Hertha BSC hosted VfL Bochum in their final home game of the Bundesliga season, and the situation was crystal clear: only three points would be enough to keep the dreams of avoiding relegation alive. Head coach Pál Dárdai made four changes to the side that faced Köln, bringing in Agustín Rogel and Márton Dárdai for Filip Uremović (concussion) and Marc Kempf (rib) in central defence. Maximilian Mittelstädt replaced Marvin Plattenhardt, while Suat Serdar came into the starting XI to partner captain Prince Boateng in centre midfield.
Lukébakio’s goal ruled out
In a fiery atmosphere at the Olympiastadion, both teams looked to start on the front foot. Philipp Hofmann’s header narrowly missed the target (5’) for the visitors, while Marco Richter but a dangerous ball into the area at the other end but couldn’t find a Hertha attacker (6’). Hertha had more chances to open the scoring, Dodi Lukébakio breaking through down the right and driving the ball towards goal, forcing Manuel Riemann into a save (17’). Two minutes later, the Belgian was involved again and broke away from the half way line before finishing into the bottom corner (19’). The celebrations were short lived, however, when referee Dr. Felix Byrch ruled the goal our after a VAR check due to a perceived foul in the build up by Stefan Jovetić (20’).
Ten minutes later it was Bochum who came closest to going ahead when Takuma Asano headed goalwards. However, Oliver Christensen showed brilliant reactions to save, before Philipp Förster put the ball just wide four minutes later. The final chance of the half fell the way of Lukébakio, who saw his low shot saved by Riemann (39’).
Richter almost gave Hertha the perfect start to the second half, but Bochum’s Riemann was on hand to save again (46’). The Bochum goalkeeper was in action again three minutes later, as Jovetić met Richter’s cross with a header that would have dipped just under the bar had it not been for the 34-year-old. Dárdai’s side kept pushing on and were the side closer to taking the lead, but another chance each for Jovetić and Richter came to nothing (59’). The opening goal finally came, when Lucas Tousart headed home a Richter corner (63’). Dárdai made a double change after the goal and Prince was given a warming reception by the 70,692 fans inside the ground as he and Richter made way for Chidera Ejuke and Jean-Paul Boëtius (64‘). Bochum looked to respond quickly but Christensen produced another top save to deny Asano (68’) and Gerrit Holtmann also missed the target (72’).
Bochum equalise late on
Ejuke and Jovetić eached missed the target as they looked to double the lead (74’, 75’), before Lukébakio found himself in a dangerous position on the counter attack with Riemann a long way out of his goal, but his ball was blocked by an onrushing Bochum defender as he looked to cut the ball back from the byline (77’). A few mintues later Jovetić couldn’t find the back of the net, before Ejuke was denied by the post in the 90th minute. Marvin Plattenhardt and Florian Niederlechner came on for the closing minutes, but a Bochum corner lead to heartbreak, when Keven Schlotterbeck headed home from close range in the fourth minute of added time and condemn Hertha BSC to relegation.
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Rogel, M. Dárdai, Mittelstädt (86' Plattenhardt) – Tousart, Serdar (86' Niederlechner) – Lukébakio, Prince (C) (65' Boetius), Richter (65' Ejuke) – Jovetić
VfL Bochum: Riemann – Janko, Ordets, Mašović (81' Schlotterbeck), Heintz (74' Broschinski) – Förster (70' Holtmann), Losilla (C), Stöger – Asano (81' Zoller), Hofmann, Antwi-Adjei
Goals: 1-0 Tousart (64'), 1-1 Schlotterbeck (90'+4)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych
Yellow cards: Mittelstädt – Losilla