MUNICH (AFP): A masterclass from Jamal Musiala, as well as a first goal in five games for Sadio Mane, helped Bayern Munich thump hapless Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 at home on Friday.
Musiala scored one and set up two more, leaving the field to a rapturous reception when substituted after 81 minutes.
Asked after the game if the win removes pressure from manager Julian Nagelsmann, Musiala said simply “the pressure was on us all”.
“We (the players) are focused on ourselves. We all want to win and be number one – and we showed that today.
“The pressure is always there at Bayern. We need to deal with it.”
Bayern, who had failed to win for four games in a row, got out of the blocks early, with Musiala sending a low cross directly into the path of Leroy Sane, who opened the scoring after just two minutes.
Musiala then got on the scoresheet himself after 17 minutes, combining perfectly with veteran forward Thomas Mueller for his fifth goal of the season.
While the play looked spontaneous, Musiala smiled after the match when he said “yeah, we ve been trying to do that one for a while.”
Musiala turned provider again in the 39th minute, guiding a ball to Mane who scored for the first time since August 21 – which was Bayern s last victory in the Bundesliga.
Mueller added a fourth in the 84th minute thanks to a howler from Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky, who slipped while trying to pass, sending the ball directly into Mueller s path.
The goal was the Bayern and Germany forward s first of the campaign.
Nagelsmann told DAZN “there was a lot written about the relationship between the team and the manager.”
“I ve always said that you can tell when players leave the dressing room if they respect the manager. And you can see in each game (we have played recently) that the players were fully into it.”
“That was very satisfying today.”
– Leverkusen crisis –
The loss compounds Leverkusen s misery, with the visitors having won just one game from eight attempts this campaign, in addition to an embarrassing first-round German Cup exit to third division SV Elversberg.
Leverkusen midfielder Kerem Demirbay told broadcaster DAZN after the game his side keeps “losing games in a brutal fashion”.
“It s very, very difficult for us at the moment. We need to stay positive – the season is long.”
Leverkusen have now conceded 16 goals this season – the second most in the Bundesliga – heaping pressure on Swiss manager Gerardo Seoane.
Seoane said after the game “it s a question of will”.
“We didn t have the necessary aggression. That s also a mental process”.
The win sees Bayern go second in the table, with the rest of the weekend s games to play.
– Azmoun support –
With 60 minutes of the match gone, Seoane brought on Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun, prompting the home fans to unveil two banners in support of protests sweeping Azmoun s home country.
One banner read women, life, freedom in Farsi – a common chant heard in the Iranian protests – while another, in English, read solidarity with the feminist revolution in Iran .
The protests, which have swept across the country and resulted in several deaths, are in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in police custody.
Amini was arrested for allegedly breaching Iran s strict rules on religious clothing.