Carlo Ancelotti hailed a "perfect" first-half performance as Bayern Munich moved three points clear at the top of the table with a resounding 3-0 win over RB Leipzig in the final game before the traditional Bundesliga winter break.
A quick-fire double strike from Spanish midfielders Thiago and Xabi Alonso put Bayern firmly in control before the half-hour mark. Leipzig were then reduced to 10 men at the 30-minute mark when Emil Forsberg was dismissed for a horror tackle on Philipp Lahm.
On the stroke of half-time, Robert Lewandowski coolly converted from the penalty spot for his 12th league goal of the campaign following a rash challenge on Douglas Costa from goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
Ancelotti told Sky Deutschland after the match: "The first half was perfect for us -- especially the opening 30 minutes.
"Everything was just right -- the tempo, balance, intensity. That was the key to success.
"We were aggressive from the start and took control of the game from the whistle. The game flowed for us after we scored the opening goal. I'm very pleased."
With the visitors a man down following Forsberg's red card, Bayern were content to shift into cruise control in the second half, failing to add to their three first-half goals. Lewandowski was twice denied by the overworked Gulacsi, while substitute Franck Ribery and Costa both hit the post.
The Italian added: "It's an important win against our nearest challengers. It gives us a lot of confidence for the future."
RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted his side had been taught a lesson by Bayern in their top-of-table clash and praised the Bavarians for their showing.
"When Bayern get serious, then it's not easy to defend against them,'' Hasenhuttl said. "This was a lesson for us. Congratulations to Bayern, it was a top performance.''
The Austrian admitted that several players in his side were not fully fit, and conceded mistakes were made with his team selection.
"We had a few players out there who were not fully fit and I've got to take responsibility for that,'' he said.
"Of course you also hope that when the lads tell you that they are fit, that they really are fit, but we do have quite a few knocks.''
The Bundesliga now enters a four-week break in competitive fixtures with Bayern returning to action in Freiburg on Jan 20.