Strong backline performance ensure Hertha remain unbeaten against Bayern for second time this season.
Munich- Football, so often called a beautiful game for its wonderful goals and silky build up play. But some days are made for digging in and grinding out results.
Saturday 24th February was one of those days, as Hertha stayed resolute throughout the 90 minutes in the Allianz Arena to take a point off Bayern for the second time this season.
Rune Jarstein was superb, keeping out Robert Lewandowski on a number of occasions, and with Jordan Torunarigha and Niklas Stark in front of him too, the big Norwegian was able to leave the pitch having kept a clean sheet against the league leaders.
Pal Dardai made two changes from the side which lost to Mainz, as Mathew Leckie replaced Per Skjelbred as Vladimir Darida moved into the midfield, and Davie Selke came in for Vedad Ibisevic up front as the Serbian continues to recover from a broken nose.
It was always going to be tough to create chances, but Hertha arrived in the south aiming to keep their opponent’s openings to a minimum.
Lewandowski tested Jarstein early on with a header from point blank range, and the Polish striker was denied again a few minutes later when clean through, and after Jarstein had blocked the shot enough, Torunarigha was on hand to clear the danger.
Bayern’s best opening came from wings, as Thomas Mueller and Thiago combined to help Arjen Robben set up Franck Ribery, only for the Frenchman to blaze over when clean through.
At the other end Hertha, offered flashes of potential, with Vladimir Darida the man who twice came closest to beating Sven Ulreich – once with a header following an early cross, and the later in the half, when he was just unable to connect with a loose ball in the area.
The home side’s domination continued after the restart, and a superb block from Torunarigha prevented Lewandowski from opening the scoring.
When Torunarigha was finally beaten, Jarstein was there again to preserve the clean sheet, wonderfully denying Bayern’s number nine again as the visitors’ frustration of the hosts drew ever nearer to reaching full time.
As the final minutes ticked down, Hertha spotted a couple of opportunities to get forward themselves, though Lazaro was unable to find a teammate at the end of a mazy run and Kalou’s shot was powerful enough to trouble Ulreich.
But it was those in Blue and White who were happier at the final whistle, as Dardai’s boys headed over to thank the travelling fans for their tremendous support – the 3,000-strong Berlin faithful never stopped singing throughout.
The point will be music to Hertha ears, and while there will be area to improve in for the rest of the season, the journey back to Berlin will serve as a chance to bask in a job well done.
After all, it’s not every season you go undefeated against Bayern Munich.
Conclusion and Outlook
Hertha move to 31 points after 24 games and stay 11th in the Bundesliga table – eight points clear of the relegation play-off place and six points behind sixth-placed Schalke.
The Royal Blues are Hertha’s next opponents too, as Dardai will take his group to Gelsenkirchen for matchday 25 next Saturday for a 15:30 kick off.