(CNN) -- It just had to be him.
Mario Gotze scored the winning goal for Bayern Munich against his old team Borussia Dortmund in a 3-0 result that some will say already puts an end to the title race in Germany.
Gotze netted in the 66th minute after coming on as a substitute 10 minutes earlier, his low, right-footed shot to the far post beating Roman Weidenfeller in Dortmund.
Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller ended any hopes of a Dortmund comeback by getting the second and third goals in the 85th and 87th minutes, respectively.
Gotze didn't dare celebrate in front of the fans clad in yellow and black who once adored him.
When the German international's move to Dortmund's fierce rival was all but confirmed in April -- Gotze then joined his new teammates in the off-season -- the mood of Dortmund supporters significantly changed and the 21-year-old became highly unpopular.
Having completed the treble last season -- Bayern downed Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final -- Pep Guardiola's men are seemingly on their way to another successful campaign.
Guardiola's side increased its lead over Dortmund, thought to be Bayern's only serious challenger in the Bundesliga, to seven points.
Dortmund lost its third straight game in all competitions and would do well to arrest the slump given three of its regular back four are out injured.
This week for cover Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp was forced to turn to free agent Manuel Friedrich, and the 34-year-old German international started Saturday.
Dortmund's best chance early fell to Robert Lewandowski but the Polish striker's left-footed shot ballooned over the bar. Lewandowski could incur the wrath of the Dortmund faithful, too, if he shifts to Bayern Munich -- as expected -- in the near future.
Gotze replaced Mario Mandzukic amid boos and the displeasure of the locals intensified when the opening goal arrived.
Dortmund was left wide open as it chased a leveler and Robben and Muller took advantage.
No Messi, no problem
Guardiola's former club Barcelona, deprived of the services of injured forward Lionel Messi for the rest of 2013, had little difficulty in dispatching Granada 4-0 at the Camp Nou, using a more direct approach.
Andres Iniesta and the returning Cesc Fabregas sent Barcelona on its way with first-half goals from the penalty spot, with Alexis Sanchez and Pedro adding strikes in the second 45 minutes after Granada midfielder Manuel Iturra hacked down the latter for a second yellow card.
"We controlled the pace of the game, knowing when we had to play more directly and when we had to slow the match down," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino was quoted as saying by the club website. "This side know how to play in different ways when they need to.
"We have a commitment to play attractive football and I think the fans enjoyed themselves today."
Barcelona also played without keeper Victor Valdes, midfielder Xavi and fullbacks Dani Alves and Jordi Alba.
Barcelona led La Liga by three points over Atletico Madrid and was six better than Real Madrid going into the weekend and nothing changed by the time Saturday ended.
Both Madrid teams had an even easier time than Barcelona.
Atletico Madrid routed Getafe 7-0 and Real Madrid won 5-0 at Almeria.
The sizzling Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo -- who single-handedly accounted for Sweden in the World Cup playoffs -- opened the scoring in the third minute for Real Madrid but limped off in the 54th.
"He had a problem with his thigh but I don't think it will be anything as there was no pain," Real manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. "He will be back soon."
Real Sociedad, in the Champions League this season, rallied from 3-1 down to defeat Celta Vigo 4-3.
Carlos Vela, like Messi a diminutive left-footer, scored all four goals for Sociedad.
In Italy, AC Milan's drought in the league continued as it could only draw 10-man Genoa 1-1 at home.
Thomas Manfredini was given a straight red card shortly before halftime for hauling down Mario Balotelli in the box but the striker missed the resulting spot kick and Genoa hung on at the San Siro.
Milan, without a Serie A victory since the middle of October, sits 18 points behind leader Roma.
Napoli's title bid suffered a blow, defeated by Parma 1-0 at home.
On Sunday, Juventus can leapfrog Roma atop the standings by defeating Livorno.
Roma, slowed by successive draws following a record 10-0-0 start in Serie A, hosts Cagliari on Monday.