Defeat in Bochum
Exactly 70 days after their last Bundesliga game against 1. FC Köln, Sandro Schwarz set his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for the first game of the year in Bochum. In front of goalkeeper Oliver Christensen, there was a back four of Jonjoe Kenny, Agustín Rogel, Marc Kempf and Maximilian Mittelstädt. Ivan Šunjić and Lucas Tousart, who was captaining the side for the third time in the Bundesliga made up the double pivot, with Marco Richter, Jean-Paul Boëtius and Derry Scherhant in attacking midfield. It was Scherhant’s first start in the Bundesliga. Wilfried Kanga was the lone man up front. Among those on the bench was Jessic Ngankam for the first time since he returned from Fürth last summer. New signing Florian Niederlechner missed the game, as did Stevan Jovetić (muscular problems) and Dodi Lukébakio (suspension).
Tousart beauty ruled out before Hofmann scores out of nothing
Hertha, wearing their red third kit for the first time this Bundesliga season, sought to create attacking opportunities right from the start. Especially on the left-hand side, academy products Mittelstädt and Scherhant looked to break into the Bochum penalty area. The first decent opportunity, however, went the way of the visitors, with a shot from Philipp Förster (5’). At the other end, Hertha seemed to have executed with surgical precision. Tousart hammered into the top left corner after a nice move involving Scherhant, Boëtius and Richter (11’). However, the goal was disallowed by referee Martin Petersen following a VAR intervention because the ball had gone out earlier when crossed by Djanga (13’).
The Blue-Whites continued with a clear head after the disallowed goal, and played as much football as possible in their opponents half, who then took something of a surprise lead. After a cross from Förster, Philipp Hofmann headed back across goal past Christensen to give Bochum a 1-0 lead (22’). Even if the run of play was slightly against the ‘Old Lady’, Schwarz’s side still had chances, with Richter firing narrowly wide from the edge of the box (29’). Hertha then had a stroke of luck as a free kick from Kevin Stöger rattled the crossbar (34’). Shortly before half time, there was another setback for Hertha, as winter new signing Keven Schlotterbeck headed home a Förster corner that travelled straight across the Hertha box (44’).
Hertha put on the pressure after the break, Hofmann goal a slap in the face
The Blue-Whites started the second half unchanged, and went on the attack through Scherhant, before the ball broke to Boëtius, who could only loft over the bar (48’). Hertha had a spell of pressure, with a Richter freekick deflected over the bar, before moments later Hertha’s number 23 had a corner parried away by Manuel Riemann (55’). In the middle of this spell of pressure there was the killer blow by Bochum. After a counter led by Christopher Antwi-Adjei, Hofmann scored his second to make it 3-0 (56’). Schwarz reacted by bringing on fresh legs in the shape of Suat Serdar, Myziane Maolida and Jessic Ngankam. And two of the substitutes almost combined to pull one back for Hertha, with Ngankam heading Myziane’s cross against the bar (77’). Serdar, the other substitute went one better ten minutes later, drilling a shot home to make it 3-1 (87’). However, it did not get any better for Hertha, who left Bochum on Saturday afternoon with nothing.
However, there is not much time to dwell on the result, with Hertha back in action at the Olympiastadion on Tuesday (24.01.23, 20:30 CET) for their first home game of the year against VfL Wolfsburg.
VfL Bochum: Riemann – Soares, Schlotterbeck, Ordets, Janko – Antwi-Adjei (72' Holtmann), Stöger (80‘ Osterhage), Förster (59‘ Kunde), Losilla (C), Zoller (72‘ Asano) – Hofmann (80‘ Ganvoula)
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Mittelstädt – Richter, Šunjić (64‘ Myziane), Boëtius (64‘ Serdar), Tousart (C), Scherhant (64‘ Ngankam) – Kanga
Goals: 1-0 Hofmann (22‘), 2-0 Schlotterbeck (44‘), 3-0 Hofmann (56‘), 3-1 Serdar (87')
Referee: Martin Petersen
Yellow cards: Soares – Kempf
Attendance: 26,000 (sell-out)