Ibrahim Maza competes for the ball.
First team | March 10, 2024, 03:26 PM

Defeat against the league leaders

Pál Dárdai made one change from the side which drew against Holstein Kiel last time out for his side’s trip to St. Pauli, with Marten Winkler given the nod over Ibrahim Maza on the right flank. Hertha were forced into making an additional change shortly before kick-off, however, as muscular problems ruled Tjark Ernst out – Marius Gersbeck deputised between the sticks.

Hertha 2-0 down at the break

The clash at the Millerntor-Stadion got off to a quick start, with Hertha initially holding firm against a stream of St. Pauli attacks. Their resistance would be broken on 16 minutes, however, as Manolis Saliakas’ strike deflected off Toni Leistner to leave Gersbeck with no chance. Haris Tabaković had a chance to level the scores four minutes later, but saw his headed effort sail wide of the far post. There was to be no leveller, though, and St. Pauli extended their advantage on 44 minutes courtesy of Marcel Hartel.

A goalless second half

The start of the second half saw Hertha make a triple substitution, with Tabaković, Winkler and Leistner replaced by Maza, Scherhant and Márton Dárdai, who was in the squad for the first time since mid-February. It would be the hosts, though, who started the second period the brighter of the two sides. Saad, Saliakas and Eggestein all spurned chances (50’, 52’, 53’). Hertha continued to look for a goal of their own, with Scherhant and Maza coming close to pulling one back (60’, 61’), but the game fizzled out as it entered its closing stages, with St. Pauli simply aiming to see the game out.

Pascal Klemens during the game against St. Pauli.

The defeat ends a run of four games unbeaten for Dárdai’s men, who sit in 11th place in the 2. Bundesliga on 34 points. Next Sunday (17th March, 13:30 CET) will see Hertha welcome FC Schalke 04 to the Olympiastadion.

Captain Fabian Reese after the game: We were a bit too slow, especially in the first half and didn’t use a couple of situations we created well, so you definitely have to say St. Pauli were the deserved winners. We have to keep looking week by week and always see the next game as the most important one, perform as well possible and optimally pick up three points. We would do well to do that instead of somehow dreaming or whatever. We had a number of chances to maybe change the momentum once again. We didn’t managed to do that – that’s truth of it at the end of the day. Obviously, we will keep giving everything, like before. Honest work, basic values and passion have to be the focus.

FC St. Pauli: Vasilj – Dźwigała, Wahl, Mets (Kemlein 80’) – Saliakas (Ritzka 77’), Irvine (C), Hartel, Treu – Metcalfe (Boukhalfa 89’), J. Eggestein, Saad (Scheller 89’)

Hertha BSC: Gersbeck – Kenny, Gechter, Leistner (C) (M. Dárdai 46’), Karbownik – Klemens (Bouchalakis 66’), Barkok – Winkler (Scherhant 46’), P. Dárdai, Reese – Tabaković (Maza 46’)

Goals: 1-0 Saliakas (16’), 2-0 Hartel (44’)

Referee: Harm Osmers

Yellow cards: Saliakas – Kenny

Attendance: 29,546

by Hertha BSC