Bayern Munich made hard work of it, but thanks to four goals from Robert Lewandowski, they were able to come away 4-3 winners over a well-disciplined Hertha Berlin side. While it looked like Bayern might cruise to an easy three points having gone 2-0 up in the beginning of the second half, but a resilient Berlin side had a strong second half surge spearheaded by John Cordoba and Matheus Cunha and it took a stoppage time Lewandowski penalty to secure the win.
Speaking after the match (via FCBayern.com), Hansi Flick said he was delighted with his side’s incredible mentality to never give up, despite being noticeably fatigued from the congested fixtures schedule.
“We must take the overall situation into account. It isn’t so easy for the players, not all of them are at 100 percent,” said Flick. “We know we can work better in defense, act as a unit and put our opponents under pressure. We’re just lacking a few percent at the moment. But I’m pleased with the team’s mentality, we’re at 100 percent in that regard. We have the absolute desire to win. Now it’s about showing the beautiful football everybody loves after the international break. We can perform well despite the tiredness.”
Bayern’s defense looked miles off of their best despite Flick making three changes at the back to freshen things up having just played in the DFL-Supercup just four days prior. They often say in football a 2-0 lead is much more dangerous than a 1-0 lead and such was the case for Bayern with the defensive lapses they made against Berlin. Thomas Muller made a point of highlighting the need to be better when they have a two-goal cushion to not allow their opponents back into the game:
“Of course we’re glad we’ve kept three crucial points here in Munich. Many neutrals will definitely be annoyed at our late winner,” Muller said. “It was enormously important for us to stay on the ball after these intense last few days. We can’t be happy with our work at the back of course, which goes for the whole team. We must keep going when we’re two goals up. We want to do the things for which FC Bayern are admired. We did a few things well today but we must restore this aplomb when we’re in the lead.”
Leon Goretzka put in an absolute shift, running box to box for the better part of the 90 minutes, per usual. Per WhoScored, Goretzka received the fourth-highest rating of any Bayern player behind Lewandowski, Muller, and Alphonso Davies. He made more interceptions than anyone else (6), completed 100% of his tackles, and had the third most touches on the ball (73). Both he (10.8km) and Muller (11.3km) covered the most distance for Bayern in the match. Still, though Goretzka said he feels Bayern collectively took their foot off the accelerator too early:
“It was a workmanlike victory,” Goretzka said. “At the moment, after the recent successes, maybe we eased off a little too early. We’ll return with fresh minds after the international break, then we’ll display some ease out on the pitch again.”