It was almost as if the international break was planned, allowing FC Bayern München to re-kindle their dominance in German football.
Manager Jupp Heynckes decided to give some of the players returning from international duty a breather, as Mario Manzukic, Thomas Müller, Frank Ribéry, and David Alaba were all left out of the Starting XI. That didn't seem to matter, as Xherdan Shaqiri, Arjen Robben, Luis Gustavo, and Claudio Pizarro once again proved Bayern's vast depth.
Pizarro, in his third Bundesliga start, put on one heck of a show. Not only did his four goals allow him to tie Hannes Löhr's career total at 104 (9th all-time), but he also tied Roy Makaay for 11th all-time in goals for FC Bayern.
Arjen Robben added two goals of his own, while Shaqiri, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Ribéry each contributed to the 9-2 romp of Hamburger SV.
Unfortunately, two late goals from Jeffrey Bruma and Heiko Westermann kept the Bavarians from keeping a clean sheet, something they have not done since March 3rd. The two center-backs rose up on corner kicks in the 75th minute and the 85th minute respectively, leaving Manuel Neuer and the rest of the defense scratching their heads.
That being said, their nine goals is more than any team in the Bundesliga this season, and they knocked out a team that beat their No. 1 rival, Borussia Dortmund, in Matchday 21. Also, with Dortmund winning 2-1 vs. VfB Stuttgart today, die Roten remain 20 points clear of second place, and only need two points to secure their 23rd Bundesliga Championship.
Next up for Bayern is Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League Quarterfinals at midweek. Stay tuned for a Preview and a Matchday Thread as usual.
As my predecessor Phil Pierson would say, thanks for reading.