Bayern Munich moved level on points with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table thanks to a 1-0 win over Hertha BSC on Saturday, ending a four-game winless run against Die Alte Dame in the process.
Davie Selke had the ball in the back of the net early on for Hertha after rounding Manuel Neuer but his strike was correctly chalked off for offside, while Bayern Munich had nothing more than a couple of half chances throughout the first half.
An outstanding goal-line clearance from Joshua Kimmich denied Selke shortly after the break as Hertha BSC continued to threaten on the counter-attack, and the visitors were made to pay for their missed chances just minutes later.
Javi Martínez rose the highest from a corner to catch out goalkeeper Rune Jarstein and put Bayern Munich into the lead, a goal which Hertha manager Pál Dárdai was visibly frustrated to concede.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Karim Rekik was given his marching orders for an off the ball incident with Robert Lewandowski, and Bayern Munich easily saw out the remainder of the match against a 10-man Hertha.
Key Talking Point
Just as things were starting to look up for Kingsley Coman, the French winger was slapped with another major setback.
The 22-year-old came off the bench for just nine minutes against Hertha BSC, replacing Franck Ribéry, before he was forced off the pitch with what appeared to be a muscular injury.
— Kyama (@Elijahkyama) February 23, 2019
Coman’s injury has nothing to do with the old injury, he suffers a hamstring injury today. He is just unlucky
Hopefully nothing serious
— . (@BundeSabeh1) February 23, 2019
Kingsley Coman is basically Daniel Sturridge, so much talent but so many injuries.
— Josh (@Josh_LFC4life) February 23, 2019
Coman put in a man of the match performance in the Bavarian derby against FC Augsburg last week and he continued to be a thorn in the side of Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League knockout stage meeting.
But the former Juventus star is now facing an extended spell on the sidelines due to his latest injury, having previously admitted that any more high-profile injuries could force him into an early retirement.
Neuer (6), Kimmich (7), Süle (6), Boateng (8*), Alaba (6); Goretzka (5), Martinez (8), James (7); Gnabry (7), Lewandowski (6), Ribéry (6).
Substitutes: Thiago (7), Coman (N/A), Müller (6).
STAR MAN – Jérôme Boateng
It was a frustrating afternoon for Bayern Munich because no matter what they tried, they couldn’t find a way through in the attacking third (until Javi Martínez scored from a corner that is) and allowed Hertha sighters into the game.
But veteran defender Jérôme Boateng rolled back the years against his former side to put in one of his best performances of the season, alongside an underwhelming Niklas Süle.
Forwards Davie Selke and Salomon Kalou did have some joy on their forays into the Bayern Munich half of the pitch, but more often not Boateng was the man who single-handedly stopped them getting a shot off at Manuel Neuer’s goal.
Jarstein (7), Stark (7), Rekik (5), Lustenberger (6); Lazaro (8), Grujić (6), Maier (6), Mittelstädt (6), Duda (6); Selke (8*), Kalou (7).
Substitutes: Jastrzembski (6), Dárdai (6).
Three points was vital on Saturday and Bayern Munich face Borussia Mönchengladbach, a side who won at the Allianz Arena during the Hinrunde, away from home next week.
The Bavarians then host VfL Wolfsburg before preparing for the return leg of their Champions League knockout stage clash with Liverpool.