Bayern Munich 3 Nurnberg 0: Lewandowski lifts Kovac's side into second

Bayern Munich moved into second place in the Bundesliga by hammering Bavarian rival Nurnberg 3-0.

Lewandowski celebrates his second goal against Nurnberg.   -  Getty Images- Bongarts

Robert Lewandowski's first-half double set Bayern Munich on its way to a comfortable 3-0 win over Bundesliga struggler Nurnberg.

Having vowed to reduce his level of squad rotation prior to Saturday's encounter at Allianz Arena, under-pressure Bayern coach Niko Kovac named an unchanged team and his faith was repaid by a dominant display.

Lewandowski's ninth-minute header opened the floodgates, with the 30-year-old doubling his tally after Franck Ribery and Leon Goretzka had hit the woodwork.

READ | United States teenager Sargent scores with first Bundesliga touch

Ribery's first goal of the season added further gloss before the hour, but Bayern – now up to second in the table – remains nine points behind leader Borussia Dortmund, which beat Schalke 2-1 in the Revierderby.

Nurnberg's resolve was short-lived – Lewandowski capitalising on hesitant goalkeeping from Fabian Bredlow to head in from Joshua Kimmich's inswinging corner.

Bredlow palmed Ribery's effort onto the frame of the goal before Lewandowski sliced over from close-range, but the forward did not miss in the 27th minute, tapping home after Goretzka's wicked long-range effort had been magnificently tipped on to the crossbar by Nurnberg's goalkeeper.

Bredlow came to Nurnberg's rescue after the restart, which was slightly delayed due to sections of Bayern's support launching toilet roll onto the pitch, getting down to tip Kimmich's strike wide after Lewandowski had turned provider with a deft flick.

ALSO READ | Sancho going nowhere, says Dortmund director Zorc

Yet Bredlow was to blame for Bayern's third when he conceded possession from a goal kick. Although he kept out Serge Gnabry's initial effort, Ribery hammered in the rebound.

Kimmich almost rounded off a superb individual display in style late on, but his dipping strike clipped the crossbar as Bayern cruised to a routine win.

What does it mean? Consistency the key for Kovac

Bayern's torrid start to the campaign by its high standards has not been helped by Kovac's tinkering, but the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach seems to have settled on a preferred starting XI that has now claimed back-to-back wins, and a seventh straight victory over Nurnberg.

Lewandowski leads the way

Lewandowski has now netted 19 goals from 20 appearances in all competitions this season, more than any other player across Europe's five major leagues. With the striker in this kind of form, Bayern will still hold out hope of catching Dortmund.

Bredlow blunders highlight Nurnberg's deficiencies

Nurnberg's gameplan was evident from the off, but Bredlow's error gifted Lewandowski the opener and, despite making two fine saves, the goalkeeper capped a poor display by giving the ball away for Bayern's third.

What's next?

While Bayern faces Ajax on Wednesday in a game that will decide who tops Champions League Group E, Nurnberg hosts Wolfsburg in its next outing.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :