Home defeat to Stuttgart

Hertha BSC lost 2-0 at home to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday (17/10/20). Marc-Oliver Kempf and Gonzalo Castro scored for the visitors.


Bruno Labbadia made two changes to the starting line-up from the 4-3 defeat in Munich. Mathew Leckie, returning from injury, and Marvin Plattenhardt started in place of Dodi Lukébakio and Deyovaisio Zeefuik. New signing Omar Alderete was in the matchday squad for the first time, as was the returning Eduard Löwen. Javairô Dilrosun was also named among the substitutes after recovering from a thigh problem. Labbadia’s opposite number Pellegrino Matarazzo made three changes to his starting eleven, as the 42-year-old was forced to replace the injured Borna Sosa, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Waldemar Anton. Tanguy Coulibaly and Atakan Karazor were therefore handed their first Bundesliga starts, while Pascal Stenzel was back in the side after serving a suspension for his red card against FSV Mainz 05.

Match report

The home side set the tone in the first few minutes, but were unable to turn their superiority into meaningful chances. After eight minutes, Hertha were able to breathe a sigh of relief; Tanguy Coulibaly got past Mathew Leckie on the left and put a great cross on the head of Sasa Kalajdzic, but the Austrian headed the ball against the post. The relief was short-lived for the side in blue, however. Daniel Didavi soon found Marc-Oliver Kempf with a free-kick, and Kempf did the rest. His simple header hit the back of the net and gave the visitors the lead (9’). Not long after, there was another set-back for the hosts, as Peter Pekarík landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge with Coulibaly and was forced off through injury (21). Deyovaisio Zeefuik came on in his place. After recovering from this shock, Matheus Cunha drove at the opposition down the left, but there were no takers for his delivery into the middle (25’). Córdoba soon had a go for the Old Lady (32’), while Wamangituka also failed to score from a promising position (33’). Shortly before half-time, Mangala almost diverted Leckie’s cross past his own goalkeeper, but Gregor Kobel reacted well to tip the ball wide. The 1-0 lead held up until the break.

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Rubrik 17.10.2020
Hertha BSC - VfB Stuttgart

Lukébakio brings improvement, but VfB score on the counter

Bruno Labbadia reacted to the deficit at half-time, bringing on Dodi Lukébakio for Mathew Leckie. Yet Stuttgart again created the first notable opportunity of the half; after sloppy play at the back by Hertha, it was Kalajdzic who had a glorious chance to score. Luckily for the home team, the striker sent his header wide from just five yards out (47’). The arrival of Lukébakio seemed to have an effect, though; after Córdoba had shot wide, the Belgian pressured the opposition keeper into giving possession away. The ball fell to Cunha, who found himself one-on-one but shot straight at the keeper (53’). The Old Lady pressed hard for an equaliser with both Dedryck Boyata (58’) and Lucas Tousart (63’) unable to turn the ball home. There was an air of inevitability to what came next; after Hertha gave the ball away while attacking, Castro doubled the visitors’ lead with a clean strike from 20 yards (68’). The Berliners tried everything to find a late goal, but a clinical final touch was missing in the end. Substitutes Eduard Löwen and Krzysztof Piątek (78’) were unable to turn the match around.

Next up

Hertha now lie in 15th place with three points so far. The fixtures don’t get any easier for Bruno Labbadia’s men – Champions League participants RasenBallsport Leipzig are the opponents next week, as Hertha travel to Saxony on Saturday (24/10/20, 15:30 CEST).

First-half highlights

8’: Stuttgart hit the post! Coulibaly gets through on the left and finds Kalajdzic, whose effort comes off the woodwork. And breathe!

9’: And then that happens. A free-kick isn’t cleared and Stuttgart end up with a free header in the middle. Into the net it goes…

21’: Peter Pekarík’s day is over. Deyovaisio Zeefuik enters the fray. Get well soon, Peka!

40’: Woah! Almost an own goal to equalise, as Leckie’s cross hits Mangala’s foot. Kobel is there, though, and it’s a corner to Hertha.

Second-half highlights

47’: Man, oh man… Boyata gives the ball away in the defensive third, but Kalajdzic can’t convert his header. A glorious chance to go 2-0 ahead.

52’: Córdoba! The Colombian turns and fires just wide of the VfB goal.

53’: Another huge chance arrives just seconds later! Kobel is closed down and Cunha winds up with the ball at his feet. The Swiss keeper recovers to get behind the shot and clear the danger. Keep at it!

68’: This can’t be true. Castro picks the ball up and lets fly after we give it away in our own half, and Schwolow’s best effort can’t keep it out. The ball nestles in the bottom corner. 2-0.

Teams, 17.10.2020