'Character of this team is outstanding'
David Alaba was first, closely followed by Mats Hummels. The two FC Bayern defenders embraced the striker as if their lives depended on it, making it difficult for him to breathe. The target for the duo was not a Hertha Berlin player but rather Robert Lewandowski. Seconds before, the striker had levelled the scores at 1-1 to secure a point for FCB at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Now he was the much celebrated man of the match.
"It was the last kick of the game and it couldn't have been any later," said Lewandowski describing his 15th goal of the season, where he was "in the right place at the right time" as he found the back of the net in the sixth minute of added time. In the 2-1 win at Freiburg at the start of the year and in last week's 2-0 victory at Ingolstadt late goals in injury time secured maximum points but this time Lewandowski's strike in Berlin prevented a second defeat of the season.
Forced the equaliser
"That shows the team has great morale and believes they can score right to the end. It's impressive," declared skipper Philipp Lahm. Thomas Müller, who started up front in place of Lewandowski, said: "The belief is always there and we keep fighting right to the end. Of course, you need a bit of luck. We forced the equaliser at 1-1 and the character of this team is outstanding."
Bayern found it hard-going against Hertha for 95 minutes in front of a capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium as the hosts produced the "match of our lives" as the former Munich man Sebastien Langkamp described the game. The Hertha captain Vedad Ibisevic opened the scoring for the impressive hosts in the middle of the first half to provide hope of a first win against FCB since 2009. "Hertha gave their all and we didn't score enough goals given our dominance in terms of possession," declared Müller.
Felt like a win – fair result
Then came added time, a free-kick from Thiago, a shot from Robben and the follow-up from Lewandowski who squeezed the ball over the line with the last kick of the game. "We gave our all to get this point and we deserved it. We just tried everything and maintained our belief right to the end," said Hummels, one of the first to congratulate Poland's Footballer of the Year. There was immense joy in the camp of the record champions at the final whistle.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said it "felt like a win" before adding, "we're all happy with the point given we were 1-0 down for so long in the game." Lahm also talked about a "point gained" after a "decent performance". And coach Carlo Ancelotti believes the 1-1 draw was "a fair result in the end. Hertha played well in the first half with great commitment. The second half was different as we upped the pressure."
After five games in two weeks, Bayern now have the chance to take a bit of a breather in the next few days. The next fixture is on Saturday at home to Hamburg SV at the Allianz Arena. Lahm: "It always feels good if you can ease off a bit and you have a week of normal training. Then we can prepare for the next run of fixtures."