With a one-point lead at the top of the table, Bayern headed to face Hoffenheim. Coming off of a huge win in London on Wednesday, there was a positive mood around the club.
The jovial mood didn’t last long, however, as the news that Robert Lewandowski would be out for four weeks was quite disappointing. Still, league play continued on and eighth-place Hoffenheim was relishing the opportunity to play against a Bayern without the best No. 9 in the world. It was Bayern though that came out prepared to play. With Joshua Zirkzee getting the start in place of Lewandowski, the team came bursting out of the gates scoring goals in the second, seventh, 15th and 33rd minutes to take a 4-0 lead into halftime.
A gorgeous pass from Thomas Muller to the scorching hot Serge Gnabry got the scoring clinic started.
The second half started out with more of the same with Hoffenheim turning the ball over in their own box which led to another Thomas Muller assist. This time, Muller found Philip Coutinho to make it two goals for him on the day. Leon Gortezka came on in the second half and scored in the 62nd minute to make it 6-0, with Bayern full speed ahead all day long.
The game ended rather abruptly after a vulgar banner was unfurled by Bayern fans directed at Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp. Bayern and leadership went to the sideline and made it clear the banner was inappropriate.
Hansi Flick led the charge, but in the end, the teams agreed to pass the ball around and not score for the remainder of the game.
While the stand made against the banner was admirable, it brings to mind how many other things there are wrong in today’s game of football. What if the players took those same stands against racist banners around the world? To stand up for the honor of one owner is a nice thought, but many leagues have struggled with racism and this hasn’t been the solution. Moussa Marega of Porto walked off the field due to racist chants from the opposition. The situation of standing together and uniting against the banner is a strong idea, but there are other places where that same principle can be applied.
It will be interesting to see how similar situations are handled moving forward.