Passion and calmness: Hertha beat Gladbach!
Pál Dárdai was forced into a solitary change from his side’s win last time out in Frankfurt. Niklas Stark, who dropped out with an adductor issue, was replaced by the returning Márton Dárdai. Lucas Tousart and Linus Gechter were also back on the bench after recovering from problems. Former Herthaner Luca Netz started for the Foals, who missed Matthias Ginter due to a cold.
Compact defence, effective attack
The returning Netz created the first chance of the game, his cross headed narrowly wide by Nico Elvedi (5’). Two minutes later, the visitors were awarded a penalty by referee Benjamin Cortus, as Joe Scally went down under pressure from Maxi Mittelstädt and Dárdai. There was no contact however, and following intervention from VAR, the penalty was cancelled (10’). After this, the game turned into a real battle, with Gladbach stopping Hertha’s passing with fouls in midfield. Breel Embolo shot well over from a tight angle (18’), with Adi Hütter’s team having more of the game, but our lads holding their own in tackles and keeping their opposition from getting into dangerous positions. At the other end, Krzysztof Piątek was unable to get on the end of Mittelstädt’s cross, under big pressure from Gladbach defenders (29’). Ten minutes later, a crazy goal from Marco Richter broke the deadlock with some wonderful acrobatics: Marvin Plattenhardt’s long throw was first flicked on by Richter, and Piątek’s header was then blocked. The ball ricocheted off Netz back to Richter, whose scissor kick bounced off the turf and looped over the helpless Yan Sommer – 1-0 to the Blue-Whites (40’)! Hertha created several chances in the closing stages of the half, pick of the bunch being a Dárdai header well-saved by Sommer (45+5’). With that, an energetic half ended 1-0 to the home side.
Standing strong to secure the three points
Making changes at the break, Adi Hütter’s side created the first chance of the second period, with Alassane Plea just missing the far post (48’). After an hour, in which the “Old Lady” won almost 60% of their tackles, our head coach made two changes – last-game supersub Jurgen Ekkelenkamp and the returning Myziane Maolida replacing eventual goalscorer Richter and Vladimír Darida (61’). The game was on a knife edge as the final stages approached. Our Herthaner let nothing through the staunch back line, but also lacked that certain something going forward. The five-time German champions became more and more dangerous, but their biggest joy was short-lived, as Plea’s supposed equaliser was ruled out for Embolo’s offside (70’). With 17-year-old Gechter coming in for the worn-out Dárdai and Tousart for Serdar, Hertha defended their opponents’ advances with passion and aplomb. Patrick Herrmann’s shot was covered by Schwolow, but hit the side netting anyway (84’). That was the last big chance in an intense game. Cue the wild celebrations inside the Olympiastadion at the final whistle! With this fourth win of the season, Hertha lie on 12 points and tenth place in the table, until Sunday at least!
Hertha BSC: Schwolow; Pekarík, Boyata (C), M. Dárdai (80’ Gechter), Plattenhardt; Ascacíbar, Serdar (80‘ Tousart); Richter (61’ Maolida), Darida (61’ Ekkelenkamp), Mittelstädt; Piątek (74’ Selke)
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer; Beyer, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Scally, Zakaria, Konè (74‘ Herrmann), Netz (46’ Neuhaus); Hofmann, Stindl (C) (46’ Plea), Embolo
Goals: 1-0 Richter (40‘)