Managerless Bayern Munich went second in the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 4-0 romp at Fortuna Duesseldorf as leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Union Berlin.
Bayern’s interim coach Hansi Flick enjoyed his third straight win since Niko Kovac was sacked earlier this month as Munich moved to within a point of Gladbach.
Despite rumours linking ex-Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino to the Bayern vacancy, Flick has been told he will be in charge until at least Christmas.
“I enjoy the here and now. It will be like that until Christmas and I’m just trying to do my job well,” Flick told Sky over the Pochettino rumours.
“We all know that football is a daily business. All I can say is that I enjoy working with the team, and they are doing very well.”
A top-of-the-table showdown beckons in a fortnight when Gladbach host Bayern at Borussia Park.
“We feel good, as you can see on the pitch. And I think the way we are playing, and the results, speak for themselves,” said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller.
RB Leipzig drew level on 24 points with Bayern when they eased past strugglers Cologne
4-1 with Swedish striker Emil Forsberg bagging a brace, of which coming from a penalty..
Bayern routed Dusseldorf with goals by Philippe Coutinho, Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso, with Robert Lewandowski failing to score in a league game for the first time this season and ending his record 11-match run.
However it was the Poland forward who forced a corner from which Pavard scored the opening goal after 11 minutes.
His France team-mate Tolisso then doubled the lead in the 27th minute after Duesseldorf’s US international Zack Steffen surrendered possession.
Serge Gnabry, who scored a hat-trick in Germany’s 6-1 thrashing of Northern Ireland in mid-week, continued his goal-scoring run when he was presented with a simple tap-in by Mueller seven minutes later.
Lewandowski turned provider again with the 70th-minute cross which Coutinho swept into the net to complete the rout.
In Berlin, Gladbach suffered their third defeat this season as they became the latest top six club to lose at Union.
“Union were ice cold ... and scored off their first chance,” said Gladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus, “we ran a lot, but we couldn’t score. It’s a bitter defeat.”
Having already beaten Dortmund and Freiburg this season at their Alten Foersterei stadium, Union took the lead with 15 minutes gone when Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah headed home a cross.
Union ensured their third straight league win in stoppage time when winger Julian Ryerson floated in a cross, which deflected off a Gladbach defender to present Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson with an easy header to round off a fine win.
Schalke climbed to fourth as striker Benito Raman and midfielder Amine Harit scored their goals in a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen, whose Japanese striker Yuya Osako grabbed a late consolation.
Freiburg are third despite only drawing 1-1 at ninth-placed Leverkusen.
The visitors took the lead after only five minutes when forward Lucas Hoeler headed home at the far post after slipping his marker.
But France Under-21 striker Moussa Diaby levelled on his first start for Leverkusen since joining from Paris Saint-Germain when he slotted home from 20 metres out midway through the first half.
Despite playing with 10 men for the entire second-half, mid-table Wolfsburg managed a 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Their goals came from towering Dutch striker Wout Weghorst and Brazilian forward Joao Victor despite losing defender Marcel Tisserand at the end of the first-half for a second bookable offence.