David Alaba 9/10 as Bayern cruised to another easy win vs. Schalke
Chasing an unprecedented seventh league title on the spin, Bayern Munich maintained their 100 percent record by comfortably seeing off hapless Schalke 2-0 courtesy of a James Rodriguez header and a Robert Lewandowski penalty.
After Hertha Berlin deposed the champions for a couple of hours, Bayern serenely assumed their rightful position atop the table with an easy victory over last season's surprise runners-up. Importantly, after losing Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Rafinha to injuries in the first month of the season, there were no fresh concerns going into a busy run of fixtures. Oh, and on the day that Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich earlier on Saturday, Bayern haven't lost during the world's biggest celebration in over eight years.
Despite flying back almost immediately after the game, Bayern will miss the first day of Oktoberfest celebrations.
Manager rating out of 10 8 -- Niko Kovac maintained his impressive record in charge, winning a magnificent seven in a row with a goal difference of 19 scored and just two conceded.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating) GK Manuel Neuer, 7 -- Largely untroubled on his 350th Bundesliga outing (194 Bayern, 156 for the Royal Blues), keeping an inevitable clean sheet and extending his unbeaten record against the club he supports to 10 wins and three draws.
DF David Alaba, 9 -- Gave Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann a fright with a fierce shot after 20 minutes and soon followed up by rattling the crossbar with a dipping free-kick on the half hour. He kept bringing out the best in Fahrmann in the second half, too, with all the signs pointing to Alaba returning to his very best form. His leftfoot is a genuinely scary weapon against goalkeepers from all angles.
DF Mats Hummels, 7 -- Coasted through the game, hardly needing to break into a sweat after replacing his World Cup-winning partner Boateng in the starting line-up.
DF Niklas Sule, 7 -- Schake were largely anaemic up front so Sule enjoyed a leisurely evening alongside his more experienced Germany teammate.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 8 -- Racked up another assist from a typically fiercely whipped corner. Exciting going forward and hardly tested in defence.
MF Thiago, 8 -- The silky Spaniard pulled the strings in midfield after recovering from a toe injury which prevented any appearance in Portugal in midweek.
MF Leon Goretzka, 7 -- The free transfer signing from Schalke incurred the wrath of a baying home crowd for going down a bit too easy and earning Naldo a disputable yellow card. Coped with the boos of the Schalke crowd to play a composed part in an untroubled Bayern win.
MF Franck Ribery, 6 -- The 35-year-old veteran brilliantly fed James but the Colombian somehow poked wide when it seemed easier to score. Hooked off by Kovac after 85 minutes with the game done and dusted with the usual display of histrionics.
MF James Rodriguez, 8 -- The Colombia star nodded Bayern into an early lead with a powerful header and was denied a second when clean through on Fahrmann's goal soon after. He missed a sitter to end the game as a contest early in the second half, but that woeful effort was soon forgotten after he won the penalty to settle any nerves.
MF Thomas Muller, 6 -- Blazed over inside the opening five minutes but an otherwise largely quiet performance on his return to the starting line-up after completing his century of Champions League appearances with a brief cameo from the bench in midweek.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 8 -- Celebrated his three-year anniversary of his magical five-goal blitz in nine minutes vs. Wolfsburg with a coolly converted penalty to settle any hopes of a Schalke comeback. He absolutely thrives on playing Schalke, becoming the first ever player to score in six straight Bundesliga games against the Royal Blues. He left the field clapping the appreciative Bayern fans -- a rare occurrence in recent months.
FW Sandro Wagner, NR -- Wagner replaced Lewandowski with the game done and dusted to little effect apart from a yellow card for stepping on Naldo's shin.
MF Serge Gnabry, NR -- The former Arsenal winger Fired narrowly wide a couple of minutes after his introduction as a substitute for the tiring Ribery.
MF Renato Sanches, NR -- Given a breather after his magnificent return to former club Benfica in midweek, Sanches enjoyed a brief cameo replacing James, who left the field clutching his leg.