Eric Choupo-Moting's brace helped Bayern Munich reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga with a goal-filled win away to Hertha Berlin.
With Bayern enjoying a seven-game winning run in all competitions, Hertha set their stall out to fight fire with fire in a breathtaking first half. Dodi Lukebakio tested the returning Manuel Neuer in the early exchanges, before the record champions forged ahead when Jamal Musiala found the bottom corner following great work by Sadio Mane. Oliver Christensen denied Mane a goal of his own, while Neuer had to use his sizeable wing span to beat away Marco Richter's looping effort at the other end. Quick-fire poacher's goals from Choupo-Moting - the first after Leon Goretzka's shot had been blocked and the second after a Serge Gnabry cross was only half cleared - looked to have put the game beyond Hertha, but the capital club had other ideas. Lukebakio volleyed in Richter's cross to make it four goals in a barnstorming eight-minute spell, before Davie Selke won and converted a VAR-awarded penalty for a foul against Benjamin Pavard.
Bayern clamped down after the restart as some last-ditch defending prevented Musiala from capping a flowing team move with a fourth goal. The visitors did have the ball in the net soon after when Hertha defender Agustin Rogel turned in Musiala's cross, but the VAR ruled it out for an earlier offside against Alphonso Davies. The World Cup-bound Canadian star limped off just past the hour with what looked like a hamstring problem. Hertha tried to make the most of the defensive disruption as Lukebakio raced in on Neuer's goal, only for Dayot Upamecano to channel his inner Davies with a heroic recovery challenge. The Old Lady continued to ask questions of the Bayern rearguard in the latter stages of the contest, but Julian Nagelsmann's visibly fatigued charges managed to get a fourth straight Bundesliga win over the line. The result lifts Bayern two points clear of Union Berlin, who travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
- Bayern are unbeaten in their last 11 competitive matches, winning 10.
- Choupo-Moting has scored in four straight Bundesliga games for the first time, and seven on the spin in all competitions.
- Musiala is the highest-scoring midfielder in this season’s Bundesliga, with eight goals. Six of the teen's efforts have come in the first half of matches.
- Indeed, Bayern have scored a league-high 30 of their 41 goals so far this season in the first half of games.
- Lukebakio has six goals in eight appearances against Bayern.
- Hertha have claimed one point across their previous eight meetings with Bayern, whilst losing their last six in a row.
Watch: Choupo-Moting: "I'm happy we won again"
Hertha: Christensen - Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) (Mittelstuadt 65') - Tousart, Boetius, Serdar (Ejuke 65') - Lukebakio, Selke (Kanga 64'), Richter (Maolida 78')
Unused subs: Ernst, Uremovic, Pekarik, Sunjic, Boateng
Out: Dardai (shin), Gechter (fitness, Jarstein (not considered), Jovetic (hip), Ngankam (thigh), Nsona (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Mazraoui, Pavard, Upamecano, Davies (Hernandez 64') - Kimmich, Goretzka (Sabitzer 78') - Gnabry (Sane 75'), Musiala, Mane (Coman 64') - Choupo-Moting
Unused subs: Ulreich, Schenk, Gravenberch, Tel
Out: De Ligt (knee), Müller (hip), Sarr (patella tendon), Stanisic (ill)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Neuer: "Musiala is a key player for Bayern"
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