BERLIN – Robert Lewandowski scored his fourth goal of the day with an injury-time penalty to gave champions Bayern Munich an improbable 4-3 Bundesliga win against Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Lewandowski put Bayern 2-0 up with a brace but Jhon Cordoba and Matheus Cunha brought Hertha back into the game.
Europe’s Footballer of the Year Lewandowski made it 3-2 with six minutes left, only for Jessic Ngankam to seemingly secure a draw for Hertha in the 88th – before Lewandowski had the last laugh with time running out.
Victory behind closed doors came a week after Bayern’s run of 14 wins in a row and 22 games unbeaten in the league came to an end in a 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim.
“The phrase hard-earned victory was invented for this. Maybe we took it easy too early after the 2-0,” Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka told Sky TV.
Goretzka also admitted that Munich are a little mentally tired after their great run over the past months, with team-mate Thomas Mueller also saying that while not acceptable some let-ups were understandable “when you have five titles in the bag.”
Bayern had already regrouped from the Hoffenheim defeat in mid-week by beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in the German Super Cup for their fifth title of the year.
That game saw Munich waste a 2-0 lead as well – and Sunday provided even more drama.
Lewandowski broke the deadlock in the 40th when he fired home from close range, and in the 52nd turned away from the goal with the ball to round a defender and then scoring into the bottom left corner, set up by debutant Chris Richards who left injured a little later.
Hertha rallied from 2-0 down to a 2-2 draw in Munich last year – and history seemed to repeat itself.
Cordoba rose to head home Matheus Cunha’s free-kick to halve the deficit in the 59th, and 12 minutes later it was 2-2, Cunha slotting into the bottom right corner after a simple one with substitute Krzysztof Piatek.
Lewandowski poked home what appeared to be the winner in the 84th but it was only the beginning of a turbulent finale in which Ngankam headed the equalizer seconds after coming on before Maximilian Mittelstaedt clumsily brought down Lewandowski to allow the Polish marksman to get the winner from the spot.
“We are happy to keep the three points at home. But we can’t be satisfied how we defend our goal. We have the mentality to come back but we don’t have the mentality to defend a two-goal lead,” Mueller said.
Schwolow said: “I am stunned. We came back so well. You could say typical Bayern but it was our fault. We could have taken a point or even a win back home as Bayern were not in top form.”
Augsburg’s perfect start into the season ended in the other Sunday game in the form of a goalless draw at Wolfsburg, who for their part are yet to win in the new campaign.
Augsburg had assistant Iraklis Metaxas in charge as coach Heiko Herrlich is hospitalized with a collapsed lung.
“Who would have believed we would have seven points from three games. We are happy but will keep our feet foirmly on the ground,” Augsburg forward Daniel Caligiuri said.
Augsburg are second with seven points from three games, tied with leaders RB Leipzig and third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt. Bayern follow in fourth, leading a quartet of teams on six points each. Wolfsburg meanwhile are 15th, having drawn their three matches.