Thomas Mueller scored again as Bayern Munich defeated Hertha Berlin 2-0 to provisionally extend its Bundesliga lead to 11 points on Saturday
DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Thomas Mueller scored again as Bayern Munich defeated Hertha Berlin 2-0 to provisionally extend its Bundesliga lead to 11 points on Saturday.
Mueller broke the deadlock with his 13th goal of the season in the 34th minute, seven minutes before Kingsley Coman scored after a brilliant move involving Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng.
"There's no need for shame," Hertha coach Pal Dardai said. "The positioning and performance was perfect, but Bayern are twice as fast as we are and a couple of classes above."
Unbeaten Bayern, with 13 wins from 14 games, will be guaranteed the lead going into the winter break if Borussia Dortmund doesn't beat Stuttgart on Sunday. Bayern's 40 points is a league record after 14 games. The club joked on Twitter that it was nearly safe from relegation for another season.
Hamburger SV defeated Werder Bremen 3-1 away in the Bundesliga's 103rd northern derby, and U.S. international Fabian Johnson scored twice for Borussia Moenchengladbach to salvage a 3-3 draw at Hoffenheim.
Hannover routed visiting Ingolstadt 4-0 and Mainz defeated 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 at home in another derby. Kickoff had been delayed due to increased security measures.
Hertha, which is exceeding expectations in fourth place, was expected to play a defensive game as the previous seven visiting sides across all competitions each conceded four goals or more in Munich.
The side lined up with five at the back but couldn't prevent Robert Lewandowski striking the post in the ninth minute.
Mueller scored when he was in the right place to redirect Mehdi Benatia's header from a corner.
"You never know against Hertha, when it's 0-0 they can defend well," Mueller said.
Bayern's second goal had coach Pep Guardiola applauding on the sideline. Boateng, who impressed in midfield, sent the ball to Martinez, who volleyed with his heel toward the far post, where Coman guided it home.
"He was very, very good," Guardiola said of Martinez, who appears to be over his injury troubles. "We often missed him, he's back now. He has a great mentality."
Johnson seems to be enjoying the form of his life since he was openly criticized by U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann. The American, who also scored for 'Gladbach against Sevilla on Wednesday, opened the scoring at Hoffenheim in the fifth minute when he fired in off the far post after a brilliant through ball from Mahmoud Dahoud.
But Steven Zuber equalized with a header from a corner in the 11th and Eugen Polanski put the home side ahead with a deflected shot in the 34th.
Nadiem Amiri, who set up both of Hoffenheim's goals, made it 3-1 with his first Bundesliga goal after a mistake from Lars Stindl in the 47th, before Stindl atoned by setting up Josip Drmic eight minutes later.
Johnson equalized in the 87th with a brilliant solo effort that left two Hoffenheim defenders stranded before he fired to the roof of the net.
"The team threw everything into it in order to turn it around," said 'Gladbach coach Andre Schubert, who remains unbeaten in the league after nine games.
Ivo Ilicevic got Hamburg off to a fine start in Bremen when he curled a wonderful strike from a difficult angle inside the top far corner in the third minute, and Michael Gregoritsch made it 2-0 with a deflected free kick in the 27th.
Anthony Ujah pulled one back in the 62nd but Nicolai Mueller sealed the derby win six minutes later when he finished off a counterattack after a Bremen corner.
"It's great for the players, the fans and also me as coach," Hamburg's Bruno Labbadia said of the morale boost the derby victory gives his side.
In the delayed game, Japan striker Yoshinori Muto fired Mainz ahead in the fifth after some great work from Pablo de Blasis.
Frankfurt's hopes of an equalizer took a blow when inspirational captain Alexander Meier was sent off with a second yellow card five minutes before the break.
Yunus Malli made it 2-0 two minutes later. Haris Seferovic's 61st-minute goal proved just a consolation for Frankfurt despite a spirited effort.