FC Bayern beat Hertha Berlin 4-0 on Sunday afternoon, moving to second place in the Bundesliga table. The men from the capital held up the Bavarian steamroller for an hour, but the Reds struck to deadly effect in the second half. Thomas Müller broke the deadlock, Robert Lewandowski doubling the lead from the penalty spot with 20 minutes to go. Thiago soon closed out the meeting, Ivan Perišić rounding off the scoreline in the closing stages.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Benjamin Pavard, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies in a back four. Thiago and Leon Goretzka featured in a twin holding role behind Müller, Philippe Coutinho and Perišić, with Lewandowski as sole striker. Leon Dajaku, Michaël Cuisance and Serge Gnabry took over from Davies, Coutinho and Müller late in the second half.
Lack of punch
The 74,475 capacity crowd at Berlin's Olympic Stadium saw Bayern dominate proceedings but run up vainly against the rock of Hertha's defence in a first half that was short on chances. 20 minutes had been played when the first opportunity of note fell to the hosts, a Marvin Plattenhardt cross finding Davie Selke, who powered a header over the bar.
Perišić teed up Lewandowski, who fired just wide. The champions increasingly resorted to crosses to overcome Hertha's solid defence but often lacked precision. Keeper Rune Jarstein proved equal to a Lewandowski header and a Coutinho volley. Bayern upped the pressure towards the end of the first half, but Perišić directed a header straight at Jarstein, and match official Tobias Stieler blew for the interval.
Reds make dominance count
It was one-way traffic in the second half. Coutinho fired wide, the very industrious Perišić seeing an effort blocked before blasting over the bar, but a goal was coming, and Perišić soon found the unmarked Müller, who smashed home from six yards to hand Bayern the lead. Lewandowski soon had the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out for a challenge on Jarstein.
The Poland captain drew a fine save from Jarstein before Goretzka was hauled in the box, Lewandowski netting the ensuing penalty. Thiago put the game to bed when he found the net via the underside of the bar. A Müller cross invited Perišić to head past Jarstein and crown his strong performance. Neuer was soon called into action, denying sub Pascal Köpke to keep a clean sheet, and Stieler blew for full-time.
The result takes Bayern onto 36 points from 18 matches, four short of leaders Leipzig. The Bavarians will be back in action next Saturday, when they entertain Schalke in the Bundesliga.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Jarstein – Klünter, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt – Ascacíbar – Lukébakio (Köpke 82), Darida (Wolf 68), Grujic, Dilrosun (Mittelstädt 82) – Selke
Kraft – Pekarík, Skjelbred, Rekik, Esswein, Ibišević
Neuer – Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies (Dajaku 80) – Thiago, Goretzka – Müller (Gnabry 87), Coutinho (Cuisance 83), Perišić – Lewandowski
Ulreich – Tolisso, Mai, Zirkzee
Tobias Stieler (Hamburg)
0-1 Müller (60), 0-2 Lewandowski (73, pen), 0-3 Thiago (76), 0-4 Perišić (84)
Darida,Jarstein, Boyata / Pavard