Sandro Schwarz kept the same eleven who started in Hertha’s first win of the season away at Augsburg for the visit of Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Prince Boateng, who missed the game in Augsburg due to a short-term muscular problem returned to the bench, replacing Maximilian Mittelstädt. Leverkusen manager Gerardo Seoane made four changes to the team that started in the UEFA Champions League against Club Bruges. Hertha academy product Robert Andrich came off the bench for the visitors.
Kanga hits the post
The first chance of the match fell the way of the Blue-Whites, with Marvin Plattenhardt playing a good ball into the middle with his weaker foot after a one-two with Ejuke, but Dodi Lukébakio was only able to head over (4’). The first chance for Leverkusen was also a big chance, but Patrik Schick’s header was brilliantly turned around the post by Oliver Christensen (11’). Hertha continued to look dangerous going forward and were pressing well in midfield. The next chance came through a snap-shot from Lucas Tousart, which forced Lukáš Hrádecký into a save (19’), before Lukébakio shot over from long range (20’) and Suat Serdar had his shot blocked (24’). Leverkusen responded well, with Christensen showing good reactions to save from Adam Hložek (26’). The best chance of the first half fell to Wilfried Kanga after a floated cross from Lukébakio on the right. Hertha’s number 18 was only able to turn his effort onto the post (37’). In the end, an entertaining first half ended goalless.
End-to-end game and four goals in the second half
Only moments after the second half whistle had sounded Hertha had the ball in the net, but the goalscorer Serdar was standing well offside (46’). Shortly after, it was Leverkusen who took the lead, with Kerem Demirbay curling a free-kick into the top corner, giving Christensen no chance (49’). Hertha did not allow this setback to effect them though, and quickly struck back through Serdar. Kanga did well to hold up the ball before playing it in to Ejuke, who laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Serdar to coolly slot past Hrádecký (55’). Schick had less luck against Christensen moments later, with his right footed shot drifting wide (63’). Around 10 minutes later, Hertha were slightly fortunate to receive the ball after a poor pass from Leverkusen, but what came next had nothing to do with luck. Substitute Marco Richter came onto the loose ball and hammered home a left-footed volley into the top corner from 25 yards (74’). Seoane reacted with a triple change and his side attacked furiously, resulting in an equaliser from Schick (79’). From this point onwards the game became an end-to-end battle. Jean-Paul Boëtius, who provided fresh legs off the bench, had a shot saved by Hrádecký, with his follow-up effort then deflecting onto the post (82’). The shot possibly came off a Leverkusen arm, although no penalty was given. In additional time, Kempf made a superb sliding block to stop another shot from Schick (90+4’). The game finished 2-2, with Hertha narrowly missing out on a first home win of the season.
The next chance for Hertha to claim three points is away in Mainz on Friday (16.09.22, 20:30 CEST).
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Uremović, Kempf, Plattenhardt (C) – Šunjić, Serdar (66’ Boëtius), Tousart (90’ Darida) – Ejuke (66’ Richter), Kanga (81’ Selke), Lukébakio (81’ Dárdai)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Hrádecký (C) – Frimpong (75’ Kossounou), Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapié – Palacios (41’ Aránguiz), Demirbay (75’ Azmoun), Diaby, Hložek (66’ Amiri), Hudson-Odoi (75’ Andrich) – Schick
Goals: 0-1 Demirbay (49’), 1-1 Serdar (55’), 2-1 Richter (74’), 2-2 Schick (79’)
Referee: Benjamin Brand
Yellow cards: Serdar, Šunjić, Selke, Schwarz – Aránguiz