Carlo Ancelotti made four changes to the starting eleven that made it four wins from four against Hertha BSC. Jerome Boateng, Xabi Alonso, Arturo Vidal and Franck Ribéry were benched as Mats Hummels, Renato Sanches, Kimmich and Kingsley Coman earned a chance from the get-go.
For HSV and Bruno Labbadia, he opted for a double alteration from the side that started against SC Freiburg. Lewis Holtby and Nabil Bahoui were restored to the starting line-up, with Gian-Luca Waldschmidt and Aaron Hunt the duo to miss out.
HSV stifle league leaders' attack
The hosts had something to prove after three straight defeats and almost got off to the perfect start when Bobby Wood played in the recalled Bahoui. The Swede, however, couldn't muster up a meaningful shot and it was easy for Manuel Neuer. At the other end, Philipp Lahm's cross was perfect for David Alaba but he was denied by Rene Adler.
Robert Lewandowski was next to try his luck for the reigning champions but headed narrowly over the bar after Alaba did brilliantly down the left-hand side. Bayern were cranking up the pressure but the constant bombardment and regular corner threat was dealt with by HSV, who were showing real grit and determination in the first half.
The hosts almost had even more to look forward to as Albin Ekdal's sweeping ball found found at the back post. The American forward nodded back to Nicolai Müller but for a superb Javi Martinez intervention to save the day. The final chance fell for Bayern and Coman, who found Adler's gloves with his header.
Adler puts in a man of the match showing, but Kimmich comes up with the winner
The second half picked up where the first left off as Bayern continued to trouble the hosts. They did have to bring off Hummels early on, after a knock to the knee forced Ancelotti's hand just after the break. His partner at the back, Javi Martinez had two chances in quick succession; the first was brilliantly saved, the second blocked.
Bayern had a double penalty appeal turned down when Lewandowski appeared to be caught by Emir Spahic, but not before the Bosnian tripped Kimmich. The referee, however, waved play on. Nicolai Müller could have shocked the Bavarians when he nearly got on the end of Douglas Santos' cross, though it proved just too high.
HSV retreated after that and welcomed the Bayern onslaught. Lewandowski couldn't convert a Ribéry cross, Alaba managed to miss a crowded box full of Bayern players with a simple ball in and Kimmich's curling effort was beaten away by Adler. He then made a super stop from Thomas Müller's low shot that was destined for the bottom corner.
The game was set for a draw but at the very end, the champions' winning mentality shone through. Thiago pass to Ribéry was sublime and the Frenchman's cross was finally given the finish required as Kimmich arrived at the back post to prod into an empty net; a deserved win, but Bayern were run very close.