Champions Bayern Munich demolished hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach 5-1 to join leaders Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga and reignite the title race on Saturday.
Rejuvenated Bayern Munich, who have now won 11 of their last 12 league games, scored twice in the opening 11 minutes through Javi Martinez and Thomas Mueller.
Two second half Robert Lewandowski goals then ensured the most straightforward of wins.
Moenchengladbach lost their third straight league home game by at least three goals for the first time in their club history.
Bayern Munich, who were seven points off the top a few weeks ago, are now level on 54 with Borussia Dortmund, who lost 2-1 to Augsburg on Friday.
Borussia Moenchengladbach have now dropped to fourth on 43.
“I am very satisfied with our game and we could have scored one or two goals more,” said Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac, whose team face Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg later this month.
“It was one of our best games this season. We have now reset everything and the title race starts again from zero.”
Lewandowski, who joined Claudio Pizarro on 195 goals at the top of the all-time foreign scorers’ list in the Bundesliga, almost opened his account after 35 seconds.
His shot was saved by Yann Sommer, but the resulting corner kick was headed in by Martinez.
Bayern Munich doubled their lead in the 11th minute when Mueller latched on to a Serge Gnabry cross to slot in with his second effort.
They then missed several golden chances to increase their lead and instead it was Moenchengladbach’s Lars Stindl who scored to cut the deficit in the 38th minute.
Lewandowski restored their two-goal advantage two minutes after the restart to make it 120 Bundesliga goals with
Bayern Munich and climb to third on their all-time scorers’ list.
Gnabry drilled in from close range in the 75th before Lewandowski completed the rout with a stoppage-time penalty kick.
Schalke 04 coach Domenico Tedesco is on the brink of an exit after his team lost 4-0 at home to promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf.
They stayed in 14th place, seven points above the relegation zone.
RB Leipzig climbed to third place on 45 points after beating Nuremberg 1-0.(Reuters/NAN)