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Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Bayern
S. Gnabry (40), S. Gnabry (53), R. Lewandowski (69), R. Lewandowski (72), S. Gnabry (74)

Gnabry stars in dominant Bayern victory

By Ben Sully   @SullyBen

The man from Stuttgart came back to haunt his hometown side, as Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick in a destructive Bayern Munich performance at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Robert Lewandowski also enjoyed a memorable evening as he grabbed a brace to take him to 42 league goals for 2021, which equals Gerd Müller's record for the most Bundesliga goals in a calendar year.
Serge Gnabry.
Serge Gnabry.
Bayern entered the contest full of confidence after winning their last five games in all competitions. Buoyed by recent results, the visitors started brightly, with Serge Gnabry appearing in a particularly menacing mood early on.

The Germany international threatened in the opening stages, with his effort flashing across the face of goal. He was involved once again in the 19th minute, when he was presented with a promising one on one opportunity, but Florian Müller stood tall to deny the 26-year-old before Gnabry fired the rebound wide.

Stuttgart did eventually see a glimpse of goal in the 25th minute, but Omar Marmoush's scuffed effort drifted well wide of the target.

Despite their encouraging start, Bayern would have been concerned to see Kingsley Coman limp off after picking up the injury, with the Frenchman replaced by Leroy Sané. The substitute was to play a key role in the opener as he raced towards the box before offloading the ball to Serge Gnabry, who made a difficult finish look easy as he guided the ball into the top corner to ensure Bayern score in their 63rd consecutive Bundesliga game.

After threatening little in the first period, Stuttgart started the second half in an encouraging manner. Manuel Neuer was finally called into action, as he comfortably gathered Philipp Förster’s tame effort.

Despite the hosts showing more intent in the opening minutes of the second period, the next goal fell the way of the champions, with Gnabry finding the net once again. On this occasion, it was, Thomas Müller who provided the chance, with Gnabry displaying great composure to flick the ball onto his left foot before finding the bottom corner.

The points were wrapped up in the 69th minute, when Bundesliga topscorer Robert Lewandowski delicately lifted the ball over Florian Müller. With the result already decided, the floodgates opened as the Bavarians netted a fourth. In a fine display of unselfishness, Gnabry laid the ball on a plate for Lewandowski to finish from close range.

Gnabry's selfless moment was rewarded only moments later, as Florian Müller failed to deal with a cross, which allowed the 26-year-old to seal his hat trick. After such a demoralising second half, Stuttgart would have been relieved to hear the referee's final whistle.

Following their impressive victory, Bayern Munich are now guaranteed to be the league leaders at the halfway mark of the Bundesliga season.

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