James Rodriguez fires hat-trick as Bayern Munich hammer Mainz
There was no Champions League hangover for Bayern Munich as they returned to the top of the Bundesliga table in emphatic style with a 6-0 victory over Mainz at the Allianz Arena.
James Rodriguez scored a hat-trick while Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies were also on the scoresheet for the reigning champions as they bounced back from their midweek home defeat to Liverpool.
The win, Bayern’s 13th in their last 14 league games, saw Niko Kovac’s team move back above rivals Borussia Dortmund on goal difference.
Kovac made five changes to the side that were knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday. Rafinha, Mats Hummels and Franck Ribery dropped down to the bench while Serge Gnabry and Javi Martinez were left out of the squad, with the latter having suffered an injury.
Jerome Boateng, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller and Coman were recalled to the starting line-up.
It took Bayern just three minutes to open the scoring as Lewandowski flicked in David Alaba’s cross at the near post. He could have had a second goal almost immediately but Florian Muller made a good save when one-on-one with the Polish striker.
Bayern were rampant and Thomas Muller went close with a header before Coman crashed a shot against a post.
Mainz eventually settled and stemmed the flow of attacks from the hosts – until the half-hour mark when James went close with a curling effort that sailed just wide.
It proved to be a range-finder for the on-loan Real Madrid forward, who doubled Bayern’s lead in the 33rd minute with a first-time shot after being set up by Goretzka.
Coman put the game beyond doubt six minutes before half-time when he cut inside from the left and fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
It was a case of how many Bayern would get and a quick-fire double from James at the start of the second half saw the Colombian complete his hat-trick.
A lovely curling effort brought Bayern’s fourth goal before James had his treble in the 55th minute, showing great composure to chip the ball over Muller and into the net.
The sixth goal came in the 70th minute. Muller made a good save to deny Lewandowski but substitute Davies was on hand to tap in the rebound for his first goal for the club since his move from Vancouver Whitecaps in January.
The hosts kept their foot on the gas but were unable to add to their tally, despite the best efforts of Thomas Muller, Goretzka and Niklas Sule late on.