Bayern Munich scraped past Hertha Berlin 1-0 courtesy of an Arjen Robben goal to stretch their lead at the top of the table...
Bayern Munich scraped past Hertha Berlin 1-0 courtesy of an Arjen Robben goal to stretch their lead at the top of the table to 10 points and equal a Bundesliga record for goals conceded after 13 games.
The champions never hit top form but hardly needed to because they were up against a toothless Hertha who rarely ventured out of their half.
Bayern’s clean sheet meant they matched VfB Stuttgart’s 2003-04 record of letting in only three goals in the opening 13 matches.
Dutchman Robben fired the ball in from 18 metres after a first-half flick from Thomas Mueller as the Bavarians cruised to their 10th win in 13 league matches to bounce back from the midweek Champions League defeat at Manchester City.
But there was little else of note from the club that on Friday posted a turnover of 528.7 million euros ($658.44 million) for 2013/14, with the 76,000 in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin getting only brief glimpses of Bayern’s attacking power.
“I am satisfied with the first half but not with the second,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told reporters.
“Maybe my players were a bit tired after playing 70 minutes in Manchester with 10 men. We seemed to forget our playing culture in the second half.”
Hertha keeper Thomas Kraft frustrated striker Robert Lewandowski, twice denying him from point-blank range late in the game.
Bayern are on 33 points, 10 ahead of VfL Wolfsburg who take on Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.
Fellow Champions League combatants Bayer Leverkusen are also on 23 points after crushing Cologne 5-1 in the Rhine derby.
Swiss international Josip Drmic and Germany’s Karim Bellarabi scored twice apiece for Leverkusen and Hakan Calhanoglu converted a stunning free kick.
Schalke 04 bounced back from their 5-0 Champions League demolition by Chelsea on Tuesday, winning 4-1 against Mainz 05 with a hat-trick from Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The win lifted Roberto Di Matteo’s team to sixth place on 20 points.
Hoffenheim, in eighth, let slip a two-goal lead against Hanover 96 but rallied to win 4-3 in a rollercoaster contest.
Werder Bremen continued their climb under coach Viktor Skripnik with a 4-0 victory over promoted Paderborn, their third win in four games under the Ukrainian. The 2004 champions are now 14th.
Northern rivals Hamburg SV wasted several chances as they lost 3-1 at Augsburg to remain second from bottom on 12 points.
Bottom club Borussia Dortmund, last season’s runners-up, have 11 points and are in action on Sunday at Eintracht Frankfurt.
($1 = 0.8030 euro)