Defending champion Bayern Munich got the Bundesliga back underway with a 3-1 win at Hoffenheim on Friday to deliver a statement of intent to leader Borussia Dortmund.
Robert Lewandowski sealed the victory late on to cut the gap on his former team to three points after 18 games. It was Bayern’s sixth league win in succession, stabilizing the side after an early-season wobble.
Leon Goretzka scored twice in the first half, the first from a rebound, then after a corner, as Bayern performed impressively in the league’s first match after a winter break of almost four weeks.
Hoffenheim, which had dominated much of the first half, pulled one back through Nico Schulz just before the hour.
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer then produced a brilliant save to deny Adam Szalai an equalizer with seven minutes remaining.
Lewandowski struck four minutes later with his 11th goal in the league this season, a simple finish after Thomas Mueller crossed from the right.
Dortmund visits Leipzig on Saturday.