FC Bayern München are now just one win away from securing a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title after claiming a hard-fought 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
- Berlin 0 Bayern 2
- Strong performance by the hosts
- Vidal grabs fortuitous lead
- Costa thunderbolt seals the win
The home side matched Bayern blow for blow in the first half and produced arguably the best chance of the opening stanza through Mitchell Weiser, but the teams went into the half time break level at 0-0.
Unfortunately, their resolve was broken just three minutes after the interval when a speculative long-range shot from Arturo Vidal took an unlucky deflection to beat Thomas Kraft and give the Bavarians a 1-0 lead.
Bayern secured the points with 11 minutes left on the clock through a thundering drive from Douglas Costa that flew into the top left corner.
Berlin can be proud of the performance they put in against Bundesliga-leading Bayern despite losing the hard-fought encounter 1-0.
The hosts went toe-to-toe with the defending champions, creating twice as many shots, even though many of them were from long range and were all either off-target or blocked by defenders.
The Bavarians played their familiar possession heavy game and had the ball for nearly 70 percent of the match, but Berlin were effective on defence and dangerous on the counter, leading to a very cautious approach from the visitors.
Douglas Costa showed off his dribbling skills in the ninth minute when he beat several defenders before having a crack from outside the area, but Niklas Stark was alert to the danger and got across to block the attempt.
Berlin went ever so close to taking a surprise lead 20 minutes in as Weiser found some space away from his marker in the box to get on the end of a cross and unleash a vicious volley goalwards, but Mehdi Benatia managed to block the shot with a desperate last-ditch diving challenge.
Next was Thiago’s turn as the midfielder burst into the box to pick up a throughball and hit a blistering first-time shot, but Kraft produced a wonderful save to deny the Bayern playmaker and the teams went into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.
Just three minutes after the interval, the visitors found their opening as Vidal tried his luck from long range and the shot took a wicked deflection to leave Kraft helpless to prevent it from going in.
The second half was characterised by strong tackling and both Maximilian Mittelstadt and Costa needed medical treatment, but neither knock was enough to force the player off the field.
Kraft came to his side’s rescue once again as he showed his awareness to come off his line at just the right moment to produce a magnificent save to deny Robert Lewandowski from close range.
The home side were defending manfully and it took a moment of absolute brilliance from Costa to score Bayern’s second goal. The winger picked up the ball about 30 yards from goal and hit an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top corner giving the unfortunate Kraft no chance to save it.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) April 23, 2016