Bayern Munich head to the Club World Cup with five successive wins under their belt after Kingsley Coman’s first-half winner handed the Bundesliga leaders a 1-0 victory at Hertha Berlin on Friday.
The win leaves Bayern 10 points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig, who have a game in hand away to crisis-hit Schalke on Saturday.
Coman found the net with a deflected shot on 21 minutes to give Bayern all three points in snowy Berlin, just hours before they left for next week’s tournament in Qatar.
Bayern face African Champions League winners Al-Ahly in Monday’s semi-final in Doha.
Yet they first had to get past a Hertha side buoyed by the return of former coach Pal Dardai last month and the arrival of former Germany midfielder Sami Khedira on a free transfer from Juventus.
Khedira, though, played only 10 minutes as a substitute as Bayern battled to a narrow win.
A bright start from the home side was snuffed out when goalkeeper Rune Jarstein brought down Leroy Sane in the box on 11 minutes.
Yet the Hertha stopper redeemed himself immediately, diving to his right to save Robert Lewandowski’s penalty.
Ten minutes later, Jarstein was left flapping at the ball as Coman’s shot deflected off Niklas Stark and looped into the net.
Both Jarstein and his opposite number Manuel Neuer made several saves before half-time, as an entertaining game swung from end to end.
Hertha had a brilliant chance to equalise two minutes from time, as Matheus Cunha beat the offside trap and found himself one-on-one with Neuer.
Yet the Brazilian’s chip over the Bayern keeper trickled wide of the post, prompting howls of anguish from the Berlin bench.