Allianz Arena, Munich - Fresh from a 6-0 drubbing of local rivals FC Ingolstadt in the German Cup, FC Bayern Munich were back to their best in the Bundesliga as they dominated their second successive Bavarian derby. 1. FC Nuremberg were the victims as the league leaders scored four times, whilst claiming their ninth clean sheet of the season in the process.
With Bavarian pride on the line the ferocity of the rivalry was already noticeable as the players walked out to a booming atmosphere created by a sell-out crowd of 69,000.
Facing a Bayern side looking to bounce back from their surprise defeat at Hannover 96, Nuremberg were always going to be in for a tough time in the 183rd "Bairisch-Fränkisch" derby, but didn't help their cause by conceding almost straight from kick-off.
Dieter Hecking's charges hadn't settled themselves when Bastian Schweinsteiger delivered an inch-perfect cross that found Mario Gomez whose thumping header flew past Nuremberg goalkeeper Alexander Stephan in virtually the first attack of the match (2').
Tomas Pekhart sought an immediate equaliser, but had his hopeful effort saved comfortably by Manuel Neuer in what proved to be the visitors only real chance of the first half (5'). With the Bayern supporters bouncing the hosts rarely relinquished their grip and soon added a second.
Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribéry combined on the left to find Gomez, who wasted no time in returning the earlier favour by teeing up Schweinsteiger to hit an unstoppable drive that gave Stephan no chance (19').
Nuremberg tried to find their feet in the match, but with their aimless passing continually handing possession back to the hosts it became more a damage limitation exercise with Gomez (32') and Ribéry (34') both going close.
"Bayern München allez!" were the cries from the fans and fittingly it was Ribéry ghosting in off the left who made it three when Nuremberg allowed the Frenchman to waltz along the edge of the area where he drilled the ball under a despairing Stephan (39').
With the hard work done the table toppers were in cruise control early in the second half, and should have been punished. Jan Hegeler, brought on after half-time, produced a moment of magic to outmanoeuvre Bayern's backline before squaring for Pekhart whose poor first touch allowed Neuer to smother the ball (54').
Jupp Heynckes' men were going through the motions at this point ahead of their upcoming Champions League match tie with Napoli, but still threatened despite being in second gear.
Philipp Wollscheid had to clear Gomez's chance off the line before the woodwork twice kept the lead to three from the resulting corner (65'). However, "Super Mario" wrapped up the win soon after by scoring his second of the day, and his 50th in 71 games for Bayern, courtesy of a tap in from Toni Kroos' square ball (68').
It was Nuremberg's only real chance in the match as Bayern Munich's quality told against an inferior opposition yet again this season. Their fifth consecutive home win moves them four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga after Borussia Dortmund dropped points against VfB Stuttgart.
In the post-match press conference Heynckes was full of praise regarding his side's performance in the comfortable 4-0 win: "We created wonderful goal scoring opportunities for ourselves. The team played excellent football. When we play like that, no one can stop us."
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