Goal celebration
First team | March 21, 2021, 06:24 PM

Hertha masterclass in win over Leverkusen!

Matheus Cunha returned to the starting line-up after overcoming a thigh injury, while Mattéo Guendouzi and Dodi Lukébakio also came in for Krzysztof Piątek and the suspended Vladimír Darida. Marvin Plattenhardt also dropped to the bench. It was a brave start against the European hopefuls and a dream goal gave us an early lead. Leverkusen’s ‘keeper Grill tipped away a dangerous ball sent in by Maximilian Mittelstädt, celebrating his 100th Bundesliga appearance for Hertha, but Lukébakio was there to pick up the loose ball at the back stick. He laid it off for Deyovaisio Zeefuik and the Dutchman set himself before sending a wonderful shot in off the post (4’). 1-0 to Hertha! Leverkusen searched for answers following the hosts’ fast start; Patrik Schick (11’) headed narrowly off-target after a free-kick before passing three minutes later when he could have shot himself. The chance passed the visitors by. The Werkself pressed hard but our boys defended with heart and kept their cool in front of goal when the chance came along. Lucas Tousart stole the ball in midfield, setting Lukébakio free down the right. The Belgian got his head up and gave it to Cunha, who was clinical in front of goal to fire home a second (26’). An outstanding counter in the 33rd minute meant it was soon 3-0. Tousart won the ball back again and the Old Lady managed to work the ball into the box, where Guendouzi and Córdoba were lurking. It was the Colombian who finished off the move, taking the ball away from the defender with his first touch and hammering it past the ‘keeper with his second. A passionate, efficient display from our boys saw us into the break with a 3-0 lead.

Photo gallery: Hertha BSC vs. Bayer Leverkusen in pictures

Lukébakio goal disallowed - Hertha’s lead never troubled

Bayer boss Bosz reacted with a double-switch at half time, but it was the capital city club who made the first inroads once again. A double chance saw both Córdoba and Cunha denied by Grill (49’). The next chance was tucked away by Hertha but a Córdoba handball in the build-up meant that Lukébakio’s strike wouldn’t count (52’). The guests tried to crank up the pressure, but the boys from Berlin remained compact without the ball and chances kept coming on the counter as Bayer pressed forward. Cunha and Lukébakio tested Grill twice from one such situation (65’) before Mittelstädt shot over (67’) and the Brazilian sent one just wide (75’). Substitute Krzysztof Piątek also saw an effort saved by the ‘keeper (88’). In the end, the margin of victory could have been even higher. Our Herthaner saw the game out brilliantly, aided by fresh energy off the bench. The team effort means that the players and fans can celebrate a well-deserved three points!

Hertha BSC: Jarstein - Klünter, Stark, M. Dárdai (82' Torunarigha) - Zeefuik, Tousart, Guendouzi, Mittelstädt (82' Netz) – Cunha (82' Piątek) – Lukébakio (73' Radonjić), Córdoba (63' Ascacíbar)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Grill – Frimpong (72' Bellarabi), Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell - Aránguiz, Demirbay (46' Amiri), Bailey, Wirtz, Gray (46' Alario) – Schick

Goals: 1-0 Zeefuik (4'), 2-0 Cunha (26'), 3-0 Córdoba (33')

Yellow cards: Bailey, Amiri (Leverkusen)

Referee: Dr. Felix Byrch (Munich)

by Konstantin Keller