Serge Gnabry suggested Cologne had no answer to Bayern Munich's rapid start on Sunday as three goals in the opening dozen minutes took the Bavarian giants back top of the Bundesliga.

Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Gnabry all struck early on as Bayern raced out of the blocks en route to a 4-1 victory that saw them move above RB Leipzig again in the standings.

Gnabry scored again in the second half before Mark Uth pulled one back, with Bayern's two-goal forward delighted with the way the visitors approached the early stages of the contest.

"We are happy to have three points. I think we came out very strong in the first half - Cologne did not have a chance," Gnabry told the Bundesliga's website.

"I think in the second half we should have scored our fourth goal earlier to not let them come back, but in the end we are happy about the three points and I think we showed a strong performance."

Gnabry could have had a hat-trick but he lost his balance and hit the crossbar after rounding Cologne's goalkeeper Timo Horn, who also tipped a long-range effort from Joshua Kimmich onto a post before the break.

Despite the eventual scoreline, Bayern's inability to add to their three-goal haul until midway through the second half frustrated goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"I was expecting a little more resistance in the beginning," he told Sky of Cologne.

"We could have scored up to 10 goals. We have to reproach ourselves.

"It annoys me that we didn't keep playing because we made life difficult for ourselves."

Cologne had come into the game on the back of four straight home wins in the Bundesliga, but they were blown away by Bayern in the opening exchanges.

"In the first half you could see that we're still developing," head coach Markus Gisdol said at a news conference.

"Bayern showed their class. We were too passive and weren't courageous enough.

"I had hoped that we could have stayed in the game for longer. But in the second half we presented ourselves well. The boys can learn something from both halves."