Goals from Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman helped the Bavarians take advantage of Borussia Dortmund‘s draw at VfL Bochum on Friday to leapfrog them into top spot on 62 points. Dortmund are on 61 in second place. Union Berlin are third on 56 points along with fourth-placed Freiburg.
The victory also ended Bayern’s four-game winless run across all competitions, while offering coach Thomas Tuchel some needed respite after his team’s German Cup and Champions League exits in recent weeks.
“At the moment I have the feeling that everyone wants and everyone is aware of the fact that we as a team need to step it up a notch,” said Tuchel, who took over in late March from Julian Nagelsmann.
“A football team has to project a common energy. I am happy with the way we celebrated, that we did not take everything for granted.
“That had been missing a bit. Sometimes [players] need a bit of fire, today we needed calm because I had the feeling that everyone was prepared.”
It was one-way traffic from the start with Bayern trying to find an early goal and Hertha soaking up the pressure and waiting to break with Dodi Lukebakio.
The Bavarians should have been in front after 45 minutes but Sadio Mane and Benjamin Pavard both narrowly missed the target and Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen pulled off outstanding saves to deny Gnabry and Coman from close range.
The hosts finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when Joshua Kimmich chipped the ball into the path of Gnabry who beat Christensen with a diving header, much to the relief of Bayern club bosses, sitting together in the stands.
Another superb pin-point assist from Kimmich 10 minutes later found Coman to score Bayern’s second goal.
“It took a bit too long for the first goal,” said Tuchel. “We wasted too many chances. But we stuck with it, got the first and then the second.”
Hertha, without a league win in Munich since the 1977-78 season, remain in last place on 22 points.