Pál Dárdai had to do without the trio of Santiago Ascacíbar, Mattéo Guendouzi and Eduard Löwen, all of whom were ruled out at short notice with slight injury problems. Matheus Cunha and Sami Khedira remained unavailable. Marvin Plattenhardt started at left wing-back, pushing Maximilian Mittelstädt into central midfield. Teenager Jonas Michelbrink was in the first-team squad for the first time.
Our boys made an impressive start to the game, biting into tackles and putting Dortmund under some early pressure. Marco Reus' free-kick from 20 yards grazed the bar on its way over (18’). At the other end, Krzysztof Piątek couldn’t control Deyovaisio Zeefuik’s pass into the danger area (22’). Two minutes later, Mittelstädt was caught off guard by the Dutchman’s cross and couldn’t steer the ball on target. Around half an hour into the game, Rune Jarstein was called into action for the first time, pulling off an outrageous save to deny Jude Bellingham. The Norwegian got a strong hand to the shot to tip it over the bar against all odds (33’). Hertha stayed compact until the break, looking determined to keep the UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists out.
A goal from nothing
Hertha continued to put in a committed performance at the start of the second half, however they soon fell behind. Out of nowhere, a long-range Julian Brandt strike found its way through Rune Jarstein (54’). Dárdai reacted by bringing on Mathew Leckie and Dodi Lukébakio for Plattenhardt and Zeefuik – the latter suffered a knock in the first half (59’). This meant that the visitors were now playing with a back four as they shuffled things about in search of a goal. Dortmund then came close again through a deflected cross by Mahmoud Dahoud, which hit the bar (61’).
Despite the setback, Dárdai’s team did not give up the fight. The Hungarian introduced Javairô Dilrosun for Córdoba in the 68th minute as the winger made his comeback after 83 days out. Hertha continued to look for an equalizer, but Jarstein was called into action again with a brilliant save from Can after a Dortmund corner in the 77th minute. Ten minutes before the end, Dárdai’s team were reduced to ten men as Darida horribly misjudged a challenge on Marco Reus, catching BVB’s captain on the Achilles’ heel with his studs and leaving the referee no choice but to show him a straight red card (80’). It was the first straight red for the Czech in a Hertha shirt. Despite being behind and outnumbered, the team kept their heads up and continued to show passion and desire as the clock ticked towards full time. However, it was Dortmund who were able to grab a late goal through Yousoufa Moukoko (90+1’) to seal the three points for the away side.
Borussia Dortmund: Hitz – Morey (71' Meunier), Can, Hummels (58' Zagadou), Schulz – Bellingham, Brandt, Dahoud – Reus (84' Moukoko), Haaland, Hazard (71' Reyna)
Hertha BSC: Jarstein – Klünter, Stark, M. Dárdai – Zeefuik (59' Leckie), Tousart, Darida, Mittelstädt, Plattenhardt (59' Lukébakio) – Córdoba (68' Dilrosun), Piątek (82' Alderete)
Goals: 1-0 Brandt (54'), 2-0 Moukoko (90')
Yellow cards: Schulz – Zeefuik
Red card: Darida
Referee: Martin Petersen (Stuttgart)