Bruno Labbadia made one change to the team that started the year so successfully against Schalke. Matheus Cunha was unavailable with a groin injury, so Maximilan Mittelstädt returned to the starting XI. Eduard Löwen and Marton Dárdai were also ruled out at short notice due to muscle problems. Captain Dedryck Boyata (foot injury) was missing again, as were Javairô Dilrosun (knee injury) and Mathew Leckie (ab strain). Santiago Ascacíbar returned to the Hertha bench after a long injury lay-off.
For the hosts, Uwe Neuhaus made four changes from the match against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Nathan de Medina, Mike van der Hoorn and Christian Gebauer began in place of Jacob Laursen, Joakim Nilsson und Reinhold Yabo, while Fabian Kunze came in for the injured Manuel Prietl. Hertha loanee Arne Maier started on the bench.
After a minute’s silence for former Arminia player Ulrich Büscher, who passed away recently, both teams felt their way into the match. Hertha had the first sights of goal, with Peter Pekarík finding Jhon Córdoba in the area early on. The Colombian didn’t make the connection he would have hoped for, however (7’). His second attempt at goal was also unsuccessful three minutes alter. Both teams refused to give anything away for free, with Labbadia’s men fighting to stay on top and enjoying most of the possession in the early stages, without creating any clear-cut chances. Dodi Lukébakio hit a deflected effort into the arms of keeper Stefan Ortega (31’), before referee Winkmann pointed to the penalty spot after contact on Fabian Klos in the Hertha penalty area (35’). After a long delay, Winkmann eventually overturned his decision, deeming Niklas Stark’s contact as insufficient to warrant a penalty. The final minutes of the first half saw Maximilian Mittelstädt (40’) and Bielefeld’s Klos (41’) try their luck without finding the back of the net.
DSC Arminia Bielefeld - Hertha BSC
Yabo decides the match, Piątek’s goal disallowed
Head coach Labbadia threw on forward Jessic Ngankam for Marvin Plattenhardt at half-time, but it was Arminia who enjoyed the early chances of the second half. Omar Alderete missed a cross from Nilsson, allowing the ball to run to Sergio Córdova, who could only hit the side netting (48’). Armenia kept up the pressure, with Ritsu Dōan forcing Alexander Schwolow into a good save (56’). The hosts' next effort did find a way in, however, Reinhold Yabo’s left-footed volley flying past a helpless Schwolow and giving Arminia the lead (64’). Six minutes later, the post saved Hertha’s blushes after Dōan left several defenders in his wake and tried his luck. Labbadia shook things up with substitutes Krzysztof Piątek, Deyovaisio Zeefuik bringing fresh impetus. Hertha looked for a response, with Lukébakio and Niklas Stark having efforts blocked (71’, 75’). Piątekhad the ball in the net after 84 minutes, but Winkmann pulled the striker back for handball. The decision was checked by VAR, and this time the on-field ruling stood. Piątek’s injury-time strike was saved by the ‘keeper, and with that the full-time whistle sounded.
The capital city club find themselves in 12th position after this defeat. The next assignment comes on Saturday afternoon (16/01/21, 15:30 CET) when the Old Lady travels to take on 1. FC Köln.
7’: Plattenhardt plays a cross-field pass to Pekarik, who gets into the box and cuts it back to Córdoba. Our number 15 doesn’t make full contact with the ball and it loops into the gloves of Ortega. There was a goal there for the taking. A shame!
10’: Plattenhardt crosses from the left, finding Lukébakio and Córdoba in the middle. The Colombian doesn’t hesitate to let fly, but his shot lacks the accuracy needed. Another chance, though! Stick at it!
35’: Penalty for Bielefeld... Stark is judged to have brought down Klos. It’s a yellow card too. VAR takes the time to review the decision, though, and Winkmann goes to look at the screen himself, correcting his original decision. The card is also overturned. Well done!
64’: Goal for Bielefeld. Yabo pushes Pekarík aside and volleys home. Yabo was playing right on the edge there, but Winkmann saw no reason to rule the goal out.
70’: Doan hits the post, and the ball bounces back into play. We should have stopped him sooner there, lads!
75’: A foul on Cordoba brings a free-kick around 20 yards out. Lukébakio sends the ball towards the back stick, but Stark can’t force it home even with two bites at the cherry. Bielefeld always manage to get a foot in.
84’: Now a corner on the opposite flank. Lukébakio takes it. Netz picks up the second ball and has a go, and suddenly Krzysztof Piątek is there to turn in the deflection. VAR takes a look at the goal, and it won’t count as the ball hit the striker’s hand.
90+2’: Krzysztof Piątek has a go from the edge of the box, but Ortega make the save comfortably.