After Jonathan Burkardt and Alexander Hack had given them a scare, Bayern Munich came from two goals behind to defeat Mainz 5-2 on Sunday, with a brace from Robert Lewandowski and more goals from Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, and Niklas Süle to send the record champions back to the top of the Bundesliga.
Burkhardt bursting through Robin Quaison’s throw, but finding Manuel Neuer in his normal imperious way to make the save with his leg, Mainz had the first chance of the game. At the other end, Leroy Sane went even closer, with Jerry St. Juste almost turning the Bayern winger’s shot past his goalkeeper, Finn Dahmen, who jumped on the ball just before reaching the target.
Corentin Tolisso lost two chances for Bayern then, but at the other end, Burkhardt was not in such a profligate mood as he raced through and hammered a volley past Neuer to send a surprise but not undeserved lead to the guests. When his curling effort did not send the Mainz net rippling, Lewandowski was left stunned minutes later, with Dahmen pulling off a top-drawer save at full stretch. Quaison was stopped from doubling Mainz’s lead five minutes before the interval by an equally excellent save from Neuer, with the fearless strugglers causing the record champions more than just a few problems.
However, the new advice was not heeded, and Mainz indeed snatched Daniel Brosinski’s free-kick unstoppably past Neuer a second before the break with Hack heading.
At the beginning of the second half, Hansi Flick reacted with Leon Goretzka and Süle sent on for Benjamin Pavard and Jerome Boateng, but it was Mainz who first went close through Danny Latza. With their first attack of the second half, however, Bayern struck, with Kimmich starting and finishing the move which saw the cross of Serge Gnabry flicked Kimmich’s way by Lewandowski, for international Germany to nod in from close range.
Five minutes later, Mainz’s lead was wiped out by Sane, who cut across from the right and sent a short, left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner beyond Dahmen’s control. As Mainz remained stubborn in adversity, Quaison drilled a shot from the underside of the crossbar and just inches in front of the Bayern goalline, while Leandro Barreiro was spared the blushes of turning an Alphonso Davies cross into his own goal when VAR ruled the goal out for the Canadian to be an offside spot.
With the assistance of a deflection, there were no such questions about the goal that Süle scored to bring the hosts in front, as an enthralling encounter entered its final 20 minutes.
There were no protests when Barreiro stumbled into Gnabry and gave away a penalty that Lewandowski duly sent before the Pole volleyed in Thomas Müller’s cross for his 19th goal of the season, after another early scare, bringing Bayern back to the top of the stack.