Hertha Berlin hold Bayern Munich in thrilling start to 2019/20 Bundesliga season
Robert Lewandowski struck twice and Bayern Munich nemesis Dodi Lukebakio marked his Hertha Berlin debut with a goal in a pulsating opening-night draw at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich 2-2 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Lewandowski (24'), 1-1 Lukebakio (36'), 1-2 Grujic (39'), 2-2 Lewandowski (60', pen.)
Despite missing the injured Leon Goretzka, Bayern started brightly in an action-packed start to the new Bundesliga season. Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Müller both had early chances, while at the other end, Vedad Ibisevic gave Manuel Neuer some work to do. Usual Bundesliga business was soon resumed, though, when Serge Gnabry delivered the ball on a plate for Lewandowski to turn in from close range with an outstretched leg. As it appeared the floodgates may be about to be pushed open, one of Bayern's and indeed the Allianz Arena's most unwelcome opponents brought the visitors level.
Lukebakio scored a hat-trick here for Fortuna Düsseldorf last season and he marked his Hertha debut in some style with a shot which took a generous deflection off the back of Ibisevic to leave Neuer flat-footed as his net rippled behind him. That may not have been in Bayern's opening-night script, and certainly the next chapter was not as Hertha took the lead. Ibisevic lifted the ball into the path of Marko Grujic, who despite having just clashed heads with Benjamin Pavard, showed the clarity to touch the ball wide of Neuer and tuck it in with his second touch.
Kingsley Coman drove into the Hertha penalty area early in the second half as Rune Jarstein prepared well for the expected onslaught. He denied Gnabry expertly before being forced to face Lewandowski from the penalty spot after VAR signalled an off-the-ball foul by Grujic on the Polish striker, who accepted the gift to bring Bayern level on the hour mark. Bayern predictably doubled their efforts to get a winner as Hertha dug in their heels, while Niko Kovac's made late changes in the hope his men would find a winner. Renato Sanches and Alphonso Davies were sent on for the closing stages, but despite all their efforts, the record German champions were unable to find a winner and, for the first time in eight years, failed to win their opening fixture of the season.
- The reigning Bundesliga champions have not lost on Matchday 1 since 2002 (W14, D4). Bayern had won their last seven opening fixtures on their way to the title, while Hertha had won a club-record four in a row.
- Lewandowski became the first player ever to score in the first game of the season for five years running.
- Lewandowski has converted 23 of his 26 penalties in the Bundesliga.
- The Polish striker scored more braces (six) than any other player in the Bundesliga last season.
- Lukebakio has scored five goals in three games against Bayern, four in Munich.
- Both sides had just one summer recruit in their starting XIs: Benjamin Pavard for Bayern, Lukebakio for Hertha.
- Bayern are unbeaten in 25 Bundesliga home games against Hertha (W19, D6) and haven’t conceded in the last five.
- However, the Berliners have lost just one of their last six league encounters with the record champions (1-0 in Munich on Matchday 23 of last season)
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Pavard, Alaba – Thiago, Tolisso – Gnabry (Davies 87' ), Müller (Sanches 85'), Coman - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Boateng, Hernandez, Singh, Mai, Will, Wriedt
Out: Goretzka (thigh), Martinez (knee), Perisic (suspended)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Hertha: Jarstein – Klünter, Stark, Rekik, Mittelstädt – Grujic, Duda (Skjelbred 62'), Darida – Lukebakio (Selke 68'), Ibisevic (c) (Esswein 62'), Leckie
Unused subs: Kraft, Löwen, Friede, Köpke, Torunarigha, Kalou
Out: Albrecht (ankle), Boyata (thigh), Dilrosun (thigh), Maier (knee), Pekarik (calf), Plattenhardt (thigh)
Coach: Ante Covic
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