Bayern Munich moved to the top of the Bundesliga table as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting hit a brace in a thrilling 3-2 win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Choupo-Moting scored twice in as many first-half minutes after Jamal Musiala opened the scoring, but Hertha clawed their way back into contention in an incredible opening period.
Goals from Dodi Lukebakio and Davie Selke, the latter from the spot, reignited the contest before the break, but Hertha never came close to equalising in a quieter second half.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men consequently claimed their fourth consecutive Bundesliga win, moving two points clear of Union Berlin ahead of their trip to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Manuel Neuer, returning to the side, saved from Lukebakio early on, but Bayern took the lead with their first attack as Musiala collected Sadio Mane’s pass before firing into the bottom-left corner after 12 minutes.
Choupo-Moting looked to have taken the game away from Hertha with his quickfire double, responding to Leon Goretzka’s blocked shot to finish below Oliver Christensen before prodding home following a goalmouth scramble one minute later.
But Hertha responded in excellent fashion as Lukebakio volleyed Marco Richter’s cross beyond Neuer and they reduced the deficit further when Benjamin Pavard pushed Selke in the area, the forward then converting from the spot on the stroke of half-time.
Bayern were denied a fourth as Alphonso Davies was found to have been offside when Marc-Oliver Kempf put through his own net after the break, before the Bayern left-back limped from the field after appearing to sustain a hamstring injury.
The second half was played out at a far slower pace than the first, with Nagelsmann’s side holding on to their slender advantage after producing a controlled performance.
What does it mean? Strong starters hit the summit
Although Bayern may be frustrated by their inability to seal a more resounding win after taking a three-goal lead within 38 minutes, Saturday’s victory was a crucial one for the champions.
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