FC Bayern beat Hannover 96 3-1 on Saturday afternoon, consolidating their position at the top of the table. Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka handed Bayern a two-goal lead before half-time, Hannover’s Jonathas pulling one back from the penalty spot early in the second half. Hannover were reduced to ten men when Jonathas was sent off, the game entering a scrappy phase before sub Franck Ribéry closed it out with ten minutes to go.

The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Niklas Süle and David Alaba at the back. Thiago and Goretzka featured in a twin holding role behind Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman, with hitman Lewandowski up front. Ribéry, Arjen Robben and Rafinha took over from Gnabry, Coman and Alaba late in the second half.

Two up at half-time

The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Bayern struggle against the visitors’ early pressing for five minutes. The first chance fell to Hannover, but Genki Haraguchi miscued a header. The Bavarians woke up after the chance and quickly asserted their authority. An Alaba cross only just evaded the lurking Lewandowski before Alaba fired over the bar. Netminder Michael Esser proved equal to headers from Coman and Lewandowski. Hannover were increasingly reeling, Gnabry miscuing a shot.

Esser denied Müller, but Lewandowski rewarded Bayern’s dominance when he rose to meet a Kimmich cross and headed home. Boateng saw a fine effort from distance saved, but Goretzka doubled Bayern’s lead when he curled home via the inside of the post. Goretzka soon had the ball in the back of the net for a second time but it was ruled out for a foul. A curled Coman effort went inches wide before Goretzka hit the crossbar, and match official Christian Dingert blew for half-time.

Franck settles it, Arjen returns

Dingert awarded Hannover a penalty after VAR intervention, Jonathas converting from the spot. Hannover were reduced to ten men when their scorer earned his marching orders for a second bookable offence, but the game entered an oddly scrappy phase now, stray passing often spoiling promising moves. Bayern had two decent shouts for a penalty waved aside by Dingert. Alaba saw two efforts saved by Esser, Goretzka hitting the side-netting.

Ribéry put the game to bed in the closing stages before the home crowd rose to hail Arjen Robben, who made his comeback after five months on the sidelines. The Dutchman almost marked the occasion with an assist, but Müller saw his effort saved by Esser. Robben miscued a free-kick from 20 yards before Dingert blew for full-time.

The result takes the Bavarians onto 74 points from 32 matches, five clear of Dortmund, who take on Bremen later on Saturday. Bayern will be back in action next Saturday, when they travel to face Leipzig in the Bundesliga

Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg SalmenFC Bayern – Hannover 96 3-1 (HT: 2-0)

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  • FC BayernUlreich – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Alaba (Rafinha 88) – Thiago, Goretzka – Gnabry (Ribéry 71), Müller, Coman (Robben 86) – LewandowskiSubstitutionsHoffmann – Hummels, Tolisso, Sanches
  • Hannover 96Esser – Sorg, Anton, Felipe (Wimmer 69), Albornoz – Schwegler – Maina (Prib 88), Haraguchi, Walace, Ostrzolek – Weydandt (Jonathas 46)SubstitutionsSahin-Radlinger – Korb, Fossum, Muslija
  • RefereeChristian Dingert (Lebecksmühle)
  • Attendance75,000 (capacity)
  • Goals1-0 Lewandowski (27), 2-0 Goretzka (40), 2-1 Jonathas (51, pen), 3-1 Ribéry (84)
  • Yellow cards– / WimmerYellow-red cards– / Jonathas (55)