Robert Lewandowski missed a rare penalty as Bayern Munich secured a narrow win over a resilient Hertha Berlin on Friday night.
Bayern Munich maintained their advantage at the top of the Bundesliga table with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena on Friday.
The Bavarians were once again far from their best, despite an early flurry that saw them trouble the opposition defence. They were rather lucky to find the lead as well, with Kingsley Coman’s effort from outside the box deflecting off Niklas Stark to find the back of the net. The goal did make Hertha much more resilient in defence as Pal Dardai’s men only allowed two shots on target after going 1-0 down.
Unfortunately, the visitors looked very timid in the attacking third. Their main forwards lacked the composure or the confidence to take on the Bayern Munich defence despite being gifted several opportunities throughout the course of the game. Matheus Cunha’s glorious miss late in the game was perhaps the pick of them all, as it gifted the hosts all three points in a tightly fought contest.
The win now takes Bayern ten points clear at the top, with the chasing pack set to feature on the weekend. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at how the Bavarians performed following their narrow win over Hertha Berlin on Friday night.
Manuel Neuer: 8.5/10
Manuel Neuer was one of the top performers for Bayern Munich in this win. His marvellous positional sense and the ability to spot danger was critical as the hosts had deployed a high defensive backline once again. So the onus was on the German international to clear out multiple long balls while he also made a few saves to keep Hertha at bay. A well-deserved clean sheet.
Manuel Neuer has now kept 16 clean sheets vs. Hertha BSC, becoming the first keeper in Bundesliga history to do so against a single opponent [Opta] pic.twitter.com/rOKARF94BK
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) February 5, 2021
Benjamin Pavard: 7.5/10
Benjamin Pavard continues to improve following an awful start to the campaign. The right-back was spot on with his defensive duties, remaining resilient in defending the threat of Matheus Cunha throughout the ninety minutes. This performance should certainly help him gain some confidence after a rough Hinrunde.
Niklas Sule: 7.5/10
Starting ahead of Jerome Boateng at the heart of the Bayern Munich defence, Niklas Sule looked refreshingly solid against Hertha. He was composed with his passing, barely looking troubled in navigating through the opposition press. The centre-back was caught out completely later in the game, though, and was lucky as Cunha missed his mark.
David Alaba: 7.5/10
David Alaba offered the additional defensive resistance for Bayern Munich. The Austrian international’s excellent defensive positioning made it difficult for Krzysztof Piatek to make his presence felt in the final third. Alaba’s passing was also top-notch, with the defender notably threading some delightful laser balls forward.
Lucas Hernandez: 7.5/10
It was surprising to see Lucas Hernandez starting ahead of Alphonso Davies at left-back. But, the former Atletico Madrid star once again showed why he is an excellent defensive full-back by keeping check of Dodi Lukebakio throughout the ninety minutes. His offensive support perhaps was not as good, though.
Joshua Kimmich: 8/10
Joshua Kimmich was once again the orchestrator in Bayern’s dominance in a game. Despite featuring as the lone midfielder, the German international did not have any difficulties in staying on top of Lucas Tousart and Santiago Ascacibar.
Failed to find a teammate with his corner kicks and extend his assists tally for the season, but an influential performance to help his side seal all three points against a resilient opponent.
1/ Listening to Flick presser. Happy with the performance and asked about just 1 defensive mid (Kimmich). Said wanted to play 4-3-3 and thought it worked well with and against the ball. Praised Hertha for sticking to their task. #BSCFCB 0:1
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) February 5, 2021
Leroy Sane: 7.5/10
Leroy Sane lacked the penetration that was necessary to add further gloss to the scoreline. Nevertheless, the former Manchester City winger is showing clear signs of improvement, particularly with his ability to excel in duels. His influence did wane as the game progressed, though, with the player being taken off during the final phase of the proceedings.
Serge Gnabry: 7/10
Serge Gnabry made a lively start to the game, probing the Hertha defence with his darting runs. The winger, though, faced difficulties in offering the penetration as he ended up with only one shot on goal. A rather disappointing reading for someone who is considered as one of the best offensive players in the league,
Thomas Muller: 6.5/10
Much like Gnabry, Thomas Muller also struggled to influence the game on Friday. The German playmaker often looked clumsy on the ball and was defended rather well by Hertha Berlin. His execution of forward passes was not exactly top-notch, though he did technically register the assist for Coman’s winner.
Kingsley Coman: 7.5/10
Coman was extremely lucky to find the back of the net in the 21st minute. But the goal perhaps did justice to his performance on the night as he constantly troubled the Hertha defence with his runs across the byline. His crosses did lack accuracy, but it was enough to unsettle the opposition defence on numerous occasions.
Robert Lewandowski: 6/10
Robert Lewandowski did not have the best of games on Friday. The Pole’s penalty early on in the proceedings was saved brilliantly by Rune Jarstein and it was followed by a difficult outing that saw him often getting isolated by the opposing defence. The striker did have six shots on goal, but only two of them found the target and he will be disappointed to have failed to find the back of the net.
Rune Jarstein is only the 2nd Bundesliga keeper to save a penalty by Robert Lewandowski. The first was Manuel Neuer in 2013, when facing Lewandowski, who played for Dortmund back then [Opta] pic.twitter.com/7mhUcO98GB
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) February 5, 2021
Douglas Costa: 6/10
Douglas Costa replaced Sane in the 73rd minute in order to provide more energy in the Bayern Munich attack. Did not make a notable impression.
Corentin Tolisso: 6/10
Corentin Tolisso replaced Gnabry during the final phase of the game. His return to the pitch will serve as a boost for Hansi Flick.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: N/A
A late replacement for goalscorer Coman. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.