A world-class performance by Robert Lewandowski ensured FC Bayern beat Hertha Berlin 4-3 on Sunday evening. The striker put Bayern ahead shortly before half-time and twisted the knife after the restart. Jhon Córdoba pulled one back and Matheus Cunha levelled the scores, Lewandowski restoring the lead with five minutes to go. There was a late twist when sub Jessic Ngankam scored another equaliser and a later twist when Lewandowski netted from the spot, rounding off a four-goal haul and sealing three points for the German record champions.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Chris Richards, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba and Lucas Hernández in a back four. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka anchored a midfield featuring Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Alphonso Davies, with Lewandowski up front. Benjamin Pavard, Jamal Musiala and Corentin Tolisso came on for Richards, Hernández and Kimmich midway through the second half, Niklas Süle and Javi Martínez taking over from Davies and Gnabry shortly before the final whistle.
Once referee Benjamin Cortus had whistled play underway, Bayern dominated proceedings, Hertha keeper Alexander Schwolow making two saves against Lewandowski, but the vistors were dangerous on the break, Dodi Lukebakio firing wide at the other end. The men from the capital soon had the ball in the back of the net, but Córdoba's goal was ruled out for offside. Goretzka fired wide and Gnabry warmed Schwolow's gloves before the forward hit the side-netting.
Müller soon headed home but it did not count after VAR intervention, Lewandowski drawing another save from Schwolow, but a goal was coming and arrived when a Gnabry cross invited Lewandowski to tap home from close range. Schwolow denied Gnabry, and Cortus blew for half-time.
Scorching second half
Lewandowski miscued a header but netted for a second time five minutes after half-time, spinning and firing home from the edge of the box. Neuer denied Cunha, but Hertha pulled one back when Córdoba headed in from a free-kick and levelled the scores ten minutes later, Cunha beating Neuer following a one-two.
Schwolow proved equal to a Lewandowski free-kick before Tolisso rifled over the bar, Gnabry hitting the side-netting, but Lewandowski restored the lead from close range. Hertha equalised again when sub Ngankam headed home from a cross in the frantic closing stages, but Lewandowski was not to be stopped on Sunday. Maximilian Mittelstädt resorted to a foul to stop the striker in the box, Lewandowski expertly dispatching the ensuing penalty, and Cortus blew for full-time.
A number of Bayern pros will be away on national team duty during the international break before the Reds return to action on 15 October, when they take on fifth-tier side FC Düren in the first DFB Cup round.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Neuer – Richards (Pavard 65), Boateng, Alaba, Hernández (Musiala 65) – Kimmich (Tolisso 65), Goretzka – Gnabry (Martínez 90+4), Müller, Davies (Süle 89) – Lewandowski
Nübel – Zirkzee, Fein
Schwolow – Zeefuik (Piatek 68), Boyata, Stark, Pekarik – Darida, Tousart – Lukébakio (Ngankam 87), Cunha, Mittelstädt, Córdoba
Jarstein – Ascacibar, Plattenhardt, Dárdai, Netz, Redan, Albrecht
Benjamin Cortus (Röthenbach)
1-0 Lewandowski (40), 2-0 Lewandowski (51), 2-1 Córdoba (59), 2-2 Cunha (71), 3-2 Lewandowski (85), 3-3 Ngankam (88), 4-3 Lewandowski (90+3)
Hernández, Gnabry, Lewandowski / Córdoba, Piatek, Mittelstädt