In a meeting between two top Bundesliga sides, Hertha Berlin certainly provided Bayern with a real challenge coming off their thrashing of Arsenal mid-week, showing great tactical awareness to basically render Bayern useless in the final third to earn a well deserved point at home against the Rekordmeister.
Bayern started the game off looking to feed the ball to Thomas Müller, who lined up at striker in place of Robert Lewandowski today. Phillip Lahm especially hit some early crosses that Müller was unlucky to not get on the end of.
After some back and forth between the two teams, Hertha took the lead at the 21 minute mark after Arturo Vidal was called for a rather questionable foul outside of Bayern’s penalty box. The ensuing free kick was hit beautifully by left-back Marvin Plattenhardt and met Vedad Ibisevic at the near post, where he was able to shake his marker Thomas Müller far too easily and volley it past Manuel Neuer.
In the 38th minute, Bayern again looked vulnerable off of a set piece, this time allowing Hertha to bring danger from a corner, where Ibisevic found himself unmarked at the back post and smashed the second ball into the back of the net. Luckily, he was just a bit off sides, and Bayern came away unscathed.
Bayern’s best chance of the half, perhaps, came after about 40 minutes, when Douglas Costa was able to beat two defenders on the left hand side and fire in a dangerous low cross into the area. Unfortunately, none of Bayern’s attackers were able to break free and take advantage of the opportunity.
The start of the second half didn’t really offer much more in terms of excitement. Bayern controlled the game, just as they had in the first half, but struggled to create any real goal scoring opportunities in the final third.
Carlo Ancelotti made his first changes 60 minutes in, bringing on Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski in favor of Joshua Kimmich and Arturo Vidal, which improved things slightly, but not enough to provide a real sense of optimism.
The first real challenging save made by Rune Jarstein came about 10 minutes before the final whistle. Mats Hummels won a free kick in a great position just outside of Berlins penalty area, and the ensuing shot by David Alaba forced Jarstein to stretch as far as he could to deflect the ball past the post.
Then, in the 95th minute, Ancelotti’s final substitute Kingsley Coman found himself in a one vs one situation on the left side of the pitch, which he took advantage of and won a free-kick from. Both Thiago and Douglas Costa lined up to hit it, and it was Thiago who sent in a low, driven cross to the back of the penalty area, where a completely unmarked Arjen Robben was waiting. His shot was saved off the line, but Robert Lewandowski was there tap the rebound into the back of the net in typical, late-game Bayern fashion to rescue a deserved, but nonetheless lucky, point for Bayern.
Next up for Bayern is a date with Hamburger SV next Saturday, who are have beaten both Leverkusen and second-placed Leipzig in recent weeks.