Bayern back at Bundesliga summit after nervy Hertha win


Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern Munich and Maximilian Mittelstaedt of Hertha Berlin battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and Hertha BSC at Allianz Arena on April 30, 2023 in Munich, Germany.

Bayern Munich have gone back top of the Bundesliga with just four matches left after second-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman secured a nervous 2-0 home win over bottom side Hertha Berlin.

Previous leaders Borussia Dortmund had opened the door by being held 1-1 at lowly Bochum on Friday, although the referee acknowledged later that the title chasers should have been awarded a penalty.

Bayern, seeking an 11th straight title and now a point ahead after Joshua Kimmich expertly set up both goals, next visit mid-table Werder Bremen on Saturday while Dortmund welcome Wolfsburg next Sunday.

“It was not easy,” Coman told DAZN after Sunday’s match. “We played pretty well up top and did a lot of running but we didn’t create so much. We just have to believe in ourselves.”

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel, whose side crashed out of the Champions League and German Cup since he surprisingly replaced Julian Nagelsmann in March, made four changes from the humbling 3-1 loss at Mainz last weekend when they surrendered top spot to Dortmund.

Captain Thomas Muller was dropped to the bench along with Josip Stanisic while fellow defenders Alphonso Davies and Dayot Upamecano were injured.

Muller, though, was introduced on the hour as Bayern laboured but it made little difference as the champions’ play was still too slow and ponderous to get through.

Then out of the blue on 69 minutes, a clever clipped ball over the top from Kimmich was superbly headed home by Germany’s Gnabry for his 10th goal of the league season.

The crowd reacted more with relief than delight but made more noise 10 minutes later when France’s Coman nutmegged goalkeeper Oliver Christensen after yet another superb ball by Kimmich.

In Sunday’s other game, Wolfsburg ended Mainz’s 10-game unbeaten run with a quickfire start in a 3-0 home win, Jonas Wind scoring twice.

They leapfrogged their rivals into seventh, with the duo eyeing a late burst for a Europa League or Conference League spot.

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