Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable 3-0 away win in Hamburg.
By the time the record German champions had kicked off in Northern Germany, they knew all their nearest rivals had failed to exert any real pressure on them, with Schalke 04, Eintracht Frankfurt and defending champions Borussia Dortmund all failing to win.
The game was in the balance for large periods of the first half as the in-form home side (13 points from their previous six games) gave as good as they got in front of a sell-out crowd of 57,000.
Franck Ribery was once again the inspiration for FCB and had a hand (or rather a foot) in all three goals. Firstly his punted clearance five minutes before the break allowed Bayern a quick break from well inside their own half. Thomas Müller flicked on for Toni Kroos who was forced wide by HSV keeper Rene Adler. Kroos had the time, space, vision and quality to find the on-rushing Bastian Schweinsteiger who nodded firmly home at the back post to put the visitors ahead.
Bayern doubled their lead three minutes after the restart with Ribery once again the provider. Müller beat the offside trap and latched onto the Frenchman's measured pass. Adler once again forced the attacker wide and it did look a near impossible angle for Müller, with the word acute perhaps not doing the angle enough justice. However, Müller somehow curled a finish from near the by-line past a helpless Adler. It was a truly stunning finish from the 2010 World Cup top scorer.
Five minutes later and Bayern were out of sight. Ribery fed Toni Kroos, who stormed into the area, his left-foot rocket lashing into the roof of the net.
From that point it was merely a case of damage limitation for the home side, who, despite the promptings of new purchase Rafael van der Vaart, never really looked like breaking down a resolute Bayern backline.
Coach Jupp Heynckes ranked the performance as ''first class, outstanding'' and director of football Matthias Sammer also spoke of a ''fine team performance''.
Bayern even had the luxury of leaving the match-winners from the midweek German Cup victory, Arjen Robben and Claudio Pizarro, on the bench all game to enjoy the fresh Elbe air.
Bayern's fifth Bundesliga away win out of five with a goal difference of 15-0 is a new Bundesliga record and it stretches their lead to seven points over Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt at the top of the table.
Ryland James with match reaction:
"It's been a very good round of matches for us. Naturally, we knew the other scores before kick-off and we were even more motivated," said Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink admitted the north Germans had had a rude awakening against his old side: "Bayern were simply too strong for us and we did not have our best day," said Fink with his side left eighth in the league. "We were ok in the first half, we had a couple of chances on the break, and we kept it tight - until just before half-time. We fell apart after the opening goal. Bayern were simply too good and we weren't at our best. We showed too much respect, we didn't play to the best of our ability, and Bayern were obviously outstanding."
Hamburg's Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart said Bayern had proved their worth as league leaders: "Bayern are the best team in the league and deserved to win. We were only on the pitch for the first 15 minutes. We didn't stand a chance after that. There's no shame losing to Bayern, but we need a result next week."
Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba - Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo (56' Martinez) - Mueller, Kroos (75' Tymoshchuk), Ribery (83' Rafinha)- Mandzukic
Hamburg: Adler - Diekmeier, Mancienne, Westermann, Jansen - Arslan, Rincon (46' Rudnevs), Badelj - Son, van der Vaart, Beister (59' Aogo)
Goals: 1-0 Schweinsteiger (40'), 2-0 Mueller (48'), 3-0 Kroos (53')
Referee: Knut Kircher (Rottenburg)
Spectators 57,000 (capacity)