Bayern Munich pulverised Darmstadt with eight unanswered second-half goals, including a Harry Kane hat-trick, to go top of the Bundesliga, in a game that marked Manuel Neuer’s long-awaited comeback from a broken leg.
After a record three red cards in a goalless first half, the hosts – themselves playing with 10 men – proved unstoppable against nine-man Darmstadt. Bayern opened their account with Kane scoring a 52nd-minute diving header, before Leroy Sané struck twice, either side of a Jamal Musiala goal, to kill off the game. Kane then scored again, with a stunning 60-metre looping strike from inside the Bayern half.
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Thomas Müller added another in the 71st minute and Musiala grabbed his second five minutes later, before Kane completed his hat-trick in the 88th to make it 8-0 with his 12th goal in nine league games.
In a topsy-turvy first half Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich and two Darmstadt players were sent off for straight red card-offences, the first time this has happened in the first 45 minutes of a Bundesliga game.
“That was a crazy first half against a tough opponent,” said Bayern’s coach Thomas Tuchel said. “Overall, the first half had too many mistakes and we lacked intensity. After the break the response was clear. We had one extra player, we played out a lot of chances, scored a lot of goals. But it was an unusual game. No one expected it to end like this.”
The Bavarians are now 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 earn a straight red card.
Even numbers were restored in the 21st minute when the visitors were also left with 10 men following the dismissal of Klaus Gjasula for a last-man foul on Konrad Laimer also at the edge of the box.
Neuer showed flashes of getting to get back to his very best when he stopped Mehlem’s effort following a quick Darmstadt break in the 36th minute before the visitors had another player sent off with a direct dismissal. Matej Maglica was sent packing in the 41st after bring down Kane, who was sprinting clear, setting a league record with three sendings-off in the first half.
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There was no stopping Bayern after 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 and Kane’s second goal from some 60 metres was a certain candidate for goal of the year.
Elsewhere, UnionBerlin lost their 10th game in a row in all competitions as a dream first season in the Champions League continued its nightmarish turn. WerderBremen won 2-0 as Union midfielder Rani Khedira was sent off for a dangerous tackle when his foot struck an opponent in the chest. Union’s Robin Knoche opened the scoring by turning the born into his own net before Marvin Ducksch extended the lead.
Stuttgart lost 3-2 at home to Hoffenheim, with Wout Weghorst scoring the second from the spot for the visitors. Augsburg recovered from 2-1 down to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 despite having Felix Uduokhai sent off late in the game. BorussiaMönchengladbach beat Heidenheim 2-1.
There will be no Bundesliga blog from Andy Brassell this week but it will return on Monday 6 November