MUNICH, Germany (REUTERS) - Champions Bayern Munich eased past Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 in the Bundesliga season opener on Friday (Aug 18) to lay down a marker as they eye a record-extending sixth straight German league title.
Newcomers Niklas Suele and Corentin Tolisso put the Bavarians ahead before Robert Lewandowski added a third with a penalty, following the official use of the video assistant referee for the first time in the Bundesliga.
Bayern were missing close to half a dozen key players to injury including Manuel Neuer, Thiago Alcantara and Jerome Boateng, but it never showed as they rode roughshod over Leverkusen for more than an hour.
Admir Mehmedi pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 65th minute, who missed a handful of good chances to score again late in the game.
Last season's runners-up RB Leipzig are in action at Schalke 04 on Saturday while Borussia Dortmund, who finished third, travel to VfL Wolfsburg.