Bayern Munich set a new record for points in a Bundesliga season with a 1-0 victory over Champions League-chasing Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Emre Can’s first-half goal was enough to clinch victory for the Bavarian giants, who fielded a host of reserves, but still managed to dominate the encounter from start to finish and outclass Christian Streich’s side.
The win sees Bayern move onto 84 points, surpassing the record of 81 set by Borussia Dortmund last season, while Freiburg remain one point behind fourth placed Schalke, having played a game more.
Jupp Heynckes named nearly an entirely different XI from the one that took to the field against Barca midweek, with Jerome Boateng the only survivor, as the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Rafinha stepped in.
Bayern soon settled and exhibited their customary dominance of possession, with Freiburg barely managing to get a foot on the ball in the opening exchanges.
Xherdan Shaqiri was heavily involved in most of the home side’s offensive efforts, and should have done better with 20 minutes gone, snatching at a volley from the edge of the area that flew wide.
Bayern would come closer around the half hour mark when Luis Gustavo’s ball over the top released Diego Contento, but the full-back, with all the time in the world to pick out a cross, instead lifted the ball too far ahead of Mandzukic at the far post.
It was a let-off for Freiburg, but their good fortune would not last much longer. Shaqiri’s inch-perfect free-kick from the right hand side was glanced with the slightest of nods by Can, steering the ball into the far side of the goal.
Gustavo had an excellent opportunity to double Bayern’s advantage almost immediately, but the Brazilian could only hit right at Oliver Baumann after good link-up play from Contento and Mandzukic.
But the Freiburg keeper was made to work harder shortly after the restart, when Can’s shot proved too hot to handle, forcing him into an awkward parry.
Shaqiri then attempted to force the issue with a long-range effort that went just off target, after a delightful turn to free himself in space for the shot.
And the home side were left cursing their luck once again just before the hour mark, when Mandzukic clipped onto the bar after spotting Baumann off his line, following an excellent feed from Claudio Pizarro.
Heynckes brought on Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez in the closing stages, and the two substitutes almost contrived to unlock Freiburg for a second time, but Gomez could not divert the Frenchman’s cross on target from point blank range.
But Bayern were fortunate not to be hit with a sucker-punch in the 77th minute, when Tom Starke’s flap at a corner opened up space for Daniel Caligiuri to shoot, but the effort was tame and right at the feet of the recovering keeper.
However, it was a rare positive moment for the visitors amid total Bayern domination. Ribery and Gomez both wasted chances late on to add another goal, but it mattered little in the end as the hosts ran out comfortable winners.