Schalke have been reborn under David Wagner, but their run was brought to an abrupt end by a Bayern Munich side flexing their muscles. The result puts Bayern just one point behind RB Leipzig.
Schalke 0-5 Bayern Munich
(Lewandowski 6', Müller 45+2', Goretzka 50', Thiago 58', Gnabry 89')
Bayern Munich gave the Bundesliga a reminder of previous seasons with a dominant performance that swept Schalke aside.
Robert Lewandowski scored early to almost kill Schalke's belief before it had a chance to get going. In first-half stoppage time, after Bayern had two goals disallowed by the VAR for offside, the excellent Thomas Müller swept home to put Schalke down by two at the interval.
In the second half, Bayern stepped it up a gear and ran away with it. Leon Goretzka scored a fantastic acrobatic third before Thiago finished a brilliant move that included superb composure by Lewandowski. There was time for Serge Gnabry to grab a goal off the bench, on a day that Schalke keeper Markus Schubert, who made plenty of saves, will likely want to forget.
As it happened:
89' GOAL! 5-0 Bayern Munich (Gnabry) Well, it has happened. Gnabry cuts it from the left and bangs it towards goal. Schubert gets there but it comes off the inside of his leg and goes in. Again, he doesn't look great but at this point the bigger concern will be whether it gets Wagner considering bringing Nübel back in after his suspension is over.
86' Bayern flirting with the idea of a fifth, but Schubert seems determined to avoid it. That time when you appreciate how good Bayern have been and start to think of how exciting this season keeps being. One point between Bayern and RB Leipzig at the top now!
80' Tolisso comes on so that Goretzka can get his applause. Gnabry came on earlier for Perisic so everyone is trying to use this game for something now. Weston McKennie comes on, also returning from an injury. Become one of those games now.
74' Bayern are in control (yes you have read that before), but to Schalke's credit they haven't crumbled when it looked like they might. There's still another 17 minutes left, important given that Lewandowski just forced a good save out of Schubert at the back post, but Schalke will feel pleased if they can finish this one without conceding again.
67' This is the best Bayern performance under Flick. Pressed a lot, looked slick in attack, and their best have delivered. Blows the title race wide open.
58' GOAL! 4-0 Bayern Munich (Thiago) A truly wonderful goal. Kimmich wins it, ball moved forward quickly, Lewandowski bursts into the box on the right hand side but before the tackle comes in, the Pole tucks back and sets up the on-rushing Thiago. A brilliantly instinctive move from Lewandowski, and an easy finish for Thiago. Coutinho comes on for Thiago, who gets a big round of applause.
58' Wagner makes his move, and it's an understandable one. Nassim Boullejab and Ahmed Kutucu both come on, with Gregoritsch and Matondo making way. Experience for the young lads.
56' A tough spot for Schalke now. The contest is over, but there's still a lot of football left to play. They must make sure this doesn't turn into a thumping, but Bayern are setting up shop very deep in Schalke's half. Smells like more goals...
50' GOAL! 3-0 Bayern Munich (Goretzka) From the following corner, Schubert is finally beaten. Goretzka's header is blocked by Caligiuri but on the rebound, the former Schalke midfielder throws himself acrobatically at it and the ball lands in the bottom corner. A brilliant goal from a player who is really emerging of late.
47' SAVES! Nastasic is late on Lewandowski and this opens up a free kick chance for Bayern. Outside the box, right-hand side. Alaba to have a go, and he whips it in. Great effort, and even better save. From the corner, Thiago has a go as it bounces up and it's another brilliant save.
46' Schalke get us restarted. A note on what we said earlier about Müller under Flick. He has 4 goals and 8 assists since Hansi took over. A perfect fit, it seems.
45+2' GOAL! 2-0 Bayern Munich (Müller) A lovely goal to finish the half, and one that is a bit of a dagger for Schalke. Perisic hangs it up for Goretzka, who heads a perfect pass diagonally through the defense into the path of Müller. The Bayern man clips home superbly. Beautiful header, beautiful run. Game over? At least the contest appears to be.
45+1' SAVE! Lewandowski powers the header goalwards from the corner, but Schubert makes a good save to keep him out. Somewhat made up for his earlier error, one might say.
44' The game is drifting a bit. Schalke have another moment where they nearly get ahead of themselves, but then Harit can't make the most of the breakaway and the chance goes. Kimmich opts not to shoot on the edge of the box when he probably should. Chance stays alive though and ends with Lewandowski's header being blocked wide for a corner.
37' NO GOAL after VAR! Schalke, feeling a little brave, venture forward but Harit fires badly wide. Down the other end, Bayern have a lovely flowing move that ends with Lewandowski tapping in. Manuel Gräfe shakes his head though. Pavard took a step offside.
32' The game's tempo has gone. Bayern are in full control. Schalke need to make it to halftime without conceding to stay in the game.
25' SAVE! Schubert makes a fine save to deny Leon Goretzka, who heads goalwards from inside the six-yard box after a neat head down by Müller. Word on the latter, he looks reborn under Flick. Crazy how that's all it takes sometimes.
22' Nastasic makes a hefty tackle on Davies on the edge of the box, but on we go. Flick chats to Boateng. Bayern spray the ball around looking to probe, and when they do Lewandowski fires wide. Feels like Bayern aren't far from a second goal here, even if they aren't applying lots of pressure.
18' Bayern have the ball in the net, but VAR has stepped in to call offside. The chant ringing around the stadium that follows that decision is not a favourable one in the direction of the DFB. Thomas Müller denied a goal by a fraction of something.
14' Wagner claps and encourages his side to keep going. The press is on, that's for sure, although the absence of Benito Raman is noticeable. Matondo has done well with the ball but a different game without it. Nevertheless, other than Davies, Bayern have been kept relatively quiet by Schalke since that crazy opening period of play.
9' OFF THE BAR! Schalke stroll forward and Matondo seems to suddenly end up on the edge of the box, unsure what to do. He goes for goal, and his shot takes a deflection, loops up and hits the bar! What a start that would have been. Still, can't complain. The tempo is high and the game is end to end.
6' GOAL! 1-0 Bayern Munich (Lewandowski) Welcome to the familiar world of Bayern scoring early. Schubert fluffs a cross and it's put back into the mixer by Perisic where Lewandowski gobbles up the chance by firing through the man on the line. An easy goal for the Pole, and one that Schubert will want back.
1' Off we go with the football. Neuer invites Schalke early on with a misplaced pass, but he gets down to make the save against Suat Serdar.
— A huge choreo before the game to remember Hugo Railing. The first banner underneath reads: A Munich man, a father, a Bayern member, and on the council. The second reads: Hugo Railing, persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. Players also huddled together around a #WeRemember sign. Never again indeed.
— Players are in the tunnel. Not long now...
— Furthermore, Tönnies was also asked about the row over racist comments in the summer of last year. "I meant well" and "Africa is a dream continent" are somewhat hollow words, all things considered.
— Clemens Tönnies, on the Schalke board, has been speaking ahead of the game. Gives his support for Schubert, while also adding that Nübel remains a member of the team. Very diplomatic. When asked on Sky Sports whether he would go vegetarian for six months if his side won the title his response was: I would do anything for this team, but not that. Unsurprising to note that Tönnies has made a lot of money in the meat industry.
— Well, things just got all the more interesting after the results this afternoon. RB Leipzig's defeat opens things up for Bayern at the top, while Gladbach's comeback win against Mainz means Schalke need to win to stay in touch with the chasing pack. It's all very close at the top!
— TEAMS are in! Davies starts his 11th in a row, Coutinho is on the bench for Bayern. McKennie does not start for Schalke, but does make the bench. Rabbi Matondo is in, along with the returning Amine Harit. Michael Gregoritsch keeps his place. If, and it's a big if, they play like they can this could be the big game it is being billed as. In the history of German football this fixture is loaded with stories, but it has been a while since it has been delivered. Tonight would be a good time for it to return.
Bayern Munich XI: Neuer - Davies, Alaba, Boateng, Pavard - Kimmich, Thiago - Goretzka, Müller, Perisic - Lewandowski
Schalke XI: Schubert - Oczipka, Kabak, Nastasic, Kenny - Mascarell, Serdar - Caligiuri, Harit, Matondo - Gregoritsch
— With all the talk about Alexander Nübel joining Bayern next season, some eyes will be on Manuel Neuer tonight. The 33-year-old clearly has no intention of letting go of his starting spot now or next year and he'll be keen to show why again tonight. He is unbeaten un 15 games against Schalke, his former team of course, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process. Speaking of numbers, tonight is the 100th Bundesliga game between the two (53 wins for Bayern, 18 wins for Schalke).
— Potentially big news for Schalke is that their American midfielder Weston McKennie looks set to return. That would add some bite to the midfield, and then Wagner will hope to see more of the same from Michael Gregoritsch after his dazzling debut last week.
— This game might not be a title fight, but it may have an impact on the title race itself. After Dortmund's win last night, they are level on points with Bayern (36). Schalke are in 5th with 33 and looking to stay in the race for a top four spot. The two sides might be in different races, but they're both looking for the same boost in Munich this evening.
— The last time Schalke won at the Allianz Arena, Raul was the hero. That was 2011, and the Spaniard's header was enough to give the Royal Blues a one-goal lead. It has been a long drought since for Schalke in Munich, although most Bundesliga sides can say the same.
— Good afternoon! Bayern Munich and Schalke both won their opening games of the new decade, but now they come up against each other. Earlier in the season, Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick to down Schalke. David Wagner will be hoping his side can stop the Polish striker from firing at home in Munich.