BERLIN -- Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac said he "won't paint everything black" after the defending Bundesliga champions suffered their first defeat of the season on Friday to Hertha Berlin.
With their 2-0 victory at Olymiastadion, the hosts pulled level with Bayern in the standings at 13 points, trailing the current leaders only by goal difference.
"We made two mistakes too many. If as Bayern you lose 2-0 at Hertha, nobody believes you that you can still be satisfied with the performance," Kovac told his post-match news conference. "We played good combinations. But right now we just don't score any goals. That's a problem. Still, I won't paint everything black now."
Bayern could drop down to third in the overall standings this weekend should Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen, only two points behind the Bavarians currently, both pick up all three points in their away games at Leverkusen and Stuttgart respectively.
Hertha Berlin trailed Bayern by three points and six goals ahead of the Friday night clash in front of a capacity crowd of 74,669 supporters. And with seconds left in injury time, Manuel Neuer, who had long left his goal, had to rush back to secure Bayern's overnight lead.
"It's a good evening for the competiveness of Bundesliga. Bayern are not running away from the outset. We are on level points, and other teams can get past them tomorrow," Hertha sporting executive Michael Preetz said.
Preetz would have wanted more, Hertha coach Pal Dardai joked.
"He'll be mad at me. He wanted to top the league tonight. But one goal is missing," Dardai smiled on the post-match news conference.
And down in the mixed zone, Hertha players knew this was a moment to treasure.
"I've been playing Bundesliga for a while," Hertha captain Vedad Ibisevic, 34, told reporters after the match. "And it just takes a while until you can beat Bayern."
Bayern had more of the game throughout the 90 minutes, but the hosts were deadly in attack. A Ibisevic penalty and Ondrej Duda's fifth goal of the season in the 44th minute after a superb combination down the right wing gave Hertha the 2-0 half-time lead. They hung on to it until the end.
"We believed in it before the match already," Austria international Valentino Lazaro said. "The coach will not have anything against us drinking one, two beers tonight. But we'll then focus on our next match. We have set ourselves goals. We have the potential to qualify for Europe, but things can look different soon enough. And that's why our goal remains to finish in the Top 9."
Midfield youngster Arne Maier said: "When we celebrated with the fans, they said quite a lot had never seen Hertha beat Bayern in Bundesliga. It's indeed a special night. We'll take the euphoria, but we only think about our next match."
Kovac, returning to his hometown for the first time as a Bayern coach, opted to play without Germany international Thomas Muller. He replaced Arjen Robben only seven minutes into the second half as Bayern were pushing to reduce Hertha's half-time lead.
James Rodriguez moved to the wing and Muller roamed behind Bayern's three-man attack. Ten minutes later, Kovac injected even more attacking power when Renato Sanches made way for Serge Gnabry.
Receiving a hostile welcome from the home supporters, former Hertha attacker Sandro Wagner was Kovac's last option as the game entered its last 20 minutes. He replaced Rodriguez as the Bayern coach switched to a 4-4-2.
But whatever Bayern tried, Hertha always got a leg in the way to maintain their lead. After 83 minutes, the guests recorded 21 shots on goal to Hertha's five.
"We just lack the goals, but we are working on it," Kovac said. "It will get better. I can guarantee this. Things will turn around, and everything will be different. I am still relaxed. We have two important games coming up now. We want those three points against Ajax in Champions League and then against [Borussia Monchengladbach]."
U.S. youth international Jonathan Klinsmann was on the bench for only the fourth time in a Bundesliga match in his 15 months at Berlin. Former Bayern shot-stopper Thomas Kraft replaced the injured Norwegian Rune Jarstein in goal.
Kraft, who had not won a match against his old club before, held on to Hertha's leader with several big saves.
With just 22 minutes left on the clock, he got his hand on a ball following a corner, deflecting it just enough for Gnabry, Lewandowski and James to fail to get the ball over the line from short distance. And Hertha held on to their lead.
"I think we are the deserved winners tonight. It's a nice day for us."