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Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick praised his players for turning on the style in the second half to see off Hertha Berlin 4-0 at the Olympiastadion.
The reigning Bundesliga champions scored four goals in the final half-hour of Sunday’s match to climb into second place, four points behind RB Leipzig.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring and Robert Lewandowski added a second from the penalty spot to pave the way for an ultimately emphatic win.
Thiago Alcantara and Ivan Perisic were also on target as Bayern made it four league wins in a row and back-to-back away victories in the competition for the first time since March.
Flick was pleased to begin the second half of the campaign with all three points against a Hertha side that had not conceded in their past three outings.
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— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) January 19, 2020
“A four-nil win – not every team in Berlin can do that!” he said at his post-match news conference.
“I think we deservedly won. In the first game after the [mid-season] break, with such a short preparation, it is not always so easy to know where you are.
“So, it was great for us that we started the second half of the season with such a result.”
Muller scored the all-important breakthrough goal and, in the process, became the first player to net every calendar year in the German top flight since 2009.
The Germany international, who also set up Perisic to make it 12 league assists for the campaign to go with his three goals, told Sky Sport Germany: “We made them tired.
“The gaps got bigger in the second half. In my opinion, we played too patiently in the first half. We didn’t play bad, but we weren’t really that dangerous.
— Leon Goretzka (@leongoretzka_) January 19, 2020
“We let Hertha play in the first half, but in the second half we kept going.”
Hertha boss Jurgen Klinsmann, who spent a season in charge of Bayern in 2008-09, claimed the game turned on the 72nd-minute penalty awarded to Bayern.
Lukas Klunter was adjudged to have pulled back on Leon Goretzka inside the box with the scoreline at 1-0 and Lewandowski made no mistake from the spot.
Hertha’s first loss in five outings leaves them two points above the bottom two zone and Klinsmann told reporters: “Four goals is a bit much. I think we played well for an hour.
“We had two or three chances in the first half. Then the first goal comes, but I think the sticking point was certainly the penalty – it broke us a little.
“We have to get points against the teams that are around us in the lower half of the table.”