A controversial late strike has earned Bayern Munich a valuable point against Hertha Berlin in a 1-1 draw at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
Bayern seemed to be suffering from a Champions League hangover, looking like a shadow of the side that smacked Arsenal 5-1 earlier in the week.
Hertha kept their opponents in check and the Bavarians, with a rotated squad, simply could not find a way to respond to Vedad Ibisevic’s 20th-minute opener.
Carlo Ancelotti responded in the second half with aggressive substitutions, including Robert Lewandowski. Even then, however, it appeared to not be enough as a sluggish Bayern failed to convert their chances.
Hertha held onto their lead, doing everything they could to disrupt Bayern in the closing stages of the game but simply could not stop Lewandowski from sneaking between defenders and scoring the leveller.
Controversy on both sides
Some questionable refereeing masked a brilliant game as both goals came out of highly controversial scenarios. Hertha scored their goal from a free kick, which was awarded to a player that went down far too easily.
The controversy only got worse later on as the five minutes of injury time trickled into six and seven added minutes allowing Bayern to snatch an equaliser long after the game should have ended.
It is disappointing to see a referee’s decision deciding the outcome of a game, but looking at the conjecture on both sides, a draw seemed to be a fair result.
Can Lewandowski stay in form?
Lewandowski has been one of the big talking points of Bayern’s squad this season. His skill is well known, but his performances recently have been lacking.
Occasionally, the Polish striker pops up with a game-winning performance and convinces everyone that he is back in form but not long after, he recedes into long stretches of being almost invisible on the pitch.
The question for Lewandowski now is this: can he keep up these performances? It is simply not good enough to play well once a month. Only time will tell, but if Lewandowski can keep this up, Bayern will be in good shape for all three competitions.
Both teams disappointed with the draw
It was a result that did not help either team’s ambitions. Bayern need to put as much space between them and RB Leipzig as possible, but with this draw, Die Roten Bullen can jump to within five points of the league leaders provided they win their game at the end of this round.
Hertha are also in the hunt for European football and a win would have seen them jump to just one point away from a Champions League place.
Both sides are going to have to work extra hard if they hope to take something worthwhile from this season of the Bundesliga and with more than 10 round remaining, absolutely anything could happen.