Hansi Flick conceded Bayern Munich are “lacking a few per cent” after being bailed out by four-goal hero Robert Lewandowski in their dramatic 4-3 Bundesliga win over Hertha Berlin.
Bundesliga champions Bayern’s 32-game unbeaten streak was ended in a shock 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim last week and they nearly dropped two more points on Sunday.
Lewandowski scored either side of half-time to give Bayern a commanding lead, only for Jhon Cordoba and Matheus Cunha to level up for Hertha in an action-packed contest.
Prolific striker Lewandowski completed his hat-trick with five minutes remaining but Jessic Ngankam equalised for the stubborn visitors.
Just when it looked as though Bayern were going to slip up for a second league game running, Lewandowski converted a penalty he won himself three minutes into injury time.
Today you can call me [email protected] pic.twitter.com/1zYLJsZm0f
— Robert Lewandowski (@lewy_official) October 4, 2020
Bayern thrashed Schalke 8-0 in their opening match and have also overcome Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup, but head coach Flick accepted there is room for improvement.
“We must take the overall situation into account. It isn’t so easy for the players – not all of them are at 100 per cent,” he told reporters.
“We know we can work better in defence, act as a unit and put our opponents under pressure. We’re just lacking a few per cent at the moment.
“But I’m pleased with the team’s mentality – we’re at 100 per cent in that regard. We have the absolute desire to win.
“Now it’s about showing the beautiful football everybody loves after the international break. We can perform well despite the tiredness.”
Lewandowski’s four goals came from 13 shots – the most a player has attempted in a Bundesliga match since Edin Dzeko for Wolfsburg against Freiburg in December 2009.
In the week he was named UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year for 2019-20, Flick heaped further praise on the Poland international for his latest match-winning display.
Robert Lewandowski scoring FOUR
He’s done it [email protected]_official | #UCL pic.twitter.com/7eNhCIaxy8
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 4, 2020
“He converted four chances. Robert is an absolute goal-getter,” Flick said. “It’s important to me that he also adds the other elements, setting up goals and working defensively.
“He does so, which is why I’m very pleased with him. He has special qualities. But the way we played wasn’t like Bayern, we know that.”
Bayern are up to fourth in the embryonic table, a point behind early pacesetters RB Leipzig, and Thomas Muller acknowledged the importance of his side’s late win over Hertha.
“Of course we’re glad we’ve kept three crucial points,” the Bayern forward said. “Many neutrals will definitely be annoyed at our late winner.
“It was enormously important for us to stay on the ball after these intense last few days.
“We can’t be happy with our work at the back of course, which goes for the whole team. We must keep going when we’re two goals up.
“We want to do the things for which FC Bayern are admired. We did a few things well today but we must restore this aplomb when we’re in the lead.”