Bayern Munich scored three times in a stellar 10-minute spell in the first half to battle past hosts VfL Wolfsburg 4-2 on Sunday, ending their three-game winless run in the league and reclaiming the top spot.
The Bavarians went into the match with club bosses locked in a public spat with injured keeper Manuel Neuer over the sacking last week of his close friend, goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, and three consecutive 1-1 league draws since the season restarted in January.
Bayern, who face Paris St Germain in nine days in the Champions League Round of 16, were desperate for a win and it took them only nine minutes to show they meant business.
Kingsley Coman’s cross flew past Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels and into the far corner after Bayern’s Thomas Mueller failed to connect in front of goal.
There was nothing lucky about Coman’s second goal in the 14th with the France winger thundering in a volley at the far post from a pinpoint Joao Cancelo cross.
Bayern made it 3-0 five minutes later through Mueller, who equalled the late Gerd Mueller’s all-time club record for an infield player with his 427th Bundesliga game.
They then took their foot of the gas, allowing Wolfsburg far too much space.
Bayern were punished for their complacency a minute before the break when Jakub Kaminski caught the visitors’ mercurial defence napping with a quick one-two and a fine finish.
Things got even worse after the break with Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich sent off with a second booking for the first time in his Bundesliga career and the Wolves missing golden chances through Mattias Svanberg and Baku Ridle.
On the bench, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann was fuming about his team’s defensive operation before Jamal Musiala briefly settled their nerves with a superb solo effort in the 73rd.
Svanberg cut the deficit once more eight minutes later and then saw keeper Yann Sommer save his stoppage-time shot as the visitors held on for a win to move up to 40 points, one above second-placed Union Berlin. Borussia Dortmund are third on 37.