"The ball didn't want to go in"
Sun, 25/02/18, 12:45
Bayern quickly put draw behind them
Robert Lewandowski has proven many times this season that the Allianz Arena is his favourite hunting ground. The Pole had scored at least one goal in each of the first 11 Bundesliga home games of the campaign, equalling an old record set by Jupp Heynckes who did the same for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1972/73 season.
On Saturday against Hertha BSC, the striker made his 250th Bundesliga appearance and the stage seemed to be set for him to score for the 12th home league game in a row and set a new record. But luck was not on Lewandowski’s or his teammates’ side in the goalless draw.
Strong Hertha defence
Bayern tried just about everything to find gaps in the well-organised Hertha backline. They started well when Lewandowski had a good opportunity to score in just the fifth minute, but his header at the far post was well saved by Rune Jarstein. The Hertha goalkeeper was to be the party pooper for the rest of the game.
The Bundesliga’s leading goal scorer did not let up. He kept plugging away and had a total of ten attempts on the Berlin goal. The 29 year-old had by far more shots on goal than anyone else on the pitch and was one of the most active players in a red shirt. “He played with a lot of commitment today and worked very hard. He created a number of chances for himself,” praised Jupp Heynckes. “It’s a shame he didn’t score. I wouldn’t have begrudged Lewy [the record],” added the FCB coach, who was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the result.
“My players showed a good attitude to the game today despite the goalless draw,” continued Heynckes. “We were very committed and had some gilt-edged chances, particularly in the first half, which we didn’t use. We can live with the point; I can’t criticise my players. We missed a lot of chances, which is unusual for us, but you have days like this,” summarised the 72 year-old.
Aside from Lewandowski, Franck Ribéry had probably the best chance of the game in the 36th minute when he was released through on goal by some good play from Arjen Robben at the end of a great attack by Bayern, but he fired over. “The ball didn’t want to go in today. That’s okay,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, echoing the opinion of everyone in the Bayern team.
“We can all accept the 0-0, it’s fine,” was Mats Hummels’ verdict. Despite dropping two points, the Reds will still have a lead of at least 17 points at the top of the table come the end of Matchday 24, and Lewandowski is also not going to dwell on the match too much. “I don’t think we’ll need need to pick him up,” commented Niklas Süle. “He’ll be even more fired up to score in the coming weeks, and that’s good for us as a team.” The striker will get his next chance this coming Sunday at Freiburg. He can score away from home too.