Bundesliga 2019/20: Defending champions Bayern Munich open campaign with a draw
Seven-time defending champions Bayern Munich began their quest for an 8th straight Bundesliga crown on a stuttering note as Niko Kovac's men were held to a 2-2 draw by Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena.
After last season's top scorer Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the new Bundesliga season, goals from Dodi Lukebakio and Marko Grujic gave visitors Hertha a surprise 2-1 halftime lead in Munich.
Bayern rallied to restore parity courtesy Lewandowski's 60th minute VAR assisted penalty which was the Polish marksman's second goal of the game and 204th Bundesliga goal of his career.
But with both teams unable to conjure a winner in the last half hour of the game, Bayern left the more disappointed of the two sides. It was the first time in eight seasons the Bavarian giants had failed to win their opening Bundesliga game of the season, since a 0-1 reverse at home to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2011-12.
That was also the last time Bayern had failed to land the Bundesliga title.
The game against Hertha was Bayern's first competitive one following the retirement of Arjen Robben and departure of Franck Ribéry after 10 and 12 successful seasons respectively at the Munich club.
Bayern were clearly rusty on the day as several passes went astray and crosses failed to find their intended targets. However, there were a few promising signs, with new signing Benjamin Pavard looking sharp and solid in the Bayern defence and Lewandowski opening his account.
With Philippe Coutinho confirmed to join the club on loan from Barcelona, Bayern will have more midfield muscle and sharpness in their upcoming games.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund, who are expected to be the Bavarian club's primary challengers for the title once again this season, open their Bundesliga campaign against Augsburg at home later today.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:11 IST