After pre-season friendly number six, Hertha BSC have now tasted their first defeat. The Blue-Whites were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Atalanta B.C. on Saturday night. It was a fairly even first half in Bergamo. Berlin, wearing the new white alternate strip for the first time, took the lead on 26 minutes through Karim Rekik’s header. However, a quickfire double from Barrow and then Mancini had Atalanta 2-1 ahead at the break.
Hertha made the perfect start to the half. Two substitutes combined less than a minute after the restart, as Pascal Köpke played Javairo Dilrosun in behind, and the young Dutchman kept his cool to level the scores with a little help from the inside of the post. The home side didn’t let the equaliser faze them and it wasn’t long until they were back in front. Klünter gave away a penalty and Ilicic outwitted Jarstein from twelve yards in the 56th minute. Berlin pushed for another leveller, but substitute Alexander Esswein’s fizzing shot past the post was the closest they came. “I’m happy with the performance, but not the result,” said Pál Dárdai following the 3-2 loss. “We had enough chances to get a draw or even beat a strong opponent today. The young boys playing out wide really impressed me.”
Hertha XI: Kraft (45’ Jarstein) - Klünter (60’ Esswein), Stark, Rekik (60’ Torunarigha), Mittelstädt - Lustenberger (60’ Skjelbred), Duda (45’ Kalou), Maier (60’ Kade) - Dárdai (45’ Dilrosun), Lazaro (60’ Jastrzembski) - Ibisevic (45’ Köpke)
Goals: 0-1 Rekik (26’), 1-1 Barrow (30’), 2-1 Mancini (34’), 2-2 Dilrosun (46’), 3-2 Ilicic (56’)
Venue: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, Bergamo