Robert Lewandowski scored four times, including an injury-time penalty, as Bayern Munich edged Hertha Berlin 4-3 in an enthralling contest at the Allianz Arena.
Fresh from their Supercup triumph over Borussia Dortmund, Bayern started on the front foot as Lewandowski had a goal-bound effort deflected wide. Hertha fought fire with fire, though, and after Dodi Lukebakio shot wide, Jhon Cordoba thundered past Manuel Neuer, only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside decision against the Colombian in the build-up. Determined to avoid a repeat showing of their shock 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim on Bundesliga Matchday 2, Bayern heeded the warning and slowly but surely took charge, with Serge Gnabry testing Alexander Schwolow and tickling the side netting. American defender Chris Richards was denied a full-debut assist for Thomas Müller, who was a fraction offside when he headed home two minutes before Lewandowski succeeded in breaking the deadlock. The freshly minted UEFA Best Player saw his initial header from another pin-point Richards cross met by a flying Schwolow save, but made no mistake with the rebound.
Lewandowski rammed home exactly why he is top dog with a fabulous second goal soon after the restart. Richards provided the assist, but the touch, swivel and finish on the turn from Bayern's prolific No.9 were on another level and left Schwolow with no chance. Matheus Cunha had the chance to reduce the arrears almost immediately, but Neuer telegraphed the direction of the Brazil international's shot to make a strong save. Cordoba went one better with a towering header from Cunha's measured free-kick, prompting a treble change from Bayern coach Hansi Flick, with Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso and Jamal Musiala providing the fresh legs for the final 25 minutes. Hertha hadn't read the script, though, equalising when Cunha rode a few tired Bayern challenges, exchanged passes with substitute Krzysztof Piatek and calmly curled past Neuer. Schwolow tipped a Lewandowski free-kick over, before Tolisso volleyed over with the goal at his mercy. Lewandowski completed his hat-trick from close range, but Hertha hit back once more through Jessic Ngankam's bullet header. There was to be one final twist in the tale, however, with Lewandowski scoring from the spot after being brought down by Maximilian Mittelstädt in added time to bring an end to one of the most dramatic Bundesliga matches in recent memory.
- Lewandowski has scored 14 Bundesliga goals since the coronavirus-enforced break - a league high.
- His 103 top-flight goals for Bayern at the Allianz Arena are the product of just 98 appearances.
- Thirteen team goals after three Bundesliga games is a new record for Bayern.
- Bayern haven't lost any of their last 26 Bundesliga meetings with Hertha, dating back to October 1977.
- Three of Cordoba's 25 Bundesliga goals have come against Bayern. He is the first player to score at the Allianz Arena this season.
- Since signing in January, new Brazil call-up Cunha has been Hertha's top scorer with eight goals (and three assists) in 15 appearances.
Watch: Lewandowski: "We showed our mentality"
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Richards (Pavard 65'), Boateng, Alaba, Hernandez (Musiala 65') – Kimmich (Tolisso 65'), Goretzka – Gnabry (Martinez 90'+4), Müller, Davies (Süle 88') – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Nübel, Zirkzee, Fein
Out: Coman (muscular), Nianzou (thigh), Sane (knee)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Hertha: Schwolow – Pekarik, Stark, Boyata (c), Mittelstädt – Darida, Tousart – Zeefuik (Piatek 68'), Cunha, Lukebakio – Cordoba
Unused subs: Jarstein, Ascacibar, Plattenhardt, Dardai, Netz, Redan, Albrecht
Out: Dilrosun (thigh), Leckie (neck), Maier (knee), Torunarigha (not included)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Watch: Flick on Lewandowski: "He's an outstanding team player"
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