Defeat to Borussia Dortmund
Hertha BSC lost 5-2 at home to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening. Erling Haaland was the difference-maker as he scored four times in the second half.
Head coach Bruno Labbadia made just one change to the starting XI that beat Augsburg last time out, as Krzysztof Piątek replaced the injured Jhon Córdoba. Lucas Tousart returned to the bench following the knee injury which caused him to miss time before the international break. For the visitors, all eyes were on youngster Youssoufa Moukoko, who was named as a Bundesliga substitute for the first time following his 16th birthday yesterday. BVB boss Lucien Favre, once of Hertha, also named two former Hertha players on the bench, Nico Schulz and Łukasz Piszczek.
Hertha almost made the dream start to the match, with Dodi Lukébakio firing the ball over the bar following some quick build-up play (7’). That moment was the first 15 minutes in a nutshell, as Hertha were aggressive and eager to break up Dortmund’s play before transitioning quickly into attacking areas. Dortmund soon blocked another effort from Vladimir Darida (9’). The black-and-yellows then threatened for the first time through Erling Haaland, but Peter Pekarík was able to stop the Norwegian, before Alexander Schwolow saved Marco Reus’ effort on the rebound (16’). At the other end it was Matheus Cunha, always comfortable on the ball, who had the next attempt but the Brazilian didn’t catch the ball quite as he would have hoped (22’). Darida tested Roman Bürki with an effort four minutes later (26’). A courageous first-half performance from Labbadia’s men soon brought the deserved reward; Lukébakio laid the ball off for Cunha, who hit the back of the net with a well-placed shot from distance (33’). Dortmund responded by taking the majority of the possession, but the boys in blue continued to win all the important duels. On the stroke of half-time, Raphaël Guerreiro found himself in front of Schwolow and sent the ball towards Haaland, but the striker was unable to apply the finishing touch from close in (45’+1).
Hertha BSC - Borussia Dortmund
BVB reacted immediately after the break, with Haaland scoring with the first chance of the half after good work from Emre Can (47’). Pekarík almost put Hertha back in front, but Bürki and co. managed to snuff out the danger (48’). Instead, it was Dortmund who took the lead, with Haaland scoring again after a pass from Julian Brandt (49’). At the other end Pekarík found himself with another chance, but the right-back was unable to control his header and saw the ball fly over the bar (51’). The side from Berlin were bravely seeking a reply when the sucker-punch arrived; goal machine Haaland capitalised on a defensive lapse to beat the helpless Schwolow for the third time (62’). The match was over as a contest soon after, when Guerreiro prodded home a fourth from the floor (70’). Labbadia’s side refused to give up, though, and Cunha converted a penalty after Guendouzi was brought down in the box (79’). 44 seconds later, however, Haaland added his fourth to restore the lead (80’). Mathew Leckie, Eduard Löwen, Jessic Ngankam, Maxi Mittelstädt and Deyovaisio Zweefuik entered the fray late on, as did Moukoko for the visitors. The Dortmund teenager became the youngest Bundesliga player of all time.
Hertha had their eyes on a first home win of the season after an excellent first half, but the balance of the match tipped entirely within just a few minutes of the restart. The goals came too easily for Dortmund in the second half, meaning that Hertha remain on seven points with eight matches now gone. Next up for Labbadia and the team is a trip to face Bayer Leverkusen next Sunday (29/11/20, 15:30 CET).
7’: The first opportunity belongs to the Old Lady. Dodi Lukébakio lets fly from 25 yards, but it’s too high.
9’: Borussia make a mistake in possession and the ball falls to Vladimir Darida, whose effort is blocked by Mats Hummels.
16’: The visitors make themselves known on the attack. The Hertha defence blocks Erling Haaland’s effort and Alexander Schwolow turns the follow-up effort onto the post.
36’: YEEEEEES! Piątek gets the ball to Lukébakio, who finds Matheus Cunha. The number 10 hits a great strike past Roman Bürki from 20 yards. No chance for the keeper!
45’: A chance for BVB to equalise right before the break. Guerreiro looks for Haaland just a few yards from goal, but he can’t quite reach the ball.
47’: There is the equaliser. The guests combine down the right flank before Emre Can puts a searching ball into the box, finding Haaland free in the middle. The Norwegian taps home a simple finish.
49’: This can’t be happening. BVB with the second punch to the gut. Haaland gives the defence the slip and nets his second from close range.
51’: Pekarík has a dangerous headed effort deflected over the bar at the other end. Just a corner.
62’: Three for BVB. Three for Haaland.
70’: The clincher? Thomas Meunier finds Guerreiro in the middle. The Portuguese battles with Pekarík in the box and they both hit the deck, but the BVB man is able to score anyway. 4-1.
79’: Manuel Akanji fouls Guendouzi in the box. Matheus Cunha takes the spot kick and sends Bürki the wrong way.
80’: And BVB respond by immediately restoring the lead. Haaland… again.