Javi Martinez, Franck Ribery and James Rodriguez did the damage as Bayern Munich claimed a commendable 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena on Friday, increasing their lead at the Bundesliga summit to 14 points.
The entertaining first half was initially end-to-end, with the two sides having fairly equal shares of the ball, but Bayern gradually gained control and identified Leverkusen’s main weaknesses; their susceptibility at set-pieces and Karim Bellarabi’s reluctance to track back.
As such, it came as little surprise to see Bayern’s opener come via a corner, with Javi Martinez slamming home after Leverkusen failed to clear their lines.
The in-form Leon Bailey went close to a stunning equaliser when he struck the crossbar nine minutes after the break and Bayern soon made the most of that, as Ribery rounded off a swift break with his first Bundesliga goal of the season.
Volland pulled one back via a deflection of Niklas Sule in the 70th minute to usher in a period of intense Leverkusen pressure, but Bayern – who introduced new signing Sandro Wagner late on – wrapped things up through James’ exquisite stoppage-time free-kick to increase their lead at the top ahead of Schalke’s trip to RB Leipzig on Saturday.