Bundesliga - Bayern thrash Eintracht Frankfurt to retain lead at top

Bayern Munich extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 44 matches by beating Eintracht Frankfurt to retain their 13-point lead at the top.

Goals from Mario Götze, Franck Ribery, substitute Arjen Robben, Dante and Mario Mandzukic helped the Bundesliga champions produce a five-star performance from Bayern.

It’s the 56th consecutive match where Bayern Munich have found the back of the net.

After dealing with personal issues, French attacker Ribery returned to the action, replacing Thomas Muller in the starting line-up, whilst Toni Kroos also dropped out, fuelling more speculation about his future.

An early foray forward for Frankfurt’s Jan Rosenthal was as close as the Eagles came for a while, but Bayern Munich were always in control of the ball, yet were comfortable in third gear.

After seven minutes, Kevin Trapp was forced into his first notable stop, parrying away Mandzukic’s volley from the edge of the box; supplied by good work of Xherdan Shaqiri.

The Swiss international had a largely tame first-half on the right-hand side of Bayern’s attack, but he came close after nine minutes, squeezing his shot a few inches past Trapp’s post.

Then, Bayern Munich finally took advantage of their dominance when a long-ball from Dante was cushioned down by Mandzukic for Götze who sweetly controlled and produced a high-class volley into the bottom corner.

Mandzukic – returning to the team after being dropped in midweek – went through the wars with several head-knocks, which almost caused him to come off.

On 22 minutes, Trapp denied the German champions with a point-blank stop from Götze who timed his run perfectly to latch on to Ribery’s neat side-pass.

While little happened at the other end, Frankfurt did keep Manuel Neuer on his toes when Tranquillo Barnetta’s cross deflected uncompromisingly off the defender and the German cleaned up at the far-post.

The Bavarians ended the half on the goal-trail with Ribery and Mandzukic combining expertly inside the box, before the Frenchman slammed under Trapp for the second home goal.

Six minutes after the interval, Trapp pulled off a strong save at his near-post to block the one-two combination between Götze and Thiago.

After 57 minutes, Bayern continued to threaten the visiting goal area with Ribery hitting the crossbar, before coach Guardiola reinforced their dominance by the introduction of the Dutchman.

The newly-arrived Robben had no time to wait until he was presented with a scoring chance, receiving a super cut-back from Götze and finishing off the top of the crossbar to end the competitive nature of the game.

And within 60 seconds, Bayern had made it four goals to the good when Dante headed home unmarked from Thiago’s driven corner-kick.

But the last word was reserved for Mandzukic who completed a hard-working performance at the top of Bayern’s attack, slotting home after 89 minutes to rub salt into Eintracht’s wounds.

But with Armin Veh admitting through the local newspapers – and claiming all his top stars will remain in Germany – this was as easy as it will get for Guardiola, as Bayern continue to cruise on the park.

The German champions stay 13 points clear of Bayer Leverkusen and 17 ahead of Borussia Dortmund after the second week of action since the winter break.