Thomas Mueller and Thiago Alcantara both netted twice as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich warmed up for their crunch Champions League clash at home to Juventus by blitzing Werder Bremen 5-0 on Saturday.
With second-placed Borussia Dortmund playing Mainz on Sunday, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern took the chance to reopen an eight-point gap.
“People think it’s easy to win 5-0, but every game is like a final for us to stay ahead of Dortmund,” said Guardiola, who rested Dutch star Arjen Robben from the match-day squad.
Bayern host Juventus in Europe on Wednesday having drawn their last 16, first-leg 2-2 in Turin after throwing away a two-goal lead.
Bremen arrived in Munich buoyed by back-to-back wins over Bayer Leverkusen and bottom side Hanover, but missing three key players.
Veteran striker Claudio Pizarro was out with a groin injury while captain Clemens Fritz and dead-ball expert Zlatko Junuzovic were suspended.
It took Bayern just nine minutes to take the lead at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
Kingsley Coman’s cross was met by Thiago for his first league goal since February 2014 after a horror run of injuries.
Mueller made it 2-0 when he fired Coman’s cross home at close-range on 31 minutes.
Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald then blocked Franck Ribery’s fierce shot on 66 minutes, but Mueller fired in the rebound.
He now has 19 league goals and is third only to Lewandowski (24) and Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22) in Germany’s top flight.
Guardiola gave Germany’s World Cup winner Mario Goetze his first league start since October, but it was his replacement Lewandowski who came off the bench to hit Bayern’s fourth.
Mueller made way for Lewandowski and the Poland striker wasted little time hitting his 34th Bayern goal of the season on 86 minutes.
On 90 minutes, Coman produced his third assist of the game as Thiago fired home at the near post to complete the rout.
Earlier, Wolfsburg suffered a Champions League hangover with a 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Hoffenheim.
Wolfsburg reached the last eight in Europe for the first time in the club’s history as Tuesday’s 1-0 win at home to Gent sealed a 4-2 win on aggregate in the last 16.
But Dieter Hecking’s side were stunned by second-from-bottom Hoffenheim as Andrej Kramaric, on loan from Leicester City, scored after just three minutes.
It could have been more as Kevin Volland had a second-half penalty saved.
The defeat leaves Wolfsburg outside the top six while Hoffenheim remain two points from safety.
Hoffenheim’s win pushed bottom side Hanover 96 closer to relegation as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Cologne with Leonardo Bittencourt scoring both goals.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s new coach Niko Kovac suffered a 3-0 defeat on his Bundesliga debut at Borussia Moenchengladbach to stay in the relegation places.
Kovac, who coached Croatia to the 2014 World Cup and took over after Armin Veh was sacked last Sunday, made four changes to the starting line-up, but his team are winless in eight games.
Gladbach’s Lars Stindl, Raffael and Mahmoud Dahoud scored the goals as Gladbach climbed to fourth.
A foul on South Korea midfielder Ja-Cheol Koo in the dying stages of Augsburg’s 2-2 draw at Darmstadt led to his side converting a penalty to take a crucial point.
Things remain tight in the relegation battle with three points now separating five teams.
Australia striker Mathew Leckie scored only his second goal of the season as he headed home from close range in mid-table Ingolstadt’s 3-3 draw at home to Stuttgart.
On Friday, Hertha Berlin cemented third place in the table with a 2-0 win over nearest rivals Schalke thanks to goals from Niklas Stark and Vedad Ibisevic.