Title hopefuls struggling as champions Bayern enjoy perfect start

BERLIN -A decade of total Bayern Munich domination in the Bundesliga has piled pressure on other teams to step up and break the Bavarians’ stranglehold, but this season their rivals have hit early roadblocks. While Bayern are firm favourites for an 11th straight title after winning their opening three games and scoring 15 league goals for a new record, last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, who finished third, and RB Leipzig are already struggling to keep up. Bayern’s stunning form was again on display on Sunday when they demolished hosts VfL Bochum 7-0 with two goals for new signing Sadio Mane. In total Bayern have scored 20 goals in four matches in all competitions and they did it without their second all-time scorer, Robert Lewandowski, who joined Barcelona this season. “We were completely taken apart by them. It was wild. It is brutally bitter and I have never been destroyed like that,” said Bochum’s Simon Zoller.  To sustain a fight against such a team over an entire season requires consistency but Dortmund have already spectacularly slipped up with a 3-2 loss to Werder Bremen last week after conceding three goals in the final minutes.

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