Fixtures like these are the ones that you circle before the season begins. Schalke away not only has the potential to be a tough match, but all the subplots make for an interesting game to watch, even for some reasons that have nothing to do with the action on the field.
Above all, its interest is driven by the fact that Schalke supporters hate Bayern, and Bayern fans just as genuinely hate Schalke. Maybe not as much as each dislikes Dortmund at the present moment, but there's certainly enough venom spewing from both sets of fans to go around.
Until the first goal, Bayern and Schalke matched attack for attack with Schalke arguably having the best chance of the opening twenty minutes, which was only not a Szalai goal for the Royal Blues because of a perfect last-ditch slide and deflection by Jerome Boateng.
Bayern, who went back to their customary 4-2-3-1, weren't getting too much possession in important areas and had to rely on the counterattack for a stretch as the team seemed to be willing to wait for whatever opening Schalke would give them.
Just when the match looked to be tipping in Schalke's favor, Bayern earned a corner and Bastian Schweinsteiger headed in Arjen Robben's delivery after being unmarked (because of a mistake by 'Germany's best right back') to mark a perfect return to the starting lineup.
Before Schalke's stadium announcer could finish informing the Veltins Arena of the goal that had just occurred, Mario Mandzukic had doubled the Bayern advantage after Alaba got down the left side and sent in a perfectly placed cross. Once again, it was Uchida who failed to mark his man properly, although he was nearly bailed out by Benedikt Höwedes, whose attempted goal-line clearance only really finished what the Croatian had started. Timo Hildebrand had a chance to stop his own teammate's touch towards goal but failed. The goal was, indeed, credited to Mandzukic by the official scorer.
Much of the second half was dull, but up two goals away to a rival on the table and off of it, this was no failure for Guardiola's team whatsoever. While Bayern didn't create much, they played as if they were the home team in firm control. No chances were surrendered and it looked as if the side was fine with their lead.
After 72 minutes, Arjen Robben was taken off in favor of Thomas Müller. While Müller didn't do much to contribute to the attack initially, his substitution coincided with the Bavarians playing more attacking football after a long break.
After thirty minutes or so, Bayern were finally able to create another chance and it sent them ahead by three.
David Alaba managed to slip in a beautiful pass to Ribery, who made a mockery of Timo Hildebrand's attempt at saving it and essentially walked in the third goal to do away with any doubt left about the final result.
Nine minutes later, substitute Müller made his impact on the match by squaring a pass to Pizarro after Hildebrand had come off his line. All that was left for the Peruvian was a simple tap-in and Bayern were suddenly looking very much like the dominant team of last season once again.
The result, in addition to Dortmund dropping points away to Nürnberg, means that the two are now tied atop the Bundesliga table.