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Defeat in home opener

Hertha BSC were beaten 3-1 by the more clinical Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday evening (25/09/20). Jordan Torunarigha forced a late own goal, but it wasn’t enough to change the result.

Starting line-ups

Bruno Labbadia’s team was unchanged from last week’s 4-1 win against SV Werder Bremen. Dedryck Boyata led the side out as captain for the first time. Lukas Klünter took Mathew Leckie’s place on the bench, with the Australian suffering a neck injury prior to the match. For the opposition, Eintracht head coach Adi Hütter made two changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Arminia Bielefeld; Almamy Touré and Stefan Ilsanker came in for Danny da Costa and Dominik Kohr.

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Rubrik 24.09.2020
Hertha BSC - Eintracht Frankfurt

Match report

The match began with a rousing chorus from the 4,000 fans inside the Olympiastadion. Both teams pressed right from the off, attempting to put the opposition defence under pressure. There was a good intensity to the early challenges, and Eintracht’s Filip Kostic was forced off the pitch after picking up a knock in a tangle with Jordan Torunarigha (15’). Both teams were forced to work hard to create chances during the early stages; Maximilian Mittelstädt found some space in the final third, but his effort was tame (16’). At the other end, Bas Dost connected with a Touré cross, sending the ball just wide of Alexander Schwolow’s net (20’). Five minutes later, the visitors looked dangerous on the right flank once again, but André Silva could only head the ball over the crossbar (25’).  Soon, though, the ball did end up in the Hertha goal; Silva drew a foul from captain Boyata in the box, before stepping up to convert the resulting penalty (30’). Hertha were unfortunate to miss out on an instant equaliser. First it was Matheus Cunha, called up to the Brazil national team for the first time today, who missed (31’), before Dodi Lukébakio forced a great save from Kevin Trapp (32’). The visitors were far more clinical, doubling their lead when Dost headed home a free-kick from Daichi Kamada (36’). The boys in blue headed into the break 2-0 behind.

Hertha show signs of improvement – Rode scores against the run of play

Bruno Labbadia made three substitutions at half-time, bringing on Deyovaisio Zeefuik, Arne Maier and Jhon Córdoba for Peter PekaríkVladimir Darida and Krzysztof Piątek. The personnel changes appeared to work, as Labbadia’s men showed more assurance in the final third. Lucas Tousart had the first effort of the half (52’), but the next opportunity was much more dangerous, with Lukébakio just missing after a free-kick from Cunha (57’). The home side were applying much more pressure now, as Cunha (61’) and Córdoba (64’) also had chances to cut the deficit. Last minute interventions from Trapp and his defenders kept the score at 2-0, before the visitors conjured a third goal out of nothing. Sebastian Rode scored with Eintracht’s first opportunity of the half (70’), underlining their effectiveness in front of goal. The home side refused to give up and got a consolation goal after Jordan Torunarigha’s surging solo run down the left wing. The defender then cut the ball back into the centre, forcing Martin Hinteregger to turn it into his own net (76’).  Three minutes before the end, Niklas Stark had a great chance to make things more interesting, but saw his header saved by Trapp. With that, Hertha’s hopes of a comeback disappeared, and the final whistle blew shortly after.

Next up

Hertha fans had probably imagined the home opener going somewhat differently. Despite having the better opportunities – especially in the first 25 minutes of the second half – Hertha were made to suffer by a brutally effective Eintracht side. The capital city club will have to settle for three points from the first two fixtures of the league campaign. Next Sunday (04/10/20, 18:00 CEST), the Old Lady visit Munich to face the recently-crowned UEFA Super Cup winners, FC Bayern München.

First-half highlights

16 minute: The first chance for the boys in blue. Maximilian Mittelstädt finds space to let fly, but it’s easy pickings for Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp.

20 minute: The guests have their first attempt at goal. Almamy Touré crosses from the right wing, but Bas Dost heads wide of the near post.

25 minute: Frankfurt with another chance. Play is allowed to continue despite Lucas Tousart being on the floor, and Almamy Touré puts in another ball from the right. André Silva heads over.

30 minute: Referee Bastian Dankert points to the spot after Dedryck Boyata brings down André Silva. The visitors have a penalty… and the opening goal. Silva shoots to his left, and Alexander Schwolow has no chance despite diving the right way.

32 minute: Almost an equaliser! Hertha work their way into the opposition half, and Maximilian Mittelstädt puts a quick ball into the box. Dodi Lukébakio almost finds the net, but it’s a great stop from Kevin Trapp.

36 minute: Eintracht grab a second from a free-kick. Daichi Kamada puts the ball into the middle, where Bas Dost rises highest to head home.

Second-half highlights

52 minute: Hertha seem to have woken up now. Kevin Trapp punches a cross away, before Lucas Tousart follows up with a shot straight at the keeper.

57 minute: Matheus Cunha puts a free-kick into the penalty area, where Dodi Lukébakio attempts a header. He misses by a fraction. Keep it going, lads!

70 minute: Not what we wanted. 3-0 to SGE. Sebastian Rode collects the ball on the edge of the box and is able to curl one into the far corner after nobody closes him down.

76 minute: 3-1! We finally put the ball in the net. Jordan Torunarigha drives forward down the left wing, cutting through the opposition and putting the ball into the six-yard box. In the middle, Martin Hinteregger connects with the ball and unwillingly turns the ball home. More of the same, please!

87 minute: ...Eintracht clear the ball, but only as far as Maximilian Mittelstädt, who finds his teammate Niklas Stark in the middle. Stark’s header almost finds a way in, but it’s game over.

Teams, 25.09.2020