A rampant Bayern Munich side put title rivals Borussia Dortmund to the sword as Robert Lewandowski passed another milestone. A 5-0 win means the champions top the table once again as the season enters the home straight.
Bayern Munich 5- 0 Borussia Dortmund
(Hummels 10' ,Lewandowski 17', 89', Martinez 41', Gnabry 43')
Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga with a thumping humiliation of Borussia Dortmund, sending an ominous signal in the title race with six games to play.
Goals from Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski, Javi Martinez and Serge Gnabry wrapped the points up even before half-time at the Allianz Arena in a commanding performance which saw Bayern dominate their opponents in every area of the pitch. After numerous half chances, Lewandowski put the icing on the cake in the dying moments with his second.
The highly-anticipated top-of-the-table clash had been justifiably billed as the highlight of the closest Bundesliga title race in seven years, and it looked like it would live up to expectations when Mahmoud Dahoud, a surprise starter, hit the post at the end of a flowing Dortmund counter-attack involving Jacob Brun Larsen and Marco Reus six minutes in.
But Bayern made their opponents pay for their profligacy just four minutes later when center-back Hummels headed home directly from a Thiago corner. Soon after it was 2-0 when Lewandowski pounced on an inexplicably wayward pass from Dan-Axel Zagadou, knocked the ball over the onrushing Roman Bürki and then acrobatically fired the ball into the empty net from distance. It was his 200th Bundesliga goal, making him the fourth highest scorer in the league's history.
There was to be no respite for the beleaguered Dortmund goalkeeper who pulled off good saves to deny Lewandowski, Hummels and Thomas Müller, but could do nothing when Martinez was left unmarked on the edge of the box to sweep home Bayern's third just five minutes before half-time.
Gnabry, a lively presence throughout, lost his marker Manuel Akanji to nod home Müller's pin-point cross and give the reigning champions a four-goal lead at the break before teeing up Lewandowski late on to sink the knife even further in to his old club.
As it happened
FULL TIME: The referee puts Dortmund out of their misery without a second of injury time. Thoroughly convincing from Bayern, thoroughly abysmal from Dortmund. Our match report will be here soon.
89' - Lewandowski finally gets his second. Kimmich finds Gnabry on the overlap and the winger squares a simple ball across goal for the striker to tap home. Easy as you like. That takes Lewandowski past Gerd Müller as the highest scorer in the history of this fixture.
89' - Goal! Bayern Munich 5- 0 Borussia Dortmund (Lewandowski)
87' - Reus overhits a throughball and it runs out of play. Sums up his night.
84' - Chance! Another opportunity for Lewandowski to get his second but Weigl does well to block.
83 - Dortmund seem to be trying to niggle Lewandowski since his booking and the Polish striker needs to be smart. He's over-reacted a couple of times already.
80' - Talking of blazing over, here's Alaba with a free kick. While the ball is retrieved from row Z, Müller is replaced by Sanches in Bayern's final change.
78' - Chance! Lewandowski schould make it five. Gnabry gets away down the right and drives a ball across goal. The Polish striker is a little off balance and blazes it over.
77' - Thiago lofts in a freekick which is scrambled clear to Gnabry. He has a pop from a difficult angle but it's nowhere near troubling Bürki. Goretzka replaces Martinez.
73' - There is almost zero intensity left in this game.
70' - Lewandowski reacts aggressively to Delaney pulling him back. Both are booked.
69' - A final sub for Dortmund. Piszczek, who hasn't played since February, comes off and Wolf comes on.
68' - Coman and Alaba combine nicely before the French winger pushes it out to Gnabry on the other side. Gnabry's touch lets him down though, and he's crowded out. That's the last we'll see of Coman, who is replaced by Ribery. Coman did feel his hamstring a moment ago, so a sensible precaution from Kovac, who has had one of his best days as Bayern boss.
65' - A rare Dortmund attack breaks down and Lewandowski nicks it past his man. He drives forward but his pass is poor and can't find Hummels who ran the lenghth of the pitch in support.
62' - Dahoud is the man who trots off. Götze jogs on to a few boos at his former stomping ground.
60' - Reus is flagged offside. He's barely had a kick tonight. It looks like Götze will be on any minute.
59' - This is pretty dull stuff now. Bayern hogging possession, Dortmund content not to suffer even further.
56' - Chance! Bayern utterly bossing it now. Coman pokes a lovely little ball through to the overlapping Alaba but his driven low cross just evades Lewandowksi.
53' - Gnabry bursts in to the box and it takes a well-timed slide tackle from Delaney to stop him. Piszczek just gets up above Hummels to clear the resulting corner behind then Gnabry shanks a volley wide from yet another corner.
51' - Bayern have their turn on the ball now, which ends when Piszczek cuts out Thiago's attempted through ball.
48' - A quiet opening to the half, Dortmund having most of the ball but not making much progress.
46' - The players are back out. One change for Dortmund. Zagadou, who had a shocker, is replaced by Weigl.
HALF TIME: Unless you're a Bayern fan, this has been hugely anti-climactic. From the moment Dahoud missed a great early chance Dortmund have been a shambles. The scoreline doesn't flatter Dortmund and all they can realistically do is keep the score down and maybe grab a consolation. Bayern will lead the Bundesliga tonight, surely.
45' - What does Favre do here? Zagadou is having a nightmare and surely has to go off but it's damage limitation at best. Two minutes of added time.
43' - Now it's definitely over. Müller shifts it on to his left foot and lifts in a ball to Gnabry who powers a header home. Easy.
45' - Goal! Bayern Munich 4- 0 Borussia Dortmund (Gnabry 45')
41' - Game over? Probably. Thiago works a clever free kick into Müller. Bürki pushes out his volley then Lewandowski's effort is deflected to Martinez. The Spaniard just sauntered across and passed it in to the far corner from the edge of the box. Lovely finish that.
41' - Goal! Bayern Munich 3 - 0 Borussia Dortmund (Martinez)
38' - Coman stands one up to the back post and Lewandowski eases Diallo out the way and heads at goal. Bürki is forced in to another save. That he's probably been Dortmund's best player is telling.
37' - Gnabry streaks away down the right. His touch is heavy but he manages to get a cross in. It's easily cleared. Sancho has now come across to the left, switching wings with Bruun Larsen.
34' - Delaney flies at a cross from the right and gets his head to it but his header clips a Bayern head and goes behind for a corner. Neuer comes for it and gets underneath the ball but Bayern clear and get Alaba away down the left, but he slips at the vital moment.
31' - Another Thiago corner finds Hummels, who wins it again but this time the header is palmed away by Bürki.
28' - It's quietened down a little now, Dortmund keeping the ball a little better without doing much with it. It's a long way back from here though, especially without Alcacer on the bench.
25' - Piszczek wins the ball and ventures infield to have a specualtive shot. It dribbles in to Neuer's arms.
23' - This could be a bit of a battering, Dortmund have fallen apart. The Dahoud chance aside they've offered little going forward and look so shaky at the back. I think Sancho has only had two or three touches.
20' - Dortmund are all over the shop. Bürki is forced in to two good saves in two minutes, first from Lewandowski, then from Müller.
17' - Another Dortmund old boy doubles the lead, socring his 200th Bundesliga goal in the process. But this is a terrible error from Zagadou. The center back tried to play the ball across the back but Lewandowski read it then beat Bürki to the loose ball, lifted it over the keeper then finished in to an empty net with an acrobatic volley.
17' - Goal! Bayern Munich 2 - 0 Borussia Dortmund (Lewandowski)
15' - Coman absolutely burns Piszczek for pace but his low cross is cleared behind by Delaney. The corner comes to nothing.
13' - Thiago whips in a freekick from the left which Bürki punches away, not entirely convincingly. Dortmund struggling to clear the ball at the minute. Danger signs.
10' - Dortmund were warned about this early on and now they've paid the price. The BVB old boy rose easily over Piszczek and headed Thiago's corner past Bürki.
10' - GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Borussia Dortmund (Hummels)
8'- Kimmich swings in a free kick. It's just over Lewandowski's head and he can't get over it. Lively start here.
6' - Chance! Müller looks to help it in to Lewandowski again but it's too strong. Then suddenly Dortmund spring away, Larsen and Reus combine beautifully and the latter finds Dahoud in acres. He should score but his low shot clips the outside of the post.
2' - Lewandowski takes a terrible touch when played in by Müller and then goes to ground looking for a penalty. The referee doesn't buy it. Had the Polish striker got that under control, it would've been a free shot 12 yards out. Shaky start from Dortmund.
1'- Bayern win an early corner, Hummels gets the flick at the front post but it sails over Gnabry at the back stick.
1' - Bayern get the 100th meeting of these sides underway. Here. We. Go.
18:28 - The teams are lning up on the stairs ahead of the tunnel. We're nearly there.
18:23 - Bayern's new €80 million signing Theo Hernandez is at the ground today. Another reminder to Dortmund that this may well be their best chance to win the league for some time.
18:17 - The stands are slowly filling up in Muniich, it looks a nice night for it - the sun is still shining. I feel slightly tense just doing a live blog, so I can't imagine how the players feel.
18:09 - Our man in the Allianz reports that Bayern fans are in confident mood. Dortmund supporters may well use a different word...
18:03 - This is the 100th meeting of these two clubs, and must be among the most significant. It's not the most intense rivalry in German football at but there's plenty to get your teeth in to and it's bound to be fierce today. This video, from my colleague Hecko Flores explains the relationship between the two clubs. Worth a watch.
17:54 - There were a fair few corkers in the earlier games today, just time to catch up on it all before we get going.
17:42 - Alcacer's absence is a huge blow for Dortmund, the former Barcelona man has scored a goal every 60 seconds in the Bundesliga this season. On the positive side, Lukasz Piszczek should add a bit of experience and leadership to a backline that's struggled in recent weeks. Thomas Müller starting for Bayern is another interesting one. He's had a tough season but has got three goals and three assists in his last five games.
17:35 - The teams are in!
Now the attention switches back to the top of the table and probably the biggest game anywhere in the world this weekend. Bayern leave James Rodriguez and Franck Ribery on the bench while Manuel Neuer and David Alaba are both fit enough to start. Mats Hummels partners Niklas Süle at the back.
For BVB, Lukasz Piszczek plays for the first time since February but Paco Alcacer isn't even fit enough for the bench. But Mario Götze doesn't replace the Spaniard, with Mahmoud Dahoud coming in to midfield and either Jacob Bruun Larsen or Marco Reus likely to lead the line.
17:30 - Frankfurt do it again! Luka Jovic has just bagged a winner in the ninth minute of injury time in Gelsenkirchen. And that's it for the 15:30 kick offs.
17:27 - Full time in at Leverkusen, who lose 4-2 to Leipzig, Stuttgart, who share the spoils with Nuremberg and Wolfsburg, who beat Hannover 3-1. The other two games are in injury time. We'll also have the team news from the big one for you any minute.
17:14 - It looks like job done for Leipzig now, with Cunha making it 4-2. The Red Bulls look certainties for a Champions League return, they will be 13 points clear of Leverkusen if it stays like this. Peter Bosz's side could be as low as ninth by the end of the weekend.
17:09 - BIG goal for Stuttgart, Ozan Kabak has drawn them level with Nuremberg. The sides, in 16th and 17th respectively were four points apart at the start of play. Bottom club Hannover are now 3-1 down to Wolfsburg and look increasingly doomed.
17:02 - Sorry Leverkusen fans, I think the praise for Kai Havertz (see 16:53) may have cursed your team. After leading 1-0 and 2-1, the Werkself now trail after Emil Forsberg tucked away a penalty.
16:55 - But Havertz' two goals might not be enough for a win, a great strike from his Germany teammate Timo Werner has Leipzig level again. Benito Raman also has a second of the day and Düsseldorf re-take the lead in Berlin.
16:53 - Kai Havertz' brace has Leverkusen 2-1 up over RB Leipzig and he brings up another milestone. Plenty more of those to come you'd think.
16:48 - Still as you were at the break in all the afternoon kick offs. The goals have dried right up.
16:42 - If anyone was in any doubt about the magnitude of tonight's game, this statistic may offer food for thought.
16:34 - All the afternoon games are back underway and all have had goals already. Let's hope that theme continues this evening.
16:25 - Still about an hour before we get the teams for the game recently dubbed Der Klassiker. So still plenty of time to read the predictions from some of our writers, including yours truly. I went for a Bayern win, so probably safe to bet against that.
16:20 - It's half time in the 15:30 kickoffs.
16:16 - Most of the attention today will be on the top of the table but there's just been a huge goal at the other end. Matheus Pereira has just headed Nuremberg in to the lead away at Stuttgart. After looking like certainties for the drop, Nuremberg could now win two in a row and reel Stuttgart in.
16:09 - Fortuna Düsseldorf now lead away to Hertha Berlin. Benito Raman gets the goal. What a season Fortuna are having.
16:05 - A goal apiece for Hannover and Wolfsburg. Renato Steffen pulled one back for the Wolves just two minutes after Hendrik Weydandt gave Hannover the lead. 1-1 there.
15:55 - Just come across this gem of a picture featuring a young Marco Reus. Waving a Bremen flag, it looks like he was on the wrong side of history 17 years ago. Could history repeat itself? Elsewhere, Schalke have broken Frankfurt's run of clean sheet through Suat Serdar, who now has two in two after failing to score all season until last weekend. And Kai Havertz has put Leverkusen back in the lead, what a talent he is.
15:49 - Leverkusen's lead didn't last long, a Marcel Sabitzer freekick has RB Leipzig level.
15:46 - Another goal, this time for Frankfurt at Schalke, courtesy of Ante Rebic. The Eagles look set to continue this impressive run.
15:42 - Moments after I published that, Kai Havertz has given Bayer Leverkusen a 1-0 lead over RB Leipzig from the penalty spot. That'd shake things up in the European mix.
15:40 - No goals in the afternoon games yet so let's get back to the big one. Paco Alcacer is a big injury doubt for Dortmund, who are also short in the full back area. If Alcacer doesn't make it Mario Götze will likely play up front. He might just have a point to prove in Munich. He's featured in our look at the key battles in this evening's match.
15:30 - The early games are getting underway now. Plenty of intrigue on the 15:30 kickoff menu, the European battle between RB Leipzig, in form Eintracht Frankfurt at Schalke and Nuremberg and Stuttgart duking it out at the bottom.
15:19 - It's not generally as loud as the Westfalenstadion but the Allianz will surely be rocking today, but not quite yet. Our man Mark Lovell will be there covering things for us from the stadium, definitely not jealous of course. Definitely not.
15:08 - Robert Lewandowski will, as ever, lead the line for Bayern today, barring any last minute twangs or twinges. A goal against his former club today would make him the fifth player to score 200 goals in the Bundelisga. But that won't be enough for him, if his exclusive interview with us earlier this week is anything to go by. Read that one here or watch it below.
14:55 - The coaches took slightly differing approaches to this one in their pre-match pressers. Niko Kovac, who is under some pressure talked up the importance of it, following the lead of Uli Hoeness: "The game on Saturday is very, very important. We all know what's at stake and what will be demanded of us both defensively and going forward," said the Croatian.
Lucien Favre, as is his non-commital way, was a little more keen to play things down. "The table is close, seven games remain, and two great teams. If we win, nothing is decided, if we draw, nothing is decided, if we lose nothing is decided...it is completely open."
Nice try Lucien, but we all know your side will get a a five point lead with six games to play if they win. That should not be open.
14:45 - It's difficult to see that there's a bigger game anywhere in the world this weekend than this one but there are plenty of other Bundesliga matches to come, including Bayer Leverkusen vs. RB Leipzig. We'll keep you updated on those as well as everything you need to know about Der Klassiker.
14:30 - So, here we finally are. The Bundesliga season seems to have been building to this moment for months. Dortmund are, as I'm sure you know, two points clear after Bayern's draw with Freiburg and Paco Alcacer's late show. The Spaniard is a doubt for today though.
In a funny way it slightly feels as if the pressure is on Dortmund not to lose, depsite Bayern both champions, hosts and chasers. With Bayern already well in to their rebuild, there's a school of thought that suggests this is the best chance BVB might get for some time - young side or not.
The reverse fixture in Dortmund finished 3-2 to the hosts after a stirring comeback and, with both sides looking a bit slack defensively, we should be in for a treat