Bayern Munich extend lead at top to 10 points

20

Bayern Munich picked up their 10th win of the season in the Bundesliga on Saturday, although they were ultimately made to work hard for a 1-0 victory at Hertha Berlin. It did not look difficult at all for Pep Guardiola's men, who dominated the first half even if they only had an Arjen Robben effort to show for it. It was a different story in the second half, though, with Berlin forcing Bayern to defend their lead, although they could not find an equaliser and that sole Robben goal was enough to extend Bayern's advantage at the top of the table to 10 points. Robert Lewandowski wasted an excellent early chance to give Bayern the lead when he placed his shot over from close range, but it did not look like it would be long before Guardiola's men did go in front. Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller all terrorised the Hertha defence, while Mario Gotze, the man who won Germany the World Cup, provided another attacking option. Hertha held out until the 27th minute, when there was little or nothing they could do to prevent Robben from curling his shot in from Thomas Muller's neat backheeled pass. Former Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft did get his fingertips to the ball, but not enough to keep the ball out. Juan Bernat went close to scoring his first goal when put through by Franck Ribery, but the Spanish full-back shot just wide of the near post. Robben then fired wide of the far post as Hertha clung on to a one-goal deficit going into the break. The 15 minutes gave home coach Jos Luhukay the chance to make a few tactical adjustments and the transformation was extreme. Suddenly it was Bayern, the defending champions and runaway league leaders, who were hanging on. The blue and white shirts swarmed forwards, often outnumbering the Bayern defenders, such as in the 64th minute when Valentin Stocker's cross towards an unmarked Julian Schieber was deflected behind for a corner. Luhukay took an even greater gamble by sending forwards Ronny and Salomon Kalou on, and they almost combined immediately, just after Hajime Hosogai had a goal ruled out for offside. Ronny's blistering free-kick was collected by Manuel Neuer only at the second attempt as his goal came increasingly under threat. Robert Lewandowski wasted two good chances to settle Bayern's nerves, but when Anthony Brooks sent his 86th-minute shot over the crossbar, it was clear it would not be Berlin's day.