Initial Observations and Analysis
- Wow, I love the Bundesliga.
- This wasn’t a game for the weak at heart. Bayern needed every possible second to grab all three points against Hertha in this one. This is the Hertha side that I expected to see this year in the Bundesliga coming into the season. They’ve invested wisely this summer, and I fully expect that we’ll see them competing for a spot in Europe at the end of the campaign.
- All hail the lord and savior Robert Lewandowski. Four goals in this one, and he proved once again that he is the best player in the world.
- It’s a valuable three points for Bayern heading into the international break; however, it’s clear that this team has defensive weaknesses that need to be addressed. It’s hard to pin-point exactly where the deficiencies were today, as seven different players were in defense at some point today, but Flick will need to lock that down if Bayern want to be as successful as they were last season.
FULL TIME: BAYERN MUNICH 4-3 HERTHA BERLIN
90+3- TOR ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI CONVERTS FROM THE SPOT FOR GOAL NUMBER FOUR. FC BAYERN LEAD WITH BARELY ANY TIME LEFT!
90+1- PENALTY TO BAYERN! Mittlstadt drags Lewandowski down on a cross, and the referee correctly awards the spot kick.
89- Oh my word. Ngankam equalizes just minutes after coming onto the field. Davies is nowhere close on the header.
85- TOR FC BAYERN MUNICH! ALABA’S FREE KICK IS KNOCKED ON BY MULLER AND LEWANDOWSKI SCORES TO GRAB HIS HAT TRICK AND GIVE BAYERN THE 3-2 LEAD!
83- Muller plays a fast ball into space, and with feet to go before ending up out of bounds, Gnabry rips a shot into the side netting. Great ball from Muller, but an even better ability from Gnabry to even get a shot off going at that speed. Incredible stuff. Need to find a goal here.
80- Goretzka draws a free kick, but Alaba’s free kick deflected out for a corner. On the corner, Tolisso finds himself in all alone but sends it over the goal.
76- Schwolow makes another save on Lewandowski’s free kick. Corner to Bayern. Nothing comes of it.
71- Hertha equalize through Cunha. Wow. 2-2. Just a great give-and-go at the top of the Bayern penalty area leaves Cunha alone with Neuer for the goal. Boateng, Goretzka, Alaba, and Pavard all look bad on that one.
70- Pavard misplaces a pass, and Hertha are immediately in; however, Boateng’s diving header clears the ball.
65- Triple change for Bayern. Tolisso, Musiala, and Pavard come on for Hernandez, Kimmich, and Richards.
63- Davies earns a free kick just outside of the penalty area for Bayern, but nothing comes of it.
60- Hertha pulls one back through Cordoba heading in a free kick after Goretzka fell. 2-1, Bayern still lead.
53- Hertha come right back down the other end, but Neuer punches Cunha’s shot wide.
51- TOR FC BAYERN! Lewandowski makes it 2-0! Richards finds Lewandowski in the box with another cross, and the big Polish striker puts it into the corner for the 2-0 lead.
47- Goretzka nearly finds Richards in the box with a cross, but Darida clears it for a corner. Nothing comes of the corner.
45- Second half kicks off!
Halftime Observations and Analysis
- That was quite the first half. The teams played and up-and-down game, with opportunities for both teams. Even with the two goals called back for offside, it’s been a very level game for viewers.
- Cordoba, Cunha, and Lukebakio have caused some problems for Bayern’s backline with their speed and physicality. Cordoba, for his efforts, has committed like five yellow card fouls, but his ability to latch onto long balls into space is causing Boateng and Alaba problems. Still, Bayern are doing well, as Neuer has really only been called upon once, and the goal was called out for offside.
- Solid first half for Richards out at right back. He’s struggled at times with the physicality, but I think he grew into the match as it went on. He nearly had two assists on crosses from Muller’s offside goal and Lewandowski’s header that Schwolow made a great save on.
- Kimmich is really a world class central midfielder. The guy has outstanding vision and tenacity that remind be a lot of Der Fussballgot.
Halftime- Bayern lead Hertha 1-0 at halftime.
40- Finally! Lewandowski puts Bayern up 1-0. First, however, Lewandowski had a header heading to the far corner, but Schwolow pulled off a gorgeous save to keep the ball out of the back of the net. The ball went wide, and Gnabry tracked it down. He put the ball back into the box, and Lewandowski was able to steer it into the back of the net for the lead.
37- No! The Bayern goal is called back for offside. It looks like Muller’s left foot was inches offside.
36- TOR! Bayern Munich! Richards lofts a cross into the penalty area, and Muller heads it into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
25- Kimmich plays the ball to a streaking Gnabry, but his first touch fails him. Instead of taking him inside for a better angle on his shot, Gnabry drifted out further wide and sent his shot into the side netting.
21- Kimmich to Muller in the box feeds Gnabry to get a shot off, but it’s a weak shot, easily saved by Schwolow.
16- Hertha get the ball in the back of the net on a counter from Cordoba, but it’s whistled back for a clear offside. Hertha have done well to catch Bayern out on counters so far, but they haven’t managed to test Neuer yet.
9- Lewandowksi gets a shot off, but it’s blocked by Dedryck Boyata. The corner kick is punched away, but Bayern come right back and Lewandowski gets another shot! Great save by Schwolow, and he immediately springs the counter out to Lukebakio. However, the break comes to nothing as Lukebakio shoots wide from outside the penalty area.
5- We’re five minutes into this match, and it’s really been an up-and-down game. Both teams are stretching their legs and whipping the ball around the field, but neither team has managed a shot yet at this time.
Kickoff — We’re underway in Munich! A new look lineup for Bayern — can they pull off a win?
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! A huge surprise is that Chris Richards gets his first start. Is he at right-back?
It’s that time of the year again, where Bayern Munich go through the thoroughly unpleasant experience of playing Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena. With zero spectators allowed into the stadium due to Bavaria’s health regulations, the Bavarians face the prospect of a Geisterspiel against a traditionally tough opponent, on the back of a harrowing set of fixtures that has left the squad bruised and fatigued.
Hansi Flick has a number of problems to solve. The first is the attack, which is suffering from a lack of options. Robert Lewandowski is fit to start up front, but Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane are both injured. This leaves Serge Gnabry as the only senior winger left on the squad, and may necessitate moving Thomas Muller to the wing. Even though Muller scored from the wing against Borussia Dortmund in midweek, he’s nowhere near as effective a Raumdeuter when placed out wide.
The second problem is managing the minutes of Joshua Kimmich, who is currently carrying the entire weight of the Bayern midfield on his back. The 25-year-old has already played every single minute of this season so far, and is set to feature for Germany in upcoming international games as well. While Kimmich may have titanium lungs, there’s gotta be a point where the player’s stamina reaches its limit. As coach, Hansi has to keep him from hitting that limit — or else.
Finally, there is the problem of the opponent themselves. Hertha are never pushovers, and their win over Werder Bremen in the first matchday of the season shows they can hurt teams that come unprepared. Bayern tend to struggle against teams with the physicality and defensive ruggedness of Berlin, so Hansi has to figure out a way to topple the capital club while managing a squad that running on fumes. No one said this job was easy.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 6:00 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST
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