Berlin: Thomas Mueller said Bayern Munich's 5-1 trashing of second-placed Borussia Dortmund sent a signal to their German rivals that they will not release their iron grip on the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich's striker Thomas Mueller tries to get past Dortmund's Sokratis (right) during their Bundesliga tie in Munich on Sunday
It seems foolish to suggest the German league title race is over with October barely begun, but Bayern's seven-point lead already has an ominous look having won the title by 10, 19 and 25 points respectively in each of the last three seasons.
Pep Guardiola's side are on course to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Bundesliga title and Dortmund were powerless to prevent their 15-game unbeaten run being ended in emphatic fashion at Munich's Allianz Arena on Sunday.
With just under a quarter of the league season gone, Bayern are in a commanding position in Germany's top flight having thrashed both last season's runners-up Wolfsburg and current deputies Dortmund by the same heavy scoreline. Third-placed Schalke had earlier slipped to a 3-0 home defeat to Cologne, suggesting they cannot mount a challenge to Bayern over the season.
Bayern's Robert Lewandowski scored a brace, taking his tally to 12 in his last four games, after Mueller's double included a first-half penalty before Mario Goetze grabbed Bayern's fifth.
"It was a big win — seven points clear and the manner of the victory: that was a signal," said Mueller. "But we have to keep going and keep collecting points after the international break. No one is giving us anything, but the mentality of our players is incredible. The hunger is very much there."
The manner of the win was underlined by the passing quality of Bayern's Germany centre-back Jerome Boateng, who supplied pin-point accurate long balls for Mueller's first and Lewandowski's goal.
Head coach Pep Guardiola was delighted his side picked up their eighth straight league win of the season. "We're happy because we won against one of the best sides in Europe," he said.