The Herthaner gave a fantastic account of themselves in their opening fixture of the season, holding Bayern to a 2-2 draw in Munich. Dodi Lukebakio and Marko Grujić were the goalscorers as Ante Covic’s side put in a great performance.
Munich – Ante Covic made two changes from the win in the DFB-Pokal: New man Dodi Lukebakio and Lukas Klünter came in to the starting eleven with Salomon Kalou and Jordan Torunarigha dropping to the bench. Meanwhile, the champions started new signing Benjamin Pavard ahead of Jerome Boateng in defence.
After a fitting opening ceremony to open the 57th Bundesliga season, Bayern started off with pace and energy. It took them just three minutes to threaten Hertha’s goal as Thiago’s shot found the grateful arms of Rune Jarstein. Just four minutes later, Thomas Müller’s effort was just inches away from finding the net (7’). Hertha were finding their way into the game, however, and it showed as Vedad Ibišević struck at Manuel Neuer’s goal twice in quick succession, both lacking the necessary power and accuracy to beat him (13’). But the Bayern pressure soon told as Serge Gnabry broke down the right before squaring to an open Robert Lewandowski who calmly slotted the ball home to make it 1-0 (24’). The bell almost rang twice for Bayern shortly after the restart as Jarstein was forced to parry a shot from Gnabry before a Lewandowski strike was blocked (25’). It looked for all the world that Bayern were going to go into the break ahead, but they would be in for a nasty shock. The so-far ineffective Dodi Lukebakio unleashed a hopeful strike from distance, which, with the help of Ibišević’s back, somehow found the back of the net (36’). Hertha smelled blood: just 2 minutes later, Ibišević played in Grujić who promptly rounded Neuer and sent Hertha in to half time 2-1 up!
As expected, Bayern came out firing after the break. Müller headed a Joshua Kimmich free kick just over (49’), Kingsley Coman forced a save from Jarstein (52’) and then the Norwegian keeper just kept out a long-range strike from Gnabry (56’). Shortly after, the goalkeeper was called in to action a second time: Grujić had brought down Lewandowski in the box and after referee Harm Osmers pulled play back for a penalty, Lewandowski himself stepped up and slammed it home for 2-2 (60’). The Herthaner thwarted subsequent attacks from the champions as they desperately tried not to concede another goal. Instead they then came forward in search of a winner, with a short free-kick presenting a good opportunity but Ondrej Duda couldn’t take it as he hit the wall from a promising position (77’). David Alaba then did the same from a similar area up the other end (83’). The score remained the same for the rest of the match with the Herthaner managing to snatch a point from the Bavarian capital!
Conclusion and outlook
Hertha remain unbeaten in their last seven opening fixtures (5 wins, 2 draws) and will move on to their first home game of the new season this coming week when they take on VfL Wolfsburg at the Olympiastadion.