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A point profit with a slice of self criticism

After going behind twice, Hertha battled back to play out a 2-2 draw with Schalke. Despite an impressive performance, the coach and players see room for improvement.

Berlin - Valentino Lazaro let his frustration out in dramatic fashion. Just a few seconds before the final whistle, the Austrian kicked an advertising board with force. An emotional outburst which can easily be forgiven as it showed how happy he was to have battled back in a tough clash with Schalke on Friday night (25.01.19). When the right-back talked about the 2-2 result in the mixed zone after the game, he had managed to calm his adrenaline levels slightly. “We were the better team in the first half but Schalke were very effective and until about the 70th minute. We showed that we wanted to win. Towards the end the opposition invested more in the game and we ended up sharing a point each,” said Hertha’s ambitious number 20.

Pál Dárdai also had his two cents on the match. Of course the coach would have liked to see his team win the second game of the Rückrunde, a feat Hertha have only achieved twice before, once in 1970 and again in 2000. “We could have won, Schalke could have won, so it’s a good result for both teams,” said the coach. “We had to come back because we let in bad goals. If we led it would have changed the game completely. Nevertheless we showed character and worked hard,” said the Hungarian on his team, who, like last year, showed their ability to come back from behind to earn a point.

Successful conversion

Hertha now sit with 28 points after 19 matchday, landing them in 7th place before the rest of the games at the weekend. The fans have little reason to worry. Nevertheless, coach Dárdai still saw room for improvement. “On the left side we did not defend at the forefront well enough. We then switched to a diamond shape and after that a real battle developed,” said the 42-year-old. He has seen that his players are tactically variable and that the side can change their system during an encounter.

Equally gratifying, however, was that Marko Grujic, in his second game back after being out with injury, not only lasted the entire game but also scored a brilliant goal to get Hertha back in the game (39’). The Serbian midfielder did not want to talk too much about his second goal of the season, saying, “We could have done a few things better but we will learn from this and make strides forward.” The Serb is still undefeated in a Hertha shirt. Davie Selke, who had no luck against S04 goalie Nübel, shone once again as the front man, grabbing the assist for Vedad Ibisevic to get the second equaliser of the night. “I did some good things and I suppose I will just have to wait a bit longer until I get another goal,” said the 24-year-old.

Next home game

A good time for Selke’s second goal of the season would probably be next week. On the first weekend of February, Hertha BSC welcomes VfL Wolfsburg (02.02.19, 15:30 CET). Ondrej Duda spoke about the game against Schalke, claiming, “Of course we would like to have won at the Olympiastadion but four points is a decent start and we are happy to be playing against VfL again at home. We want to win for our fans on Saturday.” Should they succeed, Valentino Lazaro will likely let his emotions run again after the final whistle, perhaps this time sparing the advertising board.

Teams, 26.01.2019