ribery, while coach Jupp Heynckes gave a league debut to 17-year-old Danish midfielder Pierre Hojbjerg for the final 20 minutes. The win leaves Bayern on 78 points, 20 clear of second-placed Dortmund, with five games left and just three short of Borussia's record of 81 points in a Bundesliga season, set last year.
After their dramatic 3-2 Champions League win over Malaga in midweek, Dortmund ran riot at Fuerth with both Germany midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Mario Goetze scoring twice early as it finished 5-0 at the break.
Fuerth are now just two matches short of becoming the first Bundesliga team to lose all of their home matches in a season. The hosts pulled a goal back with 20 minutes left, but Robert Lewandowski netted Dortmund's sixth with ten minutes left to extend his own record having scored in all of his last 11 league games. He is five short of Gerd Mueller's Bundesliga record.
The day's late game ended in a 2-2 draw as Schalke were held at home by Bayer Leverkusen. The hosts will nevertheless be happy with the result after recovering from two goals down to edge a point clear of Freiburg in fourth place and remain on course for Champions League place.
Simon Rolfes gave the visitors the lead five minutes before interval while Michal Kadlec made it 2-0 just shy of the hour mark. The hosts refused to lie down, however, and Teemu Pukki brought them back into the game before Raffael's penalty, awarded following a red-card challenge by Omer Toprak, ensured it ended in a draw.
In the Bundesliga's other match-ups today, Hamburg ended their three-match losing streak with a 2-1 win at Mainz with South Korea striker Son Heung-Min scoring twice, while Bremen were held to a 2-2 draw at Fortuna Duesseldorf. Hoffenheim drew 2-2 at Wolfsburg to move up to 16th, while strugglers Werder Bremen drew 2-2 at Fortuna Duesseldorf, with both teams just above the relegation zones.