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Four observations from Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin

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What can we take away from Bayern’s last ditch 1-1 draw?

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 18: Vedad Ibisevic (L) of Berlin and Mats Hummels of Muenchen head for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 18, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 18: Vedad Ibisevic (L) of Berlin and Mats Hummels of Muenchen head for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 18, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bayern switched off defensively on set pieces.

While only one of the goals counted, Bayern conceded twice from set pieces during the match. The first, of course, was Vedad Ibisevic’s opener early in the first half. Then, the second came when Ibisevic, again, put the ball into the back of the net. This second, however, was ruled out for offside.

These were the two best opportunities that Hertha had on the day, and Bayern switched off for just one second and were punished in both opportunities. Moving forward, Bayern must stay locked in throughout the entire game to make sure this doesn’t occur.

Aside from a few set pieces, Bayern’s defense was extremely solid.

Bayern did an good enough job preventing Hertha from breaking out in big, sweeping counterattacks throughout the match. And, when Hertha did get out behind the Bayern defense, they were quick to get back defensively to snuff out the counter.

Nearly the entire match was played in Hertha’s half of the field, so Bayern’s ability to get back in transition quickly to stop the counter allows them to play the high pressing, possessive style.

When all of your crosses aren’t working what do you do?

Throughout the match, I was stunned at the sheer volume of ineffective crosses that Bayern kept sending into the Hertha penalty area. It was a strange decision, because any objective observer will tell you that John Anthony Brooks’s strongest asset is his dominance in the air.

Bayern attempted to use Müller to pull Brooks out of position and play the ball behind him on numerous occasions, but the big American wasn’t having it. A little more variety in the gameplan next time, please Carlo?

Bayern, thy name is persistence.

Despite Hertha’s best effort to deny Bayern their sought after equalizer, Robert Lewandowski refused to accept a defeat. Coming on a second half substitute, Lewandowski brought a new, more direct dimension to Bayern’s attack. Then, when a late free kick fell to him in the box, Lewandowski left no doubt and scored.

The goal was Lewandowski’s 25th of the season, and 14 of those goals have either equalized or put Bayern in front. Thomas Müller’s inability to be productive this season means that more than ever before falls on the shoulders of Lewandowski.