Munich:BayernMunich pulverisedDarmstadt988-0on Saturdaywitha HarryKanehat-trickand all the goals coming in the second half to go top of the Bundesliga, as keeper Manuel Neuer’s injury comeback was overshadowed by a record three red cards in the first half.
The hosts, playingwith10 men, were unstoppable after the break against nine-manDarmstadt, opening their accountwithKane’s 52nd-minute diving header.
Leroy Sane struck twice, either side of a Jamal Musiala goal to kill off the game.Kanethen scored again,witha stunning 60-metre looping shot from inside theBayernhalf.
Mueller added another goal in the 71st and Musiala bagged his second five minutes later beforeKanecompleted hishat-trickin the 88thwithhis 12th goal in nine league games.
In a topsy-turvy first halfBayern’s Joshua Kimmich and two Darmstadtplayers were sent offwithstraight red cards, the first time this has happened in the first 45 minutes of a league game.
The Bavarians are on 23 points, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who are in action against Freiburg on Sunday. VfB Stuttgart dropped to third place on 21 points following their 3-2 home loss to Hoffenheim. Borussia Dortmund, fourth on 20, travel to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
In Munich, all eyes were on the 37-year-old Neuer, who broke his leg in a skiing accident in December 2022 following Germany’s early World Cup exit, and he received a loud welcome from the home fans as he led his team as captain out of the dugout.
The celebrations, however, turned sour in the fourth minute when Neuer passed the ball to midfielder Kimmich, who failed to control the ball and then pulled down Marwin Mehlem at the edge of the box to be sent offwitha straight red card.
Even numbers were restored in the 21st when the visitors were also leftwith10 men following the dismissal of Klaus Gjasula for a last-man foul on Konrad Laimer also at the edge of the box.
Neuer showed he was on track to get back to his very best when he stopped Mehlem’s effort following a quickDarmstadtbreak in the 36th before the visitors had another player sent offwitha direct dismissal.
Matej Maglica was sent packing in the 41st after bring downKane, who was sprinting clear, setting a league recordwiththree sendings-off in the first half.
There was no stoppingBayernafter the break as they went on the rampage, scoring eight times in 37 minutes.
Darmstadt, who had put up a fight in the first half, were reduced to a punching bag andKane’s second goal from some 60 metres was a certain candidate for goal of the year.
(Published 28 October 2023, 16:53 IST)