“Never change a winning team”. Head coach Pál Dárdai chose the exact same starting XI that beat Nürnberg 3-1 last weekend. Niklas Stark made his 100th appearance for the club. Davie Selke and Vedad Ibišević spearheaded the attack once again. The opponents made just one change to their team with Yevhen Konoplyanka coming in for the suspended Weston McKennie. On a cold Friday evening, Domenico Tedesco was forced into making two substitutions due to injury.
Within a minute, Rune Jarstein was forced into the first save of the game; denying Steven Skrzybski in a one-on-one (1’). Unhinged from the early chance, Hertha slowly eased more and more into the game and became more dangerous going forward. However, the first goal came for the away side through Yevhen Konoplyanka. The Ukrainian winger cut in from the left and let fly from just outside the box, leaving Jarstein with no chance (17’). This goal however, only woke up the home side and they continued to attack with purpose and a goal was undoubtedly on the way. Some superb combination play followed by a super back heel from Ondrej Duda to Grujić, then ended with a composed finish from the Serbian (39’). It was a well deserved equaliser for the Berliners. Nevertheless, within five minutes, the away side took the lead again after a cutback was converted by Mark Uth from inside the box (44’). In a hectic end to the first half, the capital club once again equalised, this time Selke’s cross finding Ibišević in the box, which was headed into the back of the net as the two teams went in at half time with the score 2-2.
Even after the restart, the 43,027 spectators were treated to a decent game of football for the large part, with both teams creating good chances. Suat Serdar hit the side-netting early on in the second half, before Nübel denied Selke at the other end some ten minutes later. With 20 minutes remaining, Rune Jarstein stepped up with some goalkeeping heroics to prevent Schalke taking the lead for a third time. The Norwegian shot-stopper first denying Serdar and then moments later Skrzybski with an even more impressive save. The last chance of the game fell to Schalke centre back Salif Sané, who blazed his effort over Jarstein’s goal, leaving the score at 2-2.
Conclusion and Outlook
Hertha BSC currently sit in seventh place with 28 points. Hertha will invite VfL Wolfsburg to the Olympiastadion next Saturday on matchday 20.