Fabian Reese embraces goalscorer Florian Niederlechner.
First team | March 17, 2024, 03:24 PM

Decisive home victory against Schalke

Pál Dárdai made four changes from the side which suffered defeat last time out against St. Pauli. In the defence, Márton Dárdai replaced Toni Leistner, while Deyovaisio Zeefuik came in for the suspended Jonjoe Kenny. Jeremy Dudziak partnered Pascal Klemens in defensive midfield, while Ibrahim Maza started in the front three. Aymen Barkok was on the bench, but Palkó Dárdai missed out on the matchday squad with a stomach bug.

A dream start to a frantic first half

The Old Lady got off to the perfect start at the Olympiastadion, as Dudziak did brilliantly to dribble into the penalty area from the left flank. His ball across the six-yard box cannoned off a Schalke defender and the post, before Haris Tabaković converted from close range to make it 1-0 (2’). The visitors, though, responded quickly, and after Marius Gersbeck – in again for the injured Tjark Ernst – could only parry an effort from Bryan Lasme, Simon Terodde was on hand to equalise (5’). It would take just eight more minutes for the third goal of the afternoon to arrive, with Fabian Reese skipping past Henning Matriciani and putting it on a plate for Tabaković to add his second of the afternoon without a great deal of difficulty.

The half continued to be eventful, with chances for Linus Gechter, Dárdai and Reese coming to nothing, before Schalke went up the other end on 27 minutes and grabbed another equalising goal through Terodde. Marten Winkler would ensure that Hertha went into the break with a deserved lead, latching onto a through ball from Tabaković and cutting inside to coolly slot home with half-time approaching (39’).

Marten Winkler celebrates his second goal against Schalke.

Winkler continues the momentum

Hertha started the second half in much the same vein as they had finished the first. Schalke ‘keeper Müller had to be alert to deal with efforts from Maza and Tabaković (50’, 53’), but on 56 minutes mistimed his attempt to claim the ball, allowing Winkler to head in a pinpoint cross from Reese to make it 4-2. Hertha continued to push, but the next goal would have to wait until after a personnel change – Bouchalakis and Niederlechner were introduced with just under 20 minutes left on the clock, and the latter wasted no time in making his mark, drilling the ball past Müller at the near post to put an end to the game as a contest. The boys in blue and white saw out the match with confidence, and will be looking for a similar performance after the international break, when they welcome 1. FC Nürnberg to the Olympiastadion on Saturday 30th March (20:30 CET).

Speaking after the game, captain Fabian Reese told us: “We ticked a lot of boxes today. We made things a bit more exciting than they needed to be in the first half, but at the end of the day it was a deserved victory. More than anything else, my job is to set up goals for my team-mates. The team gave me a lot to work with and I was able to show my quality in the final third – it all came together brilliantly again today.”

Hertha BSC: Gersbeck – Zeefuik (Pekarik 83’), Gechter, M. Dárdai, Karbownik – Klemens, Dudziak (Bouchalakis 72’) – Winkler (Scherhant 90’), Maza (Niederlechner 72’), Reese (C) – Tabaković (Prevljak 83’)

FC Schalke 04: Müller – Matriciani, Kalas, Schallenberg, Murkin – Kabadayı (Ouédraogo 72’), Latza (Kaminski 55’), Ouwejan (Churlinov 72’) – Karaman (Topp 62’) – Terodde (C), Lasme (Drexler 62’)

Goals: 1-0 Tabaković (2’), 1-1 Terodde (5’), 2-1 Tabaković (13’), 2-2 Terodde (27’), 3-2 Winkler (39’), 4-2 Winkler (56’), 5-2 Niederlechner (75’)

Referee: Sven Jablonski

Yellow card: Terodde

Attendance: 69,135

by Hertha BSC