Chasing an unprecedented sixth league title on the trot, champions Bayern Munich made it two wins in two and moved to the top of the table, cruising past Werder Bremen 2-0, courtesy of a quick-fire Robert Lewandowski double.
Boosted by the return of captain Manuel Neuer, the defence looked more secure than on opening night against Leverkusen, completing their 14th league win in a row against Bremen, with Bayern assuming their natural position atop the Bundesliga after two games.
Bayern huffed and puffed but were largely below par for 70 minutes before Lewandowski struck decisively twice, first in the 72nd minute and again in the 75th.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — Carlo Ancelotti brought on Kingsley Coman for the ineffective Arjen Robben, with the tricky French winger providing a crucial assist minutes later.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Manuel Neuer, 7 — Enjoyed a nice leisurely reintroduction 130 days after breaking a metatarsal against Real Madrid in April. A predictable clean sheet, as clean as his all-white kit, as Neuer didn’t have a single shot to save in Northern Germany on his first official game as Bayern captain in succession to the legend Philipp Lahm.
DF David Alaba, 7 — Tested the keeper midway through first half and always looked lively in tandem with Franck Ribery down the Bayern left flank.
DF Mats Hummels, 8 — Always a threat from set pieces, but caught the eye when preventing a rare goal bound Bremen shot with a last-ditch block. Also on the receiving end of a stray elbow from teammate Lewandowski.
DF Niklas Sule, 7 — Cleared off the line moments after Hummels’ intervention. Far from as elegant, classy, nor as pleasing on the eye as Hummels, but Sule is solid and gets the job done.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 7 — Full of running at right-back, putting in an improved defensive display after looking shaky against Leverkusen.
MF Corentin Tolisso, 7 — Bayern’s record signing rattled the crossbar after only six minutes, continuing his bright start for the Reds.
MF Arturo Vidal, 6 — The combative Chilean incurred the wrath of Robben for an errant pass, let loose numerous tame shots from outside the box and picked up an almost inevitable yellow card for a tetchy foul, before being substituted late on for Sebastian Rudy with the game already won.
MF Thiago, 7 — Returned to the starting lineup after picking up a muscle injury on the China tour last month. Like Neuer, Thiago will not enjoy a more leisurely outing this season.
MF Franck Ribery, 6 — The 34-year-old started brightly but faded and was always likely to be hooked off in the second half.
MF Arjen Robben, 6 — Subdued on his return to the starting lineup after a couple of recent cameos as a substitute. Narrowly off target with a rare header before the break and a couple of those trademark cut insides onto his stronger left foot.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 9 — Two quick-fire, clinical and cute finishes decided the game – back-heeling the opener under pressure from the defender and nutmegging both Robert Bauer and the goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka for the second which put the game to bed.
MF Kingsley Coman, 8 — Some bright moments after replacing Robben, 12 years his senior — providing the precious assist for the opening goal after effortlessly jinking his way through on the right-hand side.
MF Thomas Muller, N/R — Lost the captaincy and his place in the starting lineup, but looked lively after replacing Ribery immediately after Lewandowski’s precious opener.
MF Sebastian Rudy, N/R — Received his first taste of life on the Bayern bench, too late for a rating after relieving the weary “Warrior” Vidal with six minutes to play.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.