Hertha made two changes from their last league game for the derby against FC Union. Lucas Tousart and Krzysztof Piątek came in for the injured Vladimír Darida and Stevan Jovetić, who tested positive for Covid-19. Jordan Torunarigha returned to the squad for the first time since matchday four.
The “Old Lady” had slightly more of the game in the opening phases of play, the hosts sitting deep and playing the long-ball game. Against the run of play, Union took the lead on eight minutes with the first chance of the game: Márton Dárdai miscued a clearance from a hopeful ball forward, his mistake being punished by Taiwo Awoniyi who rolled the ball past Alexander Schwolow in the Hertha goal. Our lads looked to answer back immediately and fought for an equaliser. Suat Serdar’s mazy run was eventually thwarted by the defence (13’). The home side played on the counter in an intense game, Schwolow being called into action to safe from Max Kruse (23’). With half an hour on the clock, the home side doubled their advantage: a deep corner came all the way out to Christopher Trimmel on the edge of the box, and his shot flew through a sea of bodies into the bottom corner. Shortly after, the Blue-Whites attempted to reduce the arrears, Peter Pekarík’s driven effort fizzing just wide after good work from Serdar and Marco Richter (37’). Our number 2 was the scorer of what seemed to be a deficit-halving goal, his header just crossing the goal line, but referee Dr. Felix Brych and his VAR colleagues disallowed the goal for an extremely tight Piątek offside (45’). It meant that the home side went into the break 2-0 up.
Pál Dárdai reacted at half time and made an attacking change, Ishak Belfodil coming on for Tousart. The new 4-4-2 setup worked well for Hertha, Richter’s long-range effort making Andreas Luthe work (47’). The away side kept working tirelessly, but lacked precision in the final third. The home side then started to turn the screw somewhat, Schwolow saving acrobatically from a powerful Kruse shot (58’). Our head coach then made two more changes, with Prince Boateng and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp coming in for Piątek and Maxi Mittelstädt (61’). Despite that, the next chance fell to the home side, with a top-class defensive block to deny former Herthaner Genki Haraguchi (62’). The next ten minutes of the game were played largely in the middle third, after which Pál Dárdai made a further substitution, Dennis Jastrzembski replacing Pekarík (71’). With ten to go, Belfodil dribbled into shooting range, but his effort was no bother for Luthe. In search of a goal to make it 2-1, Dárdai brought on another striker with Davie Selke coming in for Richter, but it was to no avail and the game ended 2-0 to Union.
1. FC Union: Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl (C); Trimmel (90‘ Ryerson), Khedira, Prömel (72‘ Möhwald), Gießelmann; Haraguchi (82‘ Öztunali), Awoniyi (83‘ Becker), Kruse (90‘ Voglsammer)
Hertha BSC: Schwolow; Pekarík (71‘ Jastrzembski), Stark (C), Dárdai, Plattenhardt; Ascacíbar, Tousart (46‘ Belfodil); Richter (86‘ Selke), Serdar, Mittelstädt (61‘ Prince); Piątek (61‘ Ekkelenkamp)
Goals: 1-0 Awoniyi (8‘), 2-0 Trimmel (30‘)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych
Yellow cards: Prömel; Serdar