Bayern sink Hertha to move top of Bundesliga
Bayern Munich's French forward Kingsley Coman (2nd R) celebrates scoring the 2-0 goal with his team-mates Bayern Munich's German midfielder Leroy Sane (C), Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Ryan Gravenberch (R) Bayern Munich's German forward Thomas Mueller and Bayern Munich's Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo (L) during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin in Munich, southern Germany on April 30, 2023. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

BERLIN, Germany (AFP)— Bayern Munich moved top of the Bundesliga and ahead of Borussia Dortmund on Sunday as second-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman gave the reigning champions a 2-0 home win over rock-bottom Hertha Berlin.

Bayern are now one point clear of Dortmund, who drew 1-1 at Bochum on Friday, and back on course for a record-extending 11th straight Bundesliga title with four matches remaining.

Lowly Hertha defended well for long periods against a Bayern side still struggling to find the fluency they displayed earlier in the season.

Gnabry broke the deadlock, heading in a Joshua Kimmich chip in the 69th minute, his first league goal since early February.

The goal broke Hertha's stubborn resistance, Coman scoring 10 minutes later, again assisted by Kimmich.

"(We) need to keep believing in ourselves," Coman told DAZN. "We can be champions. We will try everything."

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said: "(The win) will do us good, it'll give us a bit more self-confidence and trust."

Hertha coach Pal Dardai was coaching just his second match since returning for a third stint in charge of the club who are six points from safety and facing relegation.

"The team fought hard. I saw a team today," he said.

Bayern started brightly, Manchester City loanee Joao Cancelo forcing a save from Hertha goalkeeper Oliver Christensen after just 90 seconds.

France centre-back Benjamin Pavard blasted a powerful, lifting drive inches over the bar from well outside the box but Bayern struggled to create clear chances.

Gnabry forced another stop from Christensen on the stroke of half-time.

Hertha went on a rare incursion into Bayern territory but the hosts won the ball back and launched a counter-attack.

Kimmich dinked a wonderful pass over the retreating visitors' defence, finding Gnabry who headed past Christensen.

The goal was just the second strike from a Bayern forward in the club's past six matches.

Coman, arguably Bayern's form attacker during their recent lean run, followed Gnabry's initiative, calmly slotting a ball from Kimmich between Christensen's legs.

In Sunday's late game, a double from Jonas Wind sent Wolfsburg past Mainz into seventh with a 3-0 win and lifted their hopes of European qualification.

Mainz came into the game unbeaten in 10 matches and fresh from a 3-1 win over Bayern, but were blown off the park early, Wolfsburg scoring three goals in the first 30 minutes.

Wind scored either side of a Sebastiaan Bornauw header to give the home side a dominant win ahead of next week's trip to Dortmund.

Wolfsburg manager Niko Kovac said his side were "highly deserved winners, my team implemented the match plan well."

Bo Svensson, Mainz manager, admitted "the opponent was simply better than us" lamenting that "our toughness was missing".

Edin Terzic's Dortmund were controversially held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Bochum on Friday.

Dortmund were denied a late penalty which the referee Sascha Stegemann and the German FA later admitted was an error.

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke issued a statement on Sunday saying "threats and hostility would not be tolerated", after German media reported Stegemann was under police protection.

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