Trying everything: Goalless draw with Bielefeld
Following the positive results in Mainz and against Freiburg, Pál Dárdai made eight changes to the starting line-up against Bielefeld. Alexander Schwolow, Santiago Ascacíbar and Krzysztof Piątek were the only three to retain their spots in the XI, while Dárdai went with a formation that was similar to the one that won a point in Mainz. Eduard Löwen returned to the squad, while Sami Khedira missed out with a calf issue. Hertha loanee Arne Maier started for the visitors.
The first chance of the match fell to Maximilian Mittelstädt, who had swapped sides with Deyovaisio Zeefuik. After a pass from Jhon Córdoba, Mittelstädt cut in from the right and forced Stefan Ortega into making a save from 17 metres out (8'). Minutes later, Bielefeld's Koakim Nilsson headed just over off a corner (10'). Mittelstädt was then involved in the action once again, colliding with Anderson Lucoqui. The 24-year-old received treatment for several minutes before playing on with a bandaged head (18').
Córdoba hits the post
After the break in play it was Zeefuik who posed the next threat, teeing up Cunha who was unable to trouble Ortega with a deflected shot (19’). Our team wrestled control of the match with passion, desire and plenty of possession, although Alexander Schwolow was called into action twice in quick succession to deny Andreas Voglsammer (25’) and Manuel Prietl (28’). Mittelstädt eventually had to leave the pitch, to be replaced by Jordan Torunarigha, with a suspected concussion (32’). The Old Lady then had the best chance of the first half; Córdoba forced his way through and rattled the post with an off-balance effort (34’). The Colombian also fired into the side netting in the final minute of the half (45’+5).
Dárdai sent out Nemanja Radonjić for the second half, taking off Zeefuik and switching to a 4-4-2. The run of play was similar to the first period, with the blue and white shirts seeing the majority of the ball but struggling to find a way through the resolute Arminia back line. Bielefeld stayed in the game and tested Schwolow with a set-piece headed goalward by Amos Pieper (55’). Four minutes later Cunha was forced off with a heavily bandaged foot; Javairô Dilrosun took the Brazilian’s place (59’). The Dutchman missed the target with a shot from range not long after entering the fray (70’), before the coach made further changes. Lucas Tousart and Krzysztof Piątek made way for Dedryck Boyata and Vladimír Darida (73’). Torunarigha saw an effort blocked (87’) and Dilrosun had a powerful strike saved by Ortega as the clock wound down (88’). In the end, Hertha’s efforts went in rewarded as the game finished goalless after 90 minutes. It marks the sixth game without defeat for our lads and ensures that survival remains in our own hands with three games to play.