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Coutinho earns first start to help Bayern come from behind and smash six past Mainz

Bayern claimed their first home win of the season as they cruised to a 6-1 win over Mainz.

Jean-Paul Boetius and Philippe Coutinho compete for possession.
Jean-Paul Boetius and Philippe Coutinho compete for possession.
Image: Imago/PA Images

DAVID ALABA SCORED a superb free-kick as Benjamin Pavard and Ivan Perisic opened their Bayern Munich accounts in a 6-1 Bundesliga win over Mainz.

Mainz were thrashed 6-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, and although Jean-Paul Boetius’ sixth-minute header put them ahead at Allianz Arena, they were again dismantled.

Bayern were in a ruthless mood, and after Perisic atoned for a poor miss by teeing up Pavard’s equaliser, Alaba’s pinpoint strike put Niko Kovac’s side in control.

Perisic marked his full debut with a powerful header shortly after the restart, with Kingsley Coman then prodding in from a corner.

In-form Robert Lewandowski got in on the act with 12 minutes remaining, with substitute Alphonso Davies then adding further gloss to an emphatic victory.

Bayern started well, but it was the visitors who took the lead when Boetius nodded home from Ronael Pierre-Gabriel’s cross.

bavaria-munich-fsv-mainz-05 Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring Bayern's fifth goal on Saturday. Source: DPA/PA Images

Perisic could have grabbed an equaliser, only to slice into the side netting when one-on-one with Florian Muller, who then made an exceptional save to prevent Danny Latza scoring an own goal.

Muller should have done better with Bayern’s leveller a minute later, but he misjudged Pavard’s volley.

Bayern hit the front on the stroke of half-time – Alaba giving Muller no chance with a sublime free-kick which curled into the top-right corner.

Thiago Alcantara squandered a great chance to double Bayern’s advantage, but Perisic made no such mistake nine minutes after the restart.

Muller got a hand to the Croatian’s thumping header but only pushed it up onto the underside of the crossbar, unable to prevent it crossing the line, and Bayern had their fourth when Coman met Joshua Kimmich’s delivery.

Lewandowksi bundled in from close range soon after, with the rout completed when Davies tapped into an empty net.

What does it mean? Bayern’s support cast get in on the show

All of Bayern’s five Bundesliga goals heading into Saturday’s contest had been scored by Lewandowski, but the champions’ back-up brigade came to the fore this time around.

With Perisic and Coman in particular helping themselves to confidence-boosting goals, it suggests Bayern should not have to be overly reliant on Lewandowski this term, especially once Philippe Coutinho – who put in a tidy performance on his full debut – gets firing.

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