Second-half show sends Flick's men up to second
Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski were among the scorers as Bayern Munich saw off Hertha Berlin 4-0 in Sunday's Bundesliga clash.
Bayern Munich produced a much-improved second-half showing to overcome Hertha Berlin 4-0 at the Olympiastadion and climb into second place in the Bundesliga.
Hertha entered Sunday's game unbeaten in four matches, keeping a clean sheet in three of those, and they held firm until the hour mark on Sunday when Thomas Muller opened the scoring.
Robert Lewandowski added another goal to his tally from the penalty spot and Thiago Alcantara scored a thunderous third as the reigning champions turned on the style in the capital.
A fourth top-flight win in a row was rounded off by Ivan Perisic's late header as Hansi Flick's men recorded back-to-back away league wins for the first time since March and leapfrogged Borussia Monchengladbach into second spot, four points behind RB Leipzig.
Lewandowski squandered a big chance to put Bayern ahead after 25 minutes, the Poland international poking wide when put under pressure by Rune Jarstein.
The Hertha goalkeeper was equal to Lewandowski's next attempt and also easily dealt with weak efforts from Philippe Coutinho and Perisic in a goalless first half.
Perisic twice went close early in the second half and played a big part in Bayern's eventual breakthrough, climbing highest to head Leon Goretzka's cross into the path of Muller, who rifled home on the half-volley.
Bayern were denied an instant second by VAR, with Lewandowski adjudged to have headed the ball out of Jarstein's hands before tapping it over the line.
However, Lewandowski did manage to double his side's tally with 17 minutes remaining, converting from the penalty spot after Lukas Klunter pulled Goretzka back in the box.
Thiago picked out the top corner to put Bayern out of sight after finding a pocket of space and Perisic rounded off an ultimately emphatic win with a back-post header.
What does it mean? Bayern in hot pursuit of Leipzig
Leipzig saw off Union Berlin 3-1 on Saturday to open up a seven-point lead over Bayern, but the reigning champions will not cede possession of their title without a fight. Flick's men are now back to within four points of the leaders, who they face in what is shaping up to be a huge showdown in Bavaria on February 9.
Cross-happy Bayern find a way through
Bayern's 17 crosses in the first half represented the second-highest tally by a team in the Bundesliga this season. The second half followed a similar pattern and the champions' pressure eventually told when Perisic cushioned Goretzka's cross into the path of Muller, paving the way for what turned out to be a comfortable win.
Klunter kills off comeback hopes
Hertha still had hope of rescuing a point heading into the final quarter of the match, only for Klunter to give away a needless - if somewhat harshly-awarded - penalty for his foul on Goretzka. Lewandowski converted to bring up his 31st goal in all competitions this season, 20 of those coming in the Bundesliga, and Bayern went on to add another couple of goals to their tally.
Bayern return to league action with a home match against Schalke next Saturday, the same day that Hertha travel to Wolfsburg.
- Journalist at JJA Sport Studio: Football / Soccer
- Leader columnist department