Bayern Munich shirts and lederhosen, I knew I was in Bavaria for Octoberfest. For many Bavarians though, having a seat for any Bayern Munich game is a privilege and an honour. The reasons for that become increasingly evident with every step you take towards the Allianz Arena. On my way into the stadium I noticed a jumper with the words "Your hate makes us proud". Bayern are one of the best sides in Europe when they want to be, and from the start it was merely a question of just how many Felix Magath's woeful Wolfsburg side would lose by.
Coach Jupp Heynckes opted for Xherdan Shaqiri and Franck Ribery over the in-form Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller, the latter being omitted from the squad. In midfield, record signing Javi Martinez replaced Luis Gustavo for his first start in the Bundesliga .
Bayern have the look of a side intent on plotting their revenge this year and no more was that evident than against hapless Wolfsburg on Tuesday night. They could have taken the lead as early as the third minute but Diego Benaglio made a brilliant save from close range to deny Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The home side continued to dominate possession but couldn't fashion out a chance until the 18th minute of the game when Schweinsteiger fired in a long-range effort, only to be denied by the post. Schweinsteiger and Martinez's understanding was impressive and the pair bossed the middle of the park with consummate ease, the former finishing with 103 touches of the ball to his name.
The lead, when it came, was inevitable and so was the goalscorer. Schweinsteiger seemingly has been reborn at the start of this season, which is no mean feat considering the pain of last year's campaign. Arjen Robben and Ribery combined forces on the right-hand side and once the ball had been played in, Schweinsteiger applied the finish.
Bayern continued to dominate and should have doubled their lead after Shaqiri had burst through to be one-on-one with Benaglio, but the Swiss international opted for the pass rather than the shot and left it just short of the on-rushing Mario Mandzukic. Wolfsburg looked on the verge of crumbling and Emanuel Pogatetz nearly added a second own goal of the season after excellent work by the ever-lively Ribery, but his goalkeeper spared him that embarrassment. Ricardo Rodriguez's effort was Wolfsburg only one of the first half and it tamely hit the side netting. As much as the away side had offered little, credit had to be given to Bayern, who had made life considerably uncomfortable for them. Robben tracked all the way back into his own half to deny Bas Dost a chance clean through on goal, something that epitomises this 'new' Bayern.
Bayern started the second half slower than expected and as much as Wolfsburg dared to try to control the game, it wasn't long before Bayern were 2-0 up. Shaqiri did superbly on the left-hand side of the box and crossed brilliantly for Mandzukic, who finally got his goal. Eight minutes later and Mandzukic had doubled his tally with yet another well-taken header, this time with Lahm providing the assist. It was cruise control for Bayern and for the Croatian, who has already bagged five goals this season. Bayern controlled the game right to the end and could have added to their tally. The timely Octoberfest party mood was already in full flow in Munich though, something only heightened by the incoming news of defending champions Dortmund's 3-3 draw against Frankfurt.
Bayern have started a march here, make no mistake about it. Five wins from five, 17 goals scored, only two conceded and a two-point lead at the top of the table. With those kind of stats and the players who continue to produce them week-in week-out, it hardly seems likely that they'll stutter like they did this time last year. Mind you, there's a long way to go yet...
Bayern Munich: Neuer - Badstuber , Boateng, Dante, Lahm - Martinez (72' Tymoshchuk), Schweinsteiger - Ribery, Shaqiri, Robben (68' Kroos) - Mandzukic (79' Pizarro)
VfL Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Rodriguez, Naldo (67' Traesch), Pogatetz, Fagner - Josue, Diego, Knoche, Kahlenberg (67' Vieirinha) - Olic, Dost (81' Joensson)
Goals: 1-0 Schweinsteiger (24'), 2-0 Mandzukic (57'), 3-0 Mandzukic (65')