Jupp Heynckes wanted Bayern Munich to deliver “a real statement of intent” against Borussia Dortmund and got his wish as the champions-in-waiting demolished their rivals 6-0 in Der Klassiker.
Second-placed Schalke’s win earlier in the day prevented Bayern from having the chance to wrap up a sixth straight Bundesliga title this weekend, but on this evidence the German domestic championship may not be the only trophy they win this term.
Ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals next week, Bayern were simply brilliant as they scored five first-half goals, with Robert Lewandowski then completing his hat-trick during a second period where Heynckes’ men had eased off.
James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery all grabbed goals before the interval to leave Heynckes delighted.
“I have to say that it’s always very difficult coming back after an international break; a lot of our players were away, but we managed well,” he said in quotes published on the Bundesliga’s website.
“The team was very focused and we needed to send out a statement of intent today. We put on a real gala performance in the first 45 minutes.”
As impressive as Bayern were, they were assisted by some dreadful defending from a Dortmund team once again on the wrong end of a thrashing at the Allianz Arena.
They had lost 5-1 and 4-1 in their previous two league games at Bayern’s home and this result was even more emphatic.
“It was a disaster for us from the first minute to the last,” Dortmund forward Andre Schurrle added.
“I think in the first half we weren’t there and that’s impossible in a game like this and Bayern destroyed us.
“In the second half they more or less let us off. It was nothing today.”
Dortmund are 21 points behind the Bundesliga leaders and are still in a battle to qualify for next year’s Champions League.
For Mats Hummels, a former Dortmund defender, there was a degree of sympathy for Bayern’s beaten opponents.
“In the second half we didn’t want to exhaust ourselves – you could see Dortmund were in damage-limitation mode,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“I’ve played alongside a lot of the guys out there. I’ve been on the wrong end of a 5-1 defeat here, so I know how much it hurts.
“We’ve got a really good side and we’ve got a great team spirit and mentality.”