Kingsley Coman played his way back into favour on Sunday, with a first-half brace that helped fire Bayern Munich back to the top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable 4-1 win at Fortuna Duesseldorf.
French winger Coman was involved in a training ground punch-up with Robert Lewandowski earlier in the week, but on Sunday he kept Bayern on course for a seventh successive league title.
Bayern, needing three points to stay top after rivals Borussia Dortmund edged to a nervy win over Mainz on Saturday, barely broke a sweat as they cruised to victory on the banks of the Rhine.
Coman’s first goal was unintentional, his inswinging cross just evading Thomas Mueller on its way into the bottom corner with just 14 minutes on the clock.
If the opener was briefly incorrectly credited to Mueller, there was no doubt about Coman’s second in the 41st minute, a well-placed finish at the end of a delightful move.
Serge Gnabry added a third 10 minutes after the break, turning the ball in at the far post after Mueller had flicked it on at a corner.
Dodi Lukebakio gave Duesseldorf a late consolation goal from the penalty spot after a Mats Hummels handball, but Leon Goretzka slotted in Bayern’s fourth in injury time.
The win keeps Bayern a point ahead of Dortmund with five games still to play.
There was some bad news for the league leaders, however, as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was forced off with a calf injury early in the second half.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt suffered their first league defeat of 2019 and Hoffenheim climbed back into the top six.
Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson scored his first goal since November as Hoffenheim beat Hertha Berlin 2-0.
Nelson, 19, came off the bench to add to Nadiem Amiri’s first-half opener and seal three crucial points in the race for European qualification.
Only two points separate sixth-place Hoffenheim from Wolfsburg in ninth, with Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen also in the running for a Europa League spot.
Amiri broke the deadlock near the half-hour mark, smashing the ball in off the post with his side’s 14th shot on goal.
Nelson’s 78th-minute header, which was given by VAR after being initially ruled out for offside, sealed the win for Hoffenheim.
New Augsburg coach Martin Schmidt got off to a winning start with a shock 3-1 victory over fourth-place Eintracht Frankfurt.
Goncalo Paciencia headed Frankfurt into an early lead, but Marco Richter scored two splendid goals to turn the game on its head before half-time.
Frankfurt’s troubles deepened when captain Gelson Fernandes was sent off early in the second half, and Michael Gregoritsch landed the killer blow for Augsburg six minutes from time.
Victory sees Augsburg pull seven points clear of the bottom three, while Frankfurt now sit just a point clear of fellow Champions League hopefuls Borussia Moenchengladbach.