BERLIN — Robert Lewandowski has hit back at criticism from former Bayern Munich player Didi Hamann, labelling criticism of his performances “stupid.”
Lewandowski, captain for the first time, played a key role as Bayern beat Hertha Berlin 3-2 after extra time to reach the DFB Pokal quarterfinals and then responded to Hamman, who had said the Poland international was “turning into a problem for Bayern” earlier in the week.
“I am always focused on my job. And cup games are always difficult to play,” Lewandowski told ESPN FC after the match. “We won that match. And I am not interested in what someone says about me. Even more so if that’s just flat-out stupid. I don’t think [Hamann] knows much about tactics.”
At the weekend, Bayern suffered their first defeat in the league after seven straight wins following a 3-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen and Lewandowski said he was delighted how the team bounced back.
“We fought really well. We scored in extra time. And this could be a signal for us that we are on a good path again,” Lewandowski said. “It’s important for our self-confidence that we reached the next round.”
Bayern boss Niko Kovac also praised Germany international Serge Gnabry for his role in the hard-earned victory as he scored twice in addition to Kingsley Coman’s winner in extra time.
“He was our man of the match,” Kovac said. “Not only because of his goals, but also because of his force he brings to the pitch. It was time to up the pressure on the wings today. Not only with Kingsley Coman, but also with Serge. He did a really, really good job.”
Gnabry replied to Maximilian Mittelstadt’s third-minute strike with goals in the seventh and 49th minutes and Bayern looked likely winners.
But Germany international Mats Hummels allowed Hertha Berlin back into the game when his clearance was intercepted by attacker Davie Selke after 67 minutes. Still, Bayern stayed in control of the match despite needing extra time and Coman’s winner to seal their passage into the next round.
“It does not matter who was at fault for the goal,” Kovac said. “We just make too many mistakes. It’s not only Mats. There’s no need to put everything on him now. But if we want to achieve things this season, we must make less mistakes.”
Bundesliga sides RB Leipzig, FC Schalke, Augsburg and Werder Bremen as well as Heidenheim, Paderborn and Hamburg from the second tier join Bayern in the chase for one of the two spots in the DFB Pokal final at the Olympiastadion on May 25.