Mönchengladbach- It all looked so good after 70 minutes. One-nil up and Rune Jarstein had barely had a save to make. Ten minutes later and Hertha were chasing the game, as two goals from Thorgan Hazard gave Gladbach a most unlikely of 2-1 wins and left Pal Dardai’s side stunned.
Salomon Kalou, who captained the side for the first time, had given the Blue and Whites a deserved lead at half-time, as the visitors wasted a host of chances to put the game to bed in the second half.
In relation to the 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg last week, Pal Dardai made three changes. Marvin Plattenhardt returned from suspension at left back while Valentino Lazaro and Davie Selke replaced Mathew Leckie and Vedad Ibisevic respectively.
Arguably one of the best away performances of the whole season led to probably the toughest result as a few minutes of madness saw Hertha travel back to Berlin empty handed.
It was a story of what might have been, as Hertha wasted countless chances throughout the 90 minutes to put the game to bed.
Davie Selke fired wide when clean through early on and though the visitors failed to carve out clear cut chances, they restricted their hosts to very little throughout the half.
Vladimir Darida’s speculative effort didn’t trouble Sommer but moments later Selke chested down a wonderful pass from Niklas Stark before the recovering Jannik Vestergaard hooked the ball into the path of Salomon Kalou to poke home.
It was no more than Hertha deserved and when the teams re-emerged for the second half it was Hertha who went looking for the goal’s next game.
Yann Sommer pulled off a tremendous save from Kalou’s header to keep the deficit at one, before Gladbach’s first foray forward saw Patrick Herrmann’s deflected effort rightly ruled out for offside.
Selke then almost doubled the lead when he beat Sommer to Darida’s cross, but the young striker saw his header drop agonisingly wide, before Kalou fired over when eight yards with a clear sight of goal.
But while Hertha seemingly needed endless chances to find the back of the net, Gladbach proved that goals win games, scoring twice in five crazy minutes to turn the tie around.
Thorgan Hazard headed home the equaliser, before coverting from the penalty spot after VAR deemed Fabian Lustenberger’s tackle in the area to be too strong.
Even after that there was time for sub Ibisevic to set up Lazaro, only for a home defender to stick his body in the way.
Rune Jarstein’s presence for a last-minute corner was a surprise, but the Hertha players’ faces as they left the pitch at full-time were anything but those of expectation.
Conclusion and Outlook
Hertha sat eighth in the Bundesliga after 70 minutes, but will end the weekend tenth following Saturday’s defeat, one up from the start of the matchday after Augsburg’s heavy loss to Bayern.
Relegation-threatened Köln are the next visitors to the Olympiastadion, this coming Saturday at 15:30.