Philippe Coutinho, disappointing since his arrival at Bayern Munich this summer, has finally found his mark: after scoring in the Champions League on Wednesday, he had a hat-trick on Saturday in the 6-1 river victory against Bremen.
This victory, which comes just after two consecutive defeats, allows the defending champions to put some pressure on the leading teams after 15 days in the Bundesliga.
Borussia Dortmund, which also finds colors after a calamitous month of November, did not make details in Mainz (4-0).
At the very top of the ranking, Mönchengladbach is still first with 31 points, and a game to play on Sunday in Wolfsburg (3.30 pm). Leipzig, which moves this Saturday evening at 6.30pm in Düsseldorf, follows at one point.
But Dortmund and Munich, who stuttered their start to the season, have temporarily returned to two and four units from the leader.
- No "curse" -
Certainly Bremen was not a very formidable opponent for Bayern: the Bavarians had won the ... last 20 confrontations against the Werder!
For 45 minutes, however, it was feared that the "Rekordmeister" would be affected again by the curse of its last two matches: a good half-dozen straight chances, but not a single goal, and the opening of the score against the course of the game for Bremen by Milot Rashica, who completely left poor Jérôme Boateng, 2014 world champion who now often seems out of pace (0-1, 24th).
It was not until the very end of the first period that the reigning champions finally rewarded: equalization by Coutinho in the 45th minute, and 2-1 by Lewandowski in additional time (45th + 4).
The same two re-offended after the break. Coutinho of a lob jewel on the forward goalkeeper (3-1, 63rd) and a superb rolled shot (6-1, 78th) and Lewandowski close up (4-1, 72nd).
These were the 17th and 18th goals in the Bundesliga for the Pole, who had not scored in the last three games, after exploding the counters with 16 goals in eleven days.
Müller had meanwhile scored the 5th goal (5-1, 75th).
- Havertz's record -
Dortmund, who had started the season by announcing his intention to finally win the title after seven years of scarcity, takes his head out of the water. His card in Mainz is his third consecutive victory in the Bundesliga, which comes four days after his qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Captain Marco Reus led the way (1-0, 32nd), followed in the second period by Jadon Sancho (66th), Thorgan Hazard (69th) and Nico Schulz (84th).
Suddenly, the speculations on the imminent dismissal of the trainer Lucien Favre died out by themselves and Reus, criticized during the weeks of crisis, found his role of leader by example. After his double last week against Düsseldorf, he lit the wick that allowed Dortmund to shoot its fireworks.
"It was a good collective performance," he said, "it was important to follow up on previous victories, it's a good sign".
Note in other matches, that the young prodigy Kai Havertz, whom Germany considers as his future very great playmaker, became Saturday the youngest player in history to count 100 Bundesliga matches. At 20 years and 186 days, the Leverkusen striker broke by a few days the record of his national team-mate Timo Werner, who had reached this mark at 20 years and 203 days with Leipzig.
Leverkusen lost 2-0 to Cologne, however.
© 2019 AFP