Hertha unrewarded after strong performance

Hertha BSC came close to securing deserved points away at record Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München. However, the Blue-Whites were missing the necessary stroke of luck to secure a point.

The match could’ve turned out much differently if Davie Selke’s 56th minute shot was not cleared off the line by Joshua Kimmich. This proved to be the turning point in the match as Javi Martinez headed home later in the match to give FC Bayern München all three points. Despite a courageous effort, the Blue-Whites return to the capital empty handed. “We deserved to take more from the match,” said a disappointed Pál Dárdai in his post match press conference.

Dárdai’s side had managed to keep FC Bayern at bay for most of the 90 minutes, competing well in the challenges and preventing the hosts from creating chances. Bayern had the best 2019 record in the Bundesliga going into this match and it proved to be just a little too much for the club from the capital. “In the first half, we played very well tactically and kept Bayern away from our goal,” said the Hertha head coach. The visitors’ defence stood firm while they went in search of an opening goal. Selke did put the ball in the back of the net, albeit from an offside position, while Salomon Kalou’s cross was blocked at the last second by Jerome Boateng. “We really did give everything we had,” added Niklas Stark, who played alongside Fabian Lustenberger and Karim Rekik in a back three.

Dárdai has a premonition

The Hertha head coach didn’t have a reason to change much at half-time. “We corrected a couple of small things at the break,” said Dárdai. The 42-year-old coach felt at half-time that his side would come back out as the stronger side and make the breakthrough. “I said to the team that the first goal would decide this match,” explained the coach. Selke very nearly gave Hertha that breakthrough but the striker was missing the decisive piece of luck. “Of course the lead would’ve helped us but we still played well. Bayern didn’t create as many chances as they normally do at home. They really had to work to get a victory against us today,” admitted Selke.

As is so often the case in football, the match was decided by a set-piece. “We lost the match on a set-piece, we were right in it until then. Bayern may have enjoyed more possession, but we defended well and even created clear chances to score ourselves. It is disappointing that we didn’t take anything from today. We worked hard and deserved to take more.” Rune Jarstein was unable to keep the ball out but the team aren’t blaming the Norwegian for the defeat. “Rune has helped us to secure so many points this season. Times like today can unfortunately happen,” said Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz. Jarstein was critical of himself. “I am a goalkeeper who needs to make saves like that. I didn’t come off my line correctly for that corner and the goal was clearly my fault. I should’ve stayed on my line,” admitted Jarstein.

Take the positives into the forthcoming weeks

Despite the disappointing end to a tough match, Hertha want to take the positives out of their trip to Munich.”We have a strong team with a lot of potential. We are fit, we work hard and give everything we have. It is a shame to lost in Munich but we can take a lot of things out of the match and prepare for next week,” said Lustenburger. Hertha BSC will look to build some momentum when they return home next weekend to face 1. FSV Mainz 05 (Saturday 2nd March, 15:30 CET).

Teams, 24.02.2019