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SECOND HALF SHOW FROM BAYERN
Four goals in the second half here in Berlin quickly took the game away from Hertha Berlin. That 15-minute spell between the first and third goals were a real sign of how clinical Bayern can be, even without a fully fit Serge Gnabry or Kingsley Coman. Bayern go into second place and are in a good place to welcome Schalke to the Allianz Arena next weekend.
Just one minute of added time here in Berlin.
Not fit enough to start today but fit to come on and enjoy the fresh Berlin evening air as Bayern head towards all three points.
HUGE CHANCE FOR KÖPKE!
The substitute is all alone at the back post and meets a low cross from the left wing. All he has to do is put the ball past Neuer, but the Bayern No.1 stays big and blocks the ball off his line. The rebound falls quickly back to Köpke but he has no time to react properly and the ball bounces back off him, onto the post and away.
PERISIC HEADS HOME
He's tried it a few times in the second half alone and it finally comes off for Perisic. He leaps high at the back post to meet Müller's cross and his header has too much on it for Jarstein to handle. Müller's 12th assist of the season.
With the result in almost no doubt, both Jürgen Klinsmann and Hansi Flick have made a couple of late substitutions here in Berlin.
HISTORY-MAKERS LEWY AND WERNER
For the first time in Bundesliga history two players have scored at least 20 goals after 18 Matchdays in the same season. Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner are powering each other on to bigger and better things every weekend.
WHAT A GOAL FROM THIAGO
A stunning finish from the Spaniard as he's found in the box by Goretzka. He dribbles towards the near post and simple thunders the ball into the far top corner using the inside of his right foot. A silky finish to send Bayern three goals ahead and on their way to the same number of points unless Hertha can quickly change something.
NO.20 FOR LEWY!
It's his 20th Bundesliga goal of the season, going level with Timo Werner at the top of the scoring charts, and his 31st in all competitions for Bayern. A simple spot-kick as they so usually are for Lewandowski. He sends Jarstein the wrong way and Bayern are going into second place as things stand.
PENALTY TO BAYERN!
Goretzka is fouled by Klünter in the box.
LEWY FORCES A SAVE
Perisic does well to keep his balance long enough to head a cross back down for Lewandowski to fire at goal. He does so with a left-footed half-volley, but Jarstein beats the ball away again.
VAR RULES LEWANDOWSKI OUT
The Polish forward meets Pavard's cross into the box but his header took the ball out of Jarstein's hands as the Hertha 'keeper had claimed the cross just milliseconds before. Tobias Stieler takes a look at it himself and rules it to be a foul on Jarstein.
IT WAS COMING, AND THERE'S THE GOAL!
Goretzka crosses to the back post from the right side of the box. Once again it's Perisic doing the vital work as he rises highest to head the ball back in front of goal where Müller is waiting, and he volleys it into the net with his left foot. His third goal of the season and it could be a huge one in the title race already.
Big chance for Bayern as Müller pokes the ball across the face of goal. It goes through Coutinho but falls kindly for Perisic at the back post and he smashes a shot on goal, only to see it headed clear off the line by Boyata. Bayern are opening this game up now and the chances are flowing.
PERISIC HEADS AT GOAL
Müller reaches a pass into the Hertha box just before reaching the byline and dinks a cross to the back post. Perisic rises highest to meet it, but his header drifts across goal rather than at it and is cleared.
SOLID START AGAIN
Bayern controlling possession in the early goings but Hertha happy with that, too, and defending well. Coutinho is forced into a shot from the edge of the box which he drags wide of the mark.
AND WE'RE BACK!
The ball is rolling once again as Bayern get the second half underway. No changes at the break.
DEFENCE WINNING THE DAY IN BERLIN
Two strong defensive walls have been put up at the Olympiastadion and both are standing firm so far. Torunarigha has won 83 per cent of his challenges against Lewandowski and co. to prove he's worth his place in the side today. Bayern have had 60 per cent possession and four shots on target to Hertha's none so far, but Hertha have looked dangerous on the break. Both sides will be looking to find their next gear in the second half.
ALABA RECOVERS TO BLOCK SELKE
A nice opening through the middle for Hertha as Lukebkio drifted inside from the wing and played his teammate in on goal. Selke touched the ball past Alaba and got possession again on the other side of the Austrian, but Alaba did well to recover and block his shot on goal from the edge of the box.
BATTLE OF THE SPEED DEMONS
The two fastest speeds registered so far by players today come in the direct battle on one wing. Lukebakio's 33.6kmh (20.8mph) vs. Davies' 34.8kmh (21.6mph). If you want to get some entertainment then make sure you keep your eyes on that battle ongoing.
COUTINHO FINDS JARSTEIN
The Brazilian has been heavily involved in Bayern's build-up play so far and has his first chance at going for goal. He runs into the box to meet a cross from the left wing and side-foots the ball at goal. But it's straight at Jarstein and he makes a simple save.
This game is really opening up now with both sides going into attack mode. Perisic's cross finds Lewandowski's head but Jarstein saves with ease before releasing his side on the counter with Selke charging ahead. Thiago is back to snuff that out and the cycle continues.
LUKEBAKIO THE GO-TO GUY
All roads lead to Dodi so far for Hertha. Whenever they've looked to go forward it's been through the Belgian winger with a pass quickly played out to him on the right wing, looking to get in behind the attack-minded Davies at left-back for Bayern. A good test of the Canadian international's talents today.
BIG LEWANDOWSKI CHANCE!
Perisic flicks the ball into the box to meet Lewandowski's darting run. He beats Boyata off the ball and has only Jarstein to beat with the 'keeper closing him down and in the end sends a toe-poked shot wide of the mark with the shot-stopper's speed off the line putting him off. He shakes his head, and knows it was a big chance.
BIG CHANCE GOES TO WASTE
The first effort on goal of the game goes the way of the home side. Captain Marvin Plattenhardt swings in a cross from the left and Selke is unmarked around 10 yards from goal. He winds up a header, but mistimes it and can only watch it float over Neuer's goal. A wasted opportunity there for the home side.
NO SHOTS SO FAR
Almost 20 minutes into the game and both defences have done their job thus far. Bayern have completed over 100 more passes than their hosts while enjoying close to 70 per cent of the possession, but they've not had a clear opening beyond a Müller run in behind which was quickly snuffed out.
LOOKING FOR THE COUNTER
Hertha clearly knew they would have to deal with not having much of the ball today. When they do get it, Davie Selke is the target up front and they're looking for him to hold the ball up and bring the wingers into play. Being able to utilise the pace of Lukebakio and Dilrosun could be key.
He and Davies are looking to cause problems together down the left wing. He runs at Klünter, sliding past him before powering a cross into the box, but Jarstein dives out of his goal to collect the ball well. Bayern dominating the early goings here.
His first foul, but a late one on Thiago and he goes into referee Tobias Stieler's book.
SOLID START FROM BAYERN
The away side enjoying plenty of the ball here early on, setting the tempo and controlling the early proceedings. Lewandowski is already getting stuck in with the Hertha defence and looks ready for the battle today after his groin surgery during the winter break.
The first of our two games today are underway and it's a big one in the German capital as Hertha host Bayern.
It's a sold out crowd here at the Olympiastadion in Berlin and the home fans are BOUNCING in the capital. It's loud, it's proud and it's going to be a fun 90+ minutes ahead for us this afternoon.
The home side have become a difficult side for Bayern to beat on the road in recent years. Hertha are unbeaten in their last three Bundesliga games at the Olympiastadion against the boys from Munich, recorded one win and two draws from those games. A win today, though, for Bayern, would take them above Gladbach and into second spot. Hertha, meanwhile, can climb above Frankfurt into 11th if they pick up all three points.
HERTHA TEAM NEWS
Welcome back to the Bundesliga, Santiago Ascacibar. The Argentina international starts in holding midfield to make his club debut after his January move from VfB Stuttgart. Jordan Torunarigha starts in central defence ahead of Karim Rekik, while Davie Selke leads the line, supported from the wings by Dodi Lukebakio and Javairo Dilrosun.
BAYERN TEAM NEWS
It's as expected from Hansi Flick here in Berlin as Robert Lewandowski leads the attack with Serge Gnabry only on the bench as he continues his recovery from an Achilles problem. Philippe Coutinho, Thomas Müller and Ivan Perisic all start.
HERTHA STARTING XI!
Jarstein – Klünter, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt (c) – Asacibar – Lukebakio, Darida, Grujic, Dilrosun – Selke
Kraft, Pekarik, Skjelbred, Rekik, Esswein, Köpke, Mittelstädt, Ibisevic, Wolf
BAYERN STARTING XI!
Neuer (c) – Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies – Goretzka, Thiago – Müller, Coutinho, Perisic – Lewandowski
Ulreich, Cuisance, Dajaku, Gnabry, Tolisso, Mai, Zirkzee
LINE-UPS COMING SHORTLY
With just over an hour to kick-off, we'll have the official line-ups from both sides with you very shortly and before you can see them anywhere else.
HOW HERTHA COULD START
Santiago Ascacibar is the only new, albeit significant, face at the Olympic Stadium so far in the current transfer window. The Argentina international has made the switch from Bundesliga 2 outfit VfB Stuttgart, and is expected to go straight into the centre of midfield at the expense of Per Skjelbred.
BAYERN TEAM NEWS
A fully fit Lewandowski will come as welcome news to interim coach Hansi Flick, who is without the suspended Joshua Kimmich, as well as a handful of waylaid first-team candidates. Benjamin Pavard is expected to line-up at right-back, with Jerome Boateng partnering David Alaba in the middle and Alphonso Davies continuing on the left. Leon Goretzka and Thiago should start in midfield, but Serge Gnabry may have to settle for a place on the bench after an Achilles problem. Thomas Müller, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic will likely form the attacking triumvirate behind lone striker Lewandowski.
Nevertheless, Bayern were unable to count on Robert Lewandowski for that Nuremberg defeat, but the Pole is back in contention for a starting berth today. Having dropped to second in the Bundesliga scoring charts behind RB Leipzig's Timo Werner yesterday, you can expect him to be keen to start 2020 with a bang today.
Speaking of results, Bayern can look back on their poorest first half of a Bundesliga season in nine years, with just 33 points on the board. Furthermore, a 5-2 defeat to Bavarian rivals Nuremberg during the winter break was hardly ideal preparation for today's restart.
While Klinsmann acknowledges people may call him "crazy" for setting such ambitious targets, he says he is most certainly not alone in believing them. "Observers in London, Rome, Paris or Milan whom I've spoken to are definitely noticing that something big is happening here," he said. The results are on his side too, with three consecutive clean sheets putting them on the verge of setting a new club record for consecutive shut-outs today.
PAST AND FUTURE
Klinsmann's days as Bayern coach are firmly in the past, though, and he now has big plans for his and Hertha's future. "The first step is to get away from the danger zone and take a deep breath," he said. "Then the second step is qualifying for the Europa League next season, then the third step is to be challenging for the title in three to five years, and get into the Champions League."
For Jürgen Klinsmann, this afternoon's clash with Bayern brings back plenty of memories. He spent 302 days at the helm of the record champions, and says it was an important period in his and Bayern's life. "I was able to learn a great deal there," he told Bild. "We built a new training centre which they continue to benefit from now, and promoted players like Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber to the first team."
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Hertha BSC vs. FC Bayern from matchday 18 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the Olympiastadion. Check back here for full information on the match.