Goals from Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman maintained Bayern Munich’s 100 per cent home record in the Bundesliga courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
Hertha had not beaten Bayern in eight attempts prior to Saturday’s clash at the Allianz Arena – coach Pal Dardai part of the last side to beat the champions in 2009 – and the visitors rarely troubled Pep Guardiola’s side.
Guardiola, the subject of fresh speculation linking him with Manchester City this week, brought in Mehdi Benatia and Javi Martinez from the 4-0 Champions League win over Olympiacos and saw the pair assist a goal apiece.
Muller headed in from close range to register his 13th Bundesliga goal of the season before Coman converted Martinez’s lay-off as Bayern wrapped up the win inside the final 11 minutes of the first half.
Despite Hertha boasting back-to-back wins prior to their trip to Bavaria, Dardai’s men struggled to test a Bayern team missing injured wingers Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa.
An eighth home win of the Bundesliga season sends Bayern 11 points clear, with Borussia Dortmund playing Stuttgart on Sunday.
Hertha’s Marvin Plattenhardt had a sight on goal with a wayward strike four minutes in but Robert Lewandowski had the game’s first real chance when he clipped an effort over Rune Jarstein only to be thwarted by the woodwork.
The Pole guided a header on target after 15 minutes as Bayern sought to turn the screw without reward early on. But despite a relatively solid start, Hertha fell behind to an instinctive Muller header following Benatia’s towering knock-down from a corner.
Benatia – one of three changes from midweek – diverted the ball to Muller who equalled his Bundesliga goal-haul for each of the last three seasons.
Jarstein denied Arturo Vidal from close range while Benatia saw an effort cleared off the line, before Bayern had their second through Coman five minutes before the break.
Jerome Boateng’s raking pass to Martinez was skilfully turned into the Frenchman’s path, and the young winger finished calmly past Jarstein.
Vedad Ibisevic – back from a four-game suspension for an awful challenge against Schalke – was among the early second-half action, picking up a booking for a foul on Benatia shortly after a tough tackle on Boateng.
The striker initially ruffled Bayern feathers but the hosts kept their cool in possession and should have had a third when Lewandowski fluffed a close-range finish.
Muller spurned a good chance when Jarstein smothered a Lewandowski chance, before Guardiola brought Boateng with apparent discomfort in his knee.
Vidal and Salomon Kalou had chances at either end late on but the points belonged to Bayern, who will begin the Ruckrunde top of the table provided Dortmund fail to beat Stuttgart.
Key Opta stats:
– With 40 points after 14 games, Bayern have set a new Bundesliga record.
– Thomas Muller equalled his goalscoring record for a Bundesliga season (13 goals) after 14 just games in 2015-16.
– Kingsley Coman has scored more goals for Bayern in the last five days (two) than he did in 14 months for Juventus (one).
– Muller’s goal was Bayern’s 2,300th at home in Bundesliga history. No other team has scored more than 1,784 (Werder Bremen).