Robert Lewandowski stars for Bayern Munich in win vs. Hoffenheim
Bayern Munich coasted to their 10th league win in a row at fortress Allianz Arena with a leisurely 2-0 victory against relegation-threatened Hoffenheim.
Just like in Hamburg last week, Robert Lewandowski proved the lethal match-winner, firing a goal in each half as the champions secured their 17th win in 19 league games to maintain an eight-point advantage over nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund.
Here are the ratings from a rain-sodden Munich.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Manuel Neuer, 7 -- Tested by Hoffenheim's lively Leicester loanee, Andrej Kramaric at the end of the first half, but other than mild irritation from the Croat striker, Bayern's No. 1 had little trouble in racking up his 12th clean sheet in 19 league games.
DF David Alaba, 7 -- Sent on loan to Hoffenheim by ex-Bayern coach Louis van Gaal for a few months in 2011 to learn his trade, the 23-year-old Austrian has matured since then into one of the best players in the world and Bayern have won all 14 Bundesliga games in which Alaba has started this season.
DF Holger Badstuber, 7 -- With all the current defensive injury woe, Badstuber stepped up to the plate against a harmless Hoffenheim attack. Bayern will hope Badstuber can stay fit with trickier tasks ahead.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 8 -- Pressed into service as an emergency central defender, the 20-year-old put in an extremely composed performance alongside Badstuber.
DF Philip Lahm, 8 -- Mr. Dependable and Bayern's skipper provided the brilliant assist with a slide-rule pass for the goal that settled the game as a contest.
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MF Xabi Alonso, 7 -- The 34-year-old forced Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann into a miraculous save immediately after the restart. Otherwise, the Spanish midfielder leisurely strolled through another 90 minutes in Munich.
MF Kingsley Coman, 7 -- The French teenager showed off his breathtaking pace late in the first half which left the crowd gasping. Unfortunately, Coman looked to have picked up a dead leg and had to be replaced by Thiago with just under a half-hour to play.
MF Douglas Costa, 7 -- The Brazilian was a bright spot throughout and laid on Lewandowski's opener on a plate just after the half-hour mark for a 13th league assist in his debut season in Bavaria. The only blot on Costa's copybook was a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Sebastian Rudy just before the half-hour mark.
MF Arjen Robben, 7 -- Celebrated his 32nd birthday last week and was always a threat in a performance which augurs well for the coming weeks. Twice fired narrowly over in the opening 10 minutes but couldn't quite get the goal his efforts deserved.
FW Thomas Muller, 6 -- Tested Baumann repeatedly but couldn't find a way past Hoffenheim's man of the match. Muller's smart left-footed volley on 16 minutes was the pick of his five efforts on goal. However, it proved one of those days for Muller and he looked a little miffed when hauled off for Arturo Vidal with 25 minutes remaining.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 9 -- Efficiency personified once again with another decisive brace. Lewandowski has scored all four Bayern goals in 2016, taking his tally to 19 in 18 Bundesliga games this season -- two more than he managed during the whole of the last season. With 12 shots on goal in total, Lewandowski could have had a hatful but found keeper Baumann in inspired form for the visitors.
MF Thiago, 6 -- Dropped to the bench with the Spaniard evidently still finding his feet in 2016. Replaced Coman in the 62nd minute.
MF Arturo Vidal, 7 -- Came on for Muller with 25 minutes remaining and could easily have scored, but saw his fine effort rebound off the post. He did manage though to keep his proud record intact of featuring in every league game this season for the record German champions.
DF Juan Bernat, NR -- Replaced Costa for the final couple of minutes on his first outing since the Champions League defeat against Arsenal in October.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Twitter: @LovellLowdown.