Bayern Munich pulverised Darmstadt with eight unanswered second-half goals, including a Harry Kane hat-trick, to go top of the Bundesliga, in a game that marked Manuel Neuer’s long-awaited comeback from a broken leg.
Following a notable three red cards in a scoreless initial period, the home team, who were also down to 10 players, dominated against nine-man Darmstadt. Bayern got their first goal through a 52nd-minute diving header from Kane, followed by two goals from Leroy Sané and one from Jamal Musiala to secure victory. Kane then added another goal with an impressive long-range strike from inside Bayern’s half.
In the 71st minute, Thomas Müller scored again and Musiala also scored his second goal five minutes later. Kane completed his hat-trick in the 88th minute, making it 8-0 and bringing his total number of goals to 12 in nine league games.
During the chaotic first half, Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich and two Darmstadt players were given straight red cards for their actions, marking the first time this has occurred in the first 45 minutes of a Bundesliga match.
Bayern’s coach, Thomas Tuchel, described the first half of the game as intense against a formidable opponent. He acknowledged that there were too many mistakes and a lack of intensity during the first half. However, after halftime, the team responded strongly. With an extra player on the field, they created numerous opportunities and scored multiple goals. The game was unexpected and ended in an unusual manner.
The Bavarians are now on 23 points, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who are in action against Freiburg on Sunday. VfB Stuttgart dropped to third place on 21 points following their 3-2 home loss to Hoffenheim. Borussia Dortmund, fourth on 20, travel to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
In Munich, the spotlight was on Neuer, 37, who suffered a leg injury while skiing in December 2022 after Germany’s World Cup elimination. He was warmly welcomed by the home fans as he led his team onto the field as captain. Unfortunately, the mood quickly changed when Neuer passed the ball to Kimmich, who was unable to control it and ended up fouling Marwin Mehlem at the edge of the penalty area, resulting in a direct red card.
In the 21st minute, the even numbers were equalized as the visiting team was reduced to 10 players after Klaus Gjasula was ejected for committing a last-man foul on Konrad Laimer at the edge of the box.
Neuer displayed glimpses of returning to top form as he successfully blocked Mehlem’s shot during a swift break by Darmstadt in the 36th minute. However, Darmstadt received another red card when Matej Maglica was directly dismissed in the 41st minute for bringing down Kane, who was in full sprint. This set a league record with three players being sent off in the first half.
Bayern was unstoppable in the second half, scoring eight goals in just 37 minutes. Darmstadt, who had initially put up a strong defense, were now no match for Bayern who dominated the game. Kane’s second goal, scored from a distance of approximately 60 meters, was a strong contender for goal of the year.
In other news, Union Berlin suffered their tenth consecutive loss in all tournaments, adding to their already disappointing first season in the Champions League. Werder Bremen emerged victorious with a 2-0 score, aided by Union midfielder Rani Khedira’s ejection for a hazardous tackle that struck an opponent in the chest. Union’s Robin Knoche accidentally scored an own goal, giving Bremen the initial lead before Marvin Ducksch secured their victory.
Stuttgart lost 3-2 at home to Hoffenheim, with Wout Weghorst scoring the second from the spot for the visitors. Augsburg recovered from 2-1 down to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 despite having Felix Uduokhai sent off late in the game. Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Heidenheim 2-1.
Andy Brassell’s Bundesliga blog will not be available this week, but it will be back on Monday, November 6th.