Summary

  • Bayern have won five and drawn two of their fixtures in 2017 so far.
  • Record champions on course for glory on three fronts.
  • Champions League win over Arsenal pushes them closer to the quarter-finals.

Seven games, five wins, two draws; top of the Bundesliga, into the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup and well on the way to the same stage of the Champions League. Going by the bottom line alone, Bayern München have grounds aplenty to be well satisfied with their start to the football year 2017.

On the domestic front above all, however, the close-up picture has been less uniformly impressive. On the back of their breathtaking 5-1 demolition of Arsenal FC in the Champions League, Bayern struggled to a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin – earned with an extravagantly late goal and seemingly adding sustenance to the “lucky Bayern” murmurings doing the Bundesliga rounds once again.

Watch: Highlights of Bayern's 1-1 draw at Hertha on Matchday 21:

Robert Lewandowski's leveller at the end of the sixth minute of added time in the capital came after the previous matchday's 90th-minute deadlock-breaker at FC Ingolstadt 04, where the record champions subsequently still found the time to add a second goal. Bayern's habitual 'luck' is in reality down more to a combination of the quality of their football and a pre-programmed will to win. 

“We always fight to the very end. It probably wasn't my prettiest goal but it was the last kick of the game, that's as late as you can get,” said Lewandowski after salvaging the point in Berlin. His teammate Thomas Müller concurred, "We forced the equaliser. That's our mentality. It felt good to score so late but we actually wanted to win the game."

Bayern put Arsenal to the sword to further their Champions League ambitions. © gettyimages

In fact, that five-star Champions League second-half performance against Arsenal aside, Bayern have seldom looked anywhere near their best since returning from the winter break. On top of their travails at Ingolstadt and Hertha, they have also struggled to close wins in the Bundesliga at SC Freiburg and Werder Bremen, as well as being held at home by FC Schalke 04. 

The telling difference between the Munich club and their rivals, however, is the consistency with which they manage to come through an off-day with something tangible to show for it. Over the all-deciding weeks and months to come, Bayern will have ample further opportunity to demonstrate that their fabled – if not, in some quarters, notorious – luck is largely of their own making.

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