Jürgen Klinsmann made three changes for his first away game as Hertha coach: Marvin Plattenhardt, Lukas Klünter and Ondrej Duda all came in to the starting XI with Maximilian Mittelstädt, Marius Wolf (bench) and Per Skjelbred (muscle problems) all dropping out. Tactically, the Herthaner played in the same formation as they did in the game against BVB with a 3-5-2 formation. Three changes were also made by the hosts with Evan N’Dicka, Sebastian Rode and Dominik Kohr all coming out of the starting lineup in place of Makoto Hasebe, Gelson Fernandes and Andre Silva.
After a quiet start to the match, in which Frankfurt looked the more dangerous of the two sides, Hertha made their first significant contribution after 12 minutes. Ondrej Duda, just a day after celebrating his 25th birthday, played in Davie Selke, but his lobbed attempt went wide of the mark. The Hertha man was deemed questionably offside by the referee, although replays showed the goal may have stood, had he scored. This decision seemed to wake up the away side who seemed much more active than in recent weeks. But it was the home side who had the first real chance through Almamy Toure, but his header was too central and proved to be easy work for Thomas Kraft (20’). Chances then proceeded to follow at both ends with Frankfurt’s Andre Silva and Martin Hinteregger having a pop at Hertha’s goal but it was Dodi Lukebakio who opened the scoring for the visitors after some fine work from Marko Grujic (30’). Just eight minutes later, Frankfurt thought they had the equaliser, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul on Niklas Stark in the build up. This meant that Hertha went in to the break in the lead after what was a pulsating first period.
The second half picked up exactly where the first left off too – intense and fast-paced. Frankfurt had plenty of possession but for all their huffing and puffing, there wasn’t too many clear-cut chances being created. Hertha instead sat back and played defensively, looking to hit out on the break, one of which resulted in a dangerous free kick. Marvin Plattenhardt took it, finding Dedryck Boyata at the back post whose square ball across goal found Marko Grujic to tap home from close range for 2-0 (63’). This comfortable lead didn’t last long though, as Frankfurt went straight up the other end to equalise through Hinteregger (65’). Moments later, the visitors had the chance to make it comfortable once again but Selke’s shot whistled just wide of the left hand post (68’). The game was utterly end to end. Just 2 minutes after the Selke chance, the Frankfurt fans were celebrating what they thought was an equaliser but yet again it was ruled out, this time for a push on goalkeeper Thomas Kraft (71’). In the final stages, the hosts piled on the pressure and the away side simply couldn’t handle it, with Sebastian Rode finally equalising four minutes from time (86’). And so, after 95 entertaining minutes, the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Conclusion and Outlook
After this 2-2 draw, Klinsmann’s men remain 16th in the table. This coming Saturday it’s back to the Olympiastadion for a home tie against SC Freiburg (14/12/19, 15:30 CET).