Harry Kane scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich thrashed Borussia Dortmund 4-0 away on Saturday, closing the gap with leaders Bayer Leverkusen to two points.
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer lauded his striker, telling German TV “that’s his experience, he brought it with him to the Bundesliga from England and he shows us it week after week.”
“We’ve got some quick guys up front and with them we really hurt Dortmund.”
Stung by a midweek German Cup elimination by third-division Saarbruecken, Leverkusen’s 3-2 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday meant injury-hit Bayern were five points behind Xabi Alonso’s side at kickoff.
The visitors however crafted the perfect response, scoring two goals in the opening nine minutes to grab a hold on the match.
France centre-back Dayot Upamecano, cleared to play just hours before the match after missing a month with a hamstring injury, headed Bayern in front four minutes in from a Leroy Sane pass.
The former Man City winger laid on Bayern’s second on the counter, slipping a perfect pass across the face of goal for Kane to tap in.
Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said after the match “we had confidence because we have quality” despite the Cup defeat.
“We knew what we could do, and we had enough confidence to put a plan in place.”
Unbeaten at home for more than a year, Dortmund were shellshocked by the power of the supposedly weakened visiting side.
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic made four changes early in the second-half as his side hoped to chase the game but Bayern scored next, Kane stroking in a controlled finish with 15 minutes remaining.
“The way we played during the week, it was bitter” Neuer said of the German Cup loss “but we showed what we can do today.”
“Bayern were simply more aggressive in the duels and simply more dangerous on the counter attack” said Dortmund ‘keeper Gregor Kobel, who made several key saves early in the second half.
The England captain scored again in injury time and now has 15 league goals in 10 matches since joining Bayern from Tottenham in the summer.
Billed as Germany’s equivalent to LaLiga’s ‘el Clasico’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona, Bayern have not lost to Dortmund in the league since 2018.
LEVERKUSEN ON TOP
Earlier on Saturday, goals in each half from Alex Grimaldo took Bayer Leverkusen to a 3-2 win at Hoffenheim.
Unbeaten Leverkusen, who have now won nine and drawn one in the league, made difficult work of the win, allowing Hoffenheim to score twice in two minutes to let a 2-0 lead slip.
The visitors re-took the lead thanks to a late Grimaldo goal.
“I gave Grimaldo a kiss,” said Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, whose howler let Hoffenheim back in the game.
“Last year we would not have won this game.”
Florian Wirtz scored first after just nine minutes, tapping in a Victor Boniface assist, with Grimaldo scoring from a set piece just before halftime.
With Leverkusen cruising, goalkeeper Hradecky hit a low pass while roaming well outside his box and Anton Stach took advantage of the error by driving a long-range shot home.
Former Manchester United striker Wout Weghorst unleashed a stunner just two minutes later to bring the home side level but Grimaldo curled in the winner with 20 minutes remaining, his fifth league goal of the season since arriving from Benfica in the summer.
“That was a fight” Wirtz told Sky. “We did it hard… but wins like that are also nice.”
Union Berlin’s woes continued ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League visit to Napoli, losing 3-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt thanks to a first-half double from Omar Marmoush and a late strike from Nacho Ferri.
The loss, Union’s 12th in a row in all competitions, means the side has now tasted defeat eight times so far this season – equal to their final total at the end of the last campaign.
“It’s difficult to talk about being in a relegation battle,” said captain Christopher Trimmel, “but we simply need to do it.”
Elsewhere, Mainz won their first match of the season, shocking RB Leipzig 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Lee Jae-sung and Leandro Barriero, just days after sacking manager Bo Svensson.
Freiburg fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, Italy midfielder Vincenzo scoring a penalty in the sixth minute of injury time to level the scores.
Cologne were held 1-1 at home to Augsburg, meaning Steffen Baumgart’s side will finish the match in last place.