Football: Guardiola's delight as champions Bayern Munich thump Schalke 4-0

Coach Pep Guardiola (above) was delighted as Bayern Munich's 4-0 win at Schalke 04 on Saturday saw the European champions draw level with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. -- PHOTO: AP
Coach Pep Guardiola (above) was delighted as Bayern Munich's 4-0 win at Schalke 04 on Saturday saw the European champions draw level with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. -- PHOTO: AP

BERLIN (AFP) - Coach Pep Guardiola was delighted as Bayern Munich's 4-0 win at Schalke 04 on Saturday saw the European champions draw level with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern remain second in the table, but are level with Dortmund on both goal difference and points after their win in Gelsenkirchen.

After six league games, Bayern have only dropped two points under Guardiola and are enjoying 70 percent possession in most matches.

"That was our best performance so far in the Bundesliga, we completely dominated against one of the best teams in Germany," said Guardiola whose side host Bundesliga rivals Hanover 96 in the German Cup second round on Wednesday.

Having introduced a 4-1-4-1 formation when he took charge in June, Guardiola has reverted to the 4-2-3-1 with which Bayern won the Treble of European, German Cup and league titles under Jupp Heynckes last season.

Bayern dominated the midfield with captain Philipp Lahm alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger in the defensive midfield positions.

"We went into the game from the first minute with a very serious approach, the mentality was there," said Germany star Schweinsteiger.

"We wanted to get the three points, so we are happy that we did that. At times we were quite good, but we still have things to work on."

Despite making a bright start, Jens Keller's Schalke undid their good work as first Schweinsteiger, then striker Mario Mandzukic were left unmarked in the area to head home.

Schweinsteiger, back in the starting side after straining ankle ligaments last month, smashed home Arjen Robben's corner on 21 minutes and 60 seconds later, Mandzukic converted David Alaba's cross.

France winger Franck Ribery and then replacement striker Claudio Pizarro added late goals as Schalke's four-match winning run came to an abrupt halt.

Bayern have now gone 31 games without losing a Bundesliga match and have recorded 26 league wins and five draws since losing 2-1 loss to Leverkusen in October 2012.