Kingsley Coman of Muenchen celebrates with his team mates after scoring his teams first goal during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 05, 2021 in Berlin, Germany
Published 02/02/2021 at 08:54 GMT | Updated 05/02/2021 at 22:01 GMT
It wasn’t vintage Bayern Munich, but a 1-0 win was enough to squeeze past strugglers Hertha Berlin as the champions extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 10 points.
Robert Lewandowski would miss an early penalty before Kingsley Coman’s deflected effort would win it for the Bavarians, with the Berliners profligate in front of goal against a Bayern side that were so attack-minded, leaving themselves badly exposed to the counter attack.
Lewandowski would go close in both halves, forcing decent saves from Rune Jarstein in the home goal, and Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Coman himself would also pepper shots upon the Hertha net, with the Norwegian goalkeeper equal to it as the hosts kept the scoreline at one.
Matheus Cunha, the home side's brightest spark throughout, would have his chance on 89 miinutes to level the game, but he couldn't provide that lethal touch as his lobbed effort would only dribble wide of Manuel Neuer's post.
The game would also see Sami Khedira return to Bundesliga action off the bench after his move from Juventus to the capital, but even the experienced midfielder could not rally his new team mates into nicking a point off the champions, who now jet off to Qatar to compete in the Club World Cup.
They may have played one game more than second-placed RB Leipzig, but a 10 point lead at the top at this stage of the season could well prove unassailable.
Hertha BSC - FC Bayern München
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - BAYERN GUNG-HO, BUT NAIVE?
An odd team selection from Hans-Dieter Flick saw a 4-1-4-1 shape with Gnabry and Muller operating as free-roaming 10s beyond the single anchor of Joshua Kimmich, and whilst incredibly attack-minded, this tactic would leave the Bavarians particularly susceptible to the counter, and more prominently, outnumbered in the engine room.
So often Kimmich would be isolated, having to contend with Krzysztof Piatek dropping deep from centre-forward, as well as the bodies of Ondrej Duda, Lucas Tousart and Santi Ascacibar, with Muller and Gnabry so often caught upfield trying to support the lone striker Lewandowski against the two Berlin central defenders.
Robert Lewandowski of Muenchen shoots on goal during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 05, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Image credit: Getty Images
However, despite the possessional dominance of the visitors, it seemed strange to leave Kimmich, not the most physically imposing of central defensive pivots, on his own against three energetic pressers and workaholics, and as such, were Bayern playing a side more prolific in front of goal, they could well have come out of the game highly embarrassed.
MAN OF THE MATCH - MATHEUS CUNHA, HERTHA BERLIN
He may well have fluffed his lines at the death, but the Brazilian winger was the liveliest player on the pitch, creating chances out of nothing for an otherwise lacklustre Berlin side, who seemed that they couldn't even muster a shot off the ground throughout the game.
The former Leipzig man was dynamic, skipping past tight markers, and unluckily having to feed strikers and team mates lacking in confidence in front of goal.
Of course, it may seem odd to name a losing player as the man of the match, but Cunha was the standout performer from both sides, with Bayern, especially in the second half, not needing to accelerate out of third gear.
Kingsley Coman of Muenchen and Joshua Kimmich of Muenchen challenge Matheus Cunha of Berlin during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 05, 2021 in Berlin, Germany
2': Very offensive mindset from the visitors here; it's so clear to see. Sane is off the right, Coman on the left... but hang on... Hertha with a chance! And Lukebakio is denied by Neuer's legs! Cunha span away from Sane and Gnabry, and slid in the right winger, but the Belgian is thwarted by the big veteran in the Munich net.
11'; SAVED! Wow! Jarstein with two strong hands to his right to deny the world's best! It remains scoreless, and the host goalkeeper makes amends!
21': GOAL! And that's the breakthrough, and the ultimate result to wasted opportunities. Bayern are ahead, Coman cutting in off the left, and a stroke of good fortune for the Frenchman and his side as the deflection takes it beyond Hertha's goalkeeper Jarstein and in for 1-0.
45': Hang on! Wow! So nearly an incredible assist from Neuer with his clearance, and Lewandowski beats the onrushing Jarstein to the dropping ball, but can only nod wide from range! Three additional minutes to play.
89': CUNHA! He's through on goal! It's over Neuer... but it's wide! And that sums it up for Berlin.
Robert Lewandowski stays top of the goalscoring charts with 24 goals, and Matheus Cunha, Hertha's most proximate challenger to the Pole, is only on six. It really does show the difference between the two sides.