MUNICH (AP) — Harry Kane scored from inside his own half on the way to a Bundesliga hat trick and Manuel Neuer played for Bayern Munich for the first time this year as the German defending champions routed Darmstadt 8-0 Saturday, with three red cards in the first half and eight goals after the interval.
The three first-half reds — including two for Darmstadt — were a first in Bundesliga history. Bayern then scored all eight goals in under 40 minutes in the second half. Kane got the fifth with a spectacular long shot from the Bayern half after spotting the goalkeeper was off his line.
“This was a nice hat trick, a couple of nice goals in there," Kane said. "Credit to the team. I’ve said before, with these players around me I know I’m going to get chances. So I’ve just got to make sure I’m in the right places at the right time.”
Bayern went top of the Bundesliga with the win, and has 34 goals from nine games, but could be overtaken Sunday if Bayer Leverkusen beats Freiburg.
Goalkeeper Neuer was cheered by Bayern fans on his return to action — after breaking his leg skiing while on vacation in December — before an early shock when Bayern went down to 10 men after just five minutes.
Joshua Kimmich gave away the ball outside his own penalty area and fouled Marvin Mehlem as he tried to get it back, earning a straight red card for a denying a clear scoring chance. It was Bayern's earliest Bundesliga red card in 26 years and Kimmich is set to be suspended when Bayern faces Borussia Dortmund in the “Klassiker” next week.
By halftime, though, Bayern had 10 players to Darmstadt’s nine.
Darmstadt’s Klaus Gjasula was sent off for a last-man foul on Konrad Laimer. In an unusual case of video review helping to overturn two decisions at once, the referee initially awarded a penalty and a yellow card, but then changed his decision to a red and a free kick outside the box. There was a third sending-off for the same offense before halftime when Matej Maglica brought down Kane.
When Kane opened the scoring with a 51st-minute diving header, Darmstadt collapsed.
Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala scored twice each, and Thomas Müller once, as well as Kane’s long-range strike, as Bayern swiftly turned the game into a rout. Kane completed his hat trick off a pass from Sané in the 88th for his 12th goal in nine games since joining Bayern from Tottenham in August.
Neuer had to deal with four shots on target and made a notable save to keep out a strike from Mehlem with the score at 0-0. Coach Thomas Tuchel said the 'keeper “played sensationally well,” especially given his long recovery.
“I’ve rarely been happier than this, to have finally made it and that so many who accompanied me were in the stadium today,” Neuer said.
The 37-year-old Neuer had to undergo further surgery in the off-season to remove metal implants from his leg and his fitness was a major topic in the transfer window. At one stage, chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen admitted Bayern had tried to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga, who ended up joining Real Madrid on loan instead.
Neuer last played for Bayern on Nov. 12, 2022, and his last game of any kind was on Dec. 1 as Germany exited the World Cup in the group stage. He broke his leg the following week.
INJURIES AS LEIPZIG WINS 6-0
Leipzig stormed to a 6-0 win over Cologne with two goals from Loïs Openda but has concerns over apparent injuries to Spain midfielder Dani Olmo and Germany striker Timo Werner.
Werner left the game touching his head in the 63rd minute after earlier opening the scoring with a penalty. Olmo, who returned last week from more than a month out with a knee injury, lasted just eight minutes off the bench before he left the field holding his left shoulder. Leipzig is fourth, three points off Bayern. Cologne is in the relegation zone.
TENTH LOSS FOR UNION
Union Berlin lost its 10th game in a row in all competitions as a dream first season in the Champions League continued its nightmarish turn. Werder Bremen won 2-0 as Union midfielder Rani Khedira was sent off for a dangerous tackle when his foot struck an opponent in the chest.
Leonardo Bonucci was back in the Union team after being an unused substitute for the last two games but forward David Datro Fofana, on loan from Chelsea, missed the game because Union suspended him after he refused to shake Fischer’s hand when he was substituted in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Napoli. Fofana will also miss Union’s German Cup game at Stuttgart on Tuesday.
Stuttgart started the day in second place, powered by a league-leading 14 goals in eight games from Serhou Guirassy, but he was out with an injury picked up in last week’s win over Union. Stuttgart lost 3-2 to Hoffenheim in his absence.
Augsburg recovered from 2-1 down to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 despite having Felix Uduokhai sent off late in the game. Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Heidenheim 2-1.
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The Associated Press