Three days after the 1-0 away win in Leverkusen, coach Jürgen Klinsmann changed his starting XI in just one position. Eduard Löwen came in to the line up for the suspended Marko Grujic to partner up with Per Skjelbred in midfield. Marco Rose made four changes from his side’s win over Paderborn: Rami Bensebaini, Christoph Kramer, breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram all started for the visitors in place of Oscar Wendt, Patrick Herrmann, Jonas Hofmann and Lars Stindl.
From the first minute you could hear all 50,208 Hertha fans screaming and shouting for their side on the last game of the Hinrunde at the Olympiastadion. The fans were very positive against a strong opponent in Gladbach, who are currently second in the table. From the off the home side tried to stifle the away side’s momentum, not allowing them any attacks. In contrast to the game away at Leverkusen however, Hertha often sprang forward and looked to be on the front foot for spells in the first half. First it was Dodi Lukebakio who headed over a cross from Javairo Dilrosun (19’), before Eduard Löwen struck the bar from a great free kick (21’). Lukebakio went just as close a few minutes later, this time striking the post (29’). There wasn’t much to see from the guests in the first half, other than a shot from Marcus Thuram after 38 minutes. They constantly found themselves stymied by a strong Hertha midfield and defence, which unfortunately wasn’t rewarded for its efforts with a goal. And so that’s how it stayed heading in to the dressing rooms at half time.
The visitors were more active after the break and looked more dangerous in the final third. Thuram just failed to get onto the end of Kramer's cross (55'), before Denis Zakaria tried his luck from range. Thankfully, Rune Jarstein reacted well to make the save (55'). The Norwegian shot-stopper was called into action again a few minutes later to deny Alassane Plea (59'). A period of end-to-end football followed, which saw Hertha really start to grow into the game after a struggling to impose themselves. Dedryck Boyata got his head on captain Marvin Plattenhardt's for the hosts' best chance of the second half up to that point (72'). Gladbach also came close from a Matthias Ginter header shortly afterwards (77'). Both teams pushed to find a winner in the closing stages but neither Hertha nor Borussia managed it and the last game of 2019 finished in a 0-0 draw.
Conclusion and Outlook
After a goalless draw, Hertha BSC extended their unbeaten run to four games, ending the Hinrunde with 19 points which leaves them in 12th place heading in to the second half of the season. After coach Klinsmann and the boys restart their training on 29th December, they will travel to Orlando on 2nd January for a training camp. The Rückrunde will be kicked off on 19th January when the boys face FC Bayern in their first game.HerthH