Pál Dárdai returned to the Olympiastadion dugout after 629 days away. He made three changes from the match in Frankfurt, handing starts to Peter Pekarík, Maximilian Mittelstädt and Vladimír Darida in place of Lukas Klünter, Luca Netz und Mattéo Guendouzi. New signings Sami Khedira and Nemanja Radonjić began on the bench. For Bayern, Hansi Flick also made three changes: Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sané started over Jérôme Boateng, Alphonso Davies and Marc Roca.
The boys in blue and white created the first chance of the match. Darida played in Dodi Lukébakio with a well-time pass down the middle, but Manuel Neuer stuck out a foot to stop the Belgian’s weak effort (3’). A few minutes later, it was Rune Jarstein’s turn to show off his reflexes as he saved an effort from Sané (5’). With ten minutes on the clock, the ‘keeper came off his line in an attempt to get the ball, but arrived too late and brought down Sané in the box. Jarstein remained calm, though, and pulled off a stunning save to deny Robert Lewandowski from the spot (11’). With the snowfall getting heavier and heavier, the game itself was full of action at both ends. Krzysztof Piątek tested Neuer twice (14’, 20’), but the ball was soon in the net at the wrong end of the pitch. A shot from Kingsley Coman took a wicked deflection off Niklas Stark and looped into the corner of Jarstein’s goal (21’). Jarstein stood firm a few minutes later to deny the Frenchman a second goal (24’). The side from Berlin kept working hard to keep Bayern at bay. After such a promising start, however, clear-cut chances became harder to come by for Hertha. Lewandowski missed with a header (37’) before Lukébakio tested Neuer from a free-kick at the other end (45’).
Hertha BSC - FC Bayern München
Khedira and Radonjić make their debuts - Goal disallowed for offside
Head coach Dárdai was forced into a change of personnel at half-time, bringing on Omar Alderete for Jordan Torunarigha after Torunarigha suffered a hip injury at the end of the opening period. The first chance of the half fell to Bayern, but Jarstein thwarted the effort once again (47’). The intensity of the match refused to relent and Dárdai switched things up by throwing on Guendouzi for Darida (56’). New signing Radonjić soon entered the fray as well, replacing Piątek (63’). Seconds later the Serb had the ball in the net, but both he and the supporting Lukébakio were offside (64’). The subs were involved again in Hertha’s next attack; this time it was Guendouzi who shot at Neuer from an extremely tight angle (68’). The changes sparked some life into Hertha and the equaliser didn’t seem too far away. The visitors reacted with some substitutions of their own as they looked to take back control and increase the pressure on the Hertha defence. Ten minutes from time, the Hertha boss made his last roll of the dice, bringing on Khedira and Mathew Leckie in place of Santiago Ascacíbar and Lukébakio. The capital city club had more chances to equalise as the clock ran down; first Radonjić shot into the arms of Neuer (87’) before Cunha’s chip fooled Neuer but landed just the wrong side of the post (89’). With that, the game finished 1-0.
After the clash with the reigning champions, the Old Lady remain in 15th place with 17 points. The next task for Dárdai’s men is a trip to Stuttgart on Saturday (13/02/21).