BERLIN: Bayern Munich put a verbal exchange behind them as they thrashed Schalke 4-0 to pull level on points at the top of the German league with Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern’s technical director Mathias Sammer and president Uli Hoeness had argued via the media about progress so far under new coach Pep Guardiola. But there was no doubting their class against the Gelsenkirchen side.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, back after an ankle injury, headed the first goal in the 21st minute and Mario Mandzukic copied his example a minute later in the Ruhr.

Franck Ribery sealed the win with a flick off a David Alaba cutback in the 75th minute before substitute Claudio Pizarro completed yet another dominant Bayern performance in the 84th, following their 3-0 midweek mauling of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Guardiola said: “This was our best game so far. We completely dominated one of Germany’s strongest teams. We did it very well and I can only be satisfied and proud of this performance and my players.”

Missed chance

In Holland¬†Heerenveen’s league top scorer Albert Finnbogason scored his ninth goal of the season but they missed the chance to go top after a 3-3 draw at Roda JC Kerkrade.

Heerenveen thus trail leaders PEC Zwolle by one point in a three-way tie on 12 points with Twente Enschede, who won 3-0 at Heracles Almelo, and PSV Eindhoven, who now host champions Ajax Amsterdam.

In Italy Sampdoria twice came from behind in the closing minutes to rescue a 2-2 draw at Cagliari while Chievo Verona recovered from an early setback to win their first Serie A game of the season 2-1 at home to Udinese.

Livorno missed the chance to catch the league leaders after a battling goalless draw at Genoa left the promoted side sixth, level on seven points with Juventus, Fiorentina and Inter Milan who all play Sunday when pacesetters Napoli visit AC Milan.

In Spain Barcelona maintained their perfect start with a 4-0 victory at Rayo Vallecano thanks to a Pedro hat-trick and a penalty save by Victor Valdes. But, for the first time in five years, Barcelona had marginally less possession during the game than the Madrid club.

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