Bayern Munich scored twice in the second half to beat bottom club Hertha Berlin 2-0 on Sunday and regain top spot in the Bundesliga with four matches remaining.
Goals from Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman helped the Bavarian side take advantage of Borussia Dortmund’s draw at VfL Bochum on Friday, jumping them into the lead with 62 points. Dortmund ranks 61st in second place. Union Berlin ranks third with 56 points, along with fourth-placed Freiburg.
The victory also ended Bayern’s run of four matches without wins in all competitions, while giving coach Thomas Tuchel some much-needed rest after his team’s exit from the German Cup and Champions League in recent weeks.
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“At the moment I have the feeling that everyone wants and everyone is aware of the fact that we as a team need to step things up,” said Tuchel, who took over in late March from Julian Nagelsmann.
“The football team has to radiate a common energy. I’m happy with the way we celebrated, because we didn’t take everything for granted.
“That was a bit missing. Sometimes [players] Needed a little fire, today we needed to calm down because I felt everyone was ready.”
It was one-way traffic from the start as Bayern tried to score an early goal and Hertha soaked up the pressure and waited for a tie-breaker with Dudi Lukbakio.
The Bavarians should have been in front after 45 minutes, but Sadio Mane and Benjamin Pavard narrowly missed the goal, and Hertha goalkeeper Oliver Christensen made a wonderful save to deny Gnabry and Koeman from close range.
The hosts finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when Joshua Kimmich fired the ball into the path of Gnabry who beat Kristensen with a header, relieving the Bayern club leaders seated together in the stands.
Another great pass from Kimmich 10 minutes later found Koeman for Bayern’s second goal.
“It took a very long time for the first goal,” said Tuchel. “We missed a lot of chances. But we held on to it and got the first and then the second.”
Hertha, who had not won the league in Munich since the 1977-78 season, remained in last place with 22 points.