Bayern Munich 2-0 Hertha Berlin: Bavarians retake control of Bundesliga title race

Bayern Munich fully capitalised on Borussia Dortmund’s Friday night slip-up to retake the Bundesliga lead via a win over Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

The Bavarian giants are now a point ahead of their Der Klassiker rivals with four games to spare.

However, a frustrating first half at the Allianz Arena suggested that Bayern may let BVB off the hook. Thomas Tuchel’s side peppered the visiting goal with shots, but Bayern could not make a breakthrough. For instance, Benjamin Pavard fired a speculative shot over, and Oliver Christensen impressively tipped away a close-range Serge Gnabry effort.

It took until 25 minutes after the interval for Bayern to break the deadlock. Joshua Kimmich proved the key, lifting a beautiful pass through to Serge Gnabry. The German finally got the better of Christiansen via a diving header, gifting Bayern some relief from their stress.

The Bavarians wrapped up a crucial three points by the 80th minute. Once again, Kimmich orchestrated the chance with another fantastic pass to find Kingsley Coman. He then showed great composure to place the ball through the legs of Hertha’s keeper and give Munich a 2-0 victory.

It was ultimately a dominant win for Bayern in a match where they totally controlled proceedings. The team took advantage of their 82% possession and 26 shots to leapfrog Borussia Dortmund. BVB had drawn with 16th-place Bochum on Friday, opening the door for their rival.

The Bundesliga title race between Bayern Munich and Dortmund is now set to go down to the wire.

Bundesliga title race: Who Bayern Munich have left to play

With just four games remaining, Germany’s top division is arriving at a thrilling finale in 2022/23. Although, as has been the case in the past decade, Bayern find themselves in the driving seat.

Thomas Tuchel’s team also has the benefit of a run-in that they may consider favourable.

Firstly, a visit to Werder Bremen beckons on Saturday. Bremen are twelfth, with their Bundesliga status effectively secured for next season. Bayern battered their next opponents 6-1 earlier this campaign, plus have won all of their last three visits to the Weserstadion. So, they will fancy their chances.

Matchday 32 sees FC Schalke 04 visit the Allianz Arena. Schalke are fighting relegation, so will be desperate to take something from the game. But they do have one of the league’s worst defences (57 goals conceded) going up against by far and away the Bundesliga’s best attack (Bayern have scored 81 goals).

Bayern’s penultimate game is definitely their most daunting. They face RB Leipzig – currently fifth but chasing third. Boasting a potent attack, and Christopher Nkunku back from injury, it will be vital that Bayern avoid defeat here.

Finally, Bayern see out 2022/23 with a trip to Koln on the last day. The RheinEnergieSTADION is a happy hunting ground for the Bavarians; they have won their last eight competitive visits to Cologne. Therefore, Thomas Tuchel and his side will look to keep this streak alive.

Bayern Munich may also lift the Bundesliga title here should the race go down to the last game.

Meanwhile, Dortmund have challenging fixtures of their own to negotiate.

BVB’s title run-in

Dortmund follow Bayern next weekend as they play Wolfsburg on Sunday 7 May. BVB have a strong record against Wolfsburg having beaten them in their last four clashes.

After this, Dortmund face off against their “Borussia” counterparts, Monchengladbach. The foals are stuck in mid-table oblivion this season. However, the likes of Marcus Thuram (13 goals) can still prove a threat to any opponent. Dortmund will thus need Signal Iduna Park in full voice for that showdown.

Edin Terzic’s side play Augsburg on matchday 33. Although relatively safe in 13th, Augsburg may still be nervously looking over their shoulder at the relegation spots. Dortmund have won three of the last four meetings between the sides.

BVB then enjoy a home game against Mainz on the final day. Currently, Mainz still hold dreams of reaching the European places. They will be a tough opponent for Dortmund regardless of their own situation on the last matchday.

This year’s title is now Bayern’s to lose. It is simple for them – if they win out, the Meisterschale is theirs. Bayern Munich have had their inconsistencies throughout 2022/23, though, so the Bundesliga is definitely not a foregone conclusion yet.

Featured image credit: Getty