Jürgen Klinsmann made two changes from the side that played 120 minutes in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday with Maximilian Mittelstädt and Marko Grujic coming in for Marvin Plattenhardt and Per Skjelbred. The visitors made three changes from their loss to Bayern Munich last week as Jeffrey Bruma, Danny Latza and Adam Szalai all came into the starting XI. Dropping out were Kunde malong, Jean-Peal Boetius and Jean-Philippe Mateta.
It was a chippy game right from the off, but the first chance almost came to Pascal Köpke as Maxi Mittelstädt’s cross was cleared just in front of the striker as he was about to put it away (4’). The capital club dictated the tempo of the game, Krzysztof Piątek’s strike went just over the bar (11’). Mainz continued to be strong in defence as Hertha pressed their back line constantly, looking for a goal. Arne Maier and Pascal Köpke combined well but the latter’s strike was blocked before it could reach the goal (15’). Two minutes later, however, it was the Zerofivers who went in front: Levin Öztunali fed Robin Quaison who cut inside and slotted the ball into the far corner (17’). The ‘Alte Dame’ desperately searched for an equaliser – Arne Maier’s shot from distance was held well by Mainz keeper Robin Zentner. The Rheinlanders had the opportunity to make it 2-0, but Quaison’s chip was too strong (35’). And so that’s how it stayed heading into the break.
To start off the second half, Jürgen Klinsmann brought on Dodi Lukebakio and Javairo Dilrosun for Niklas Stark and Marko Grujic in a bid to go more attacking. The home side began to put on the pressure down the right hand side, but Lukebakio’s crosses couldn’t find anyone in the box (50’, 54’). The Belgian then had a go himself from a long way out and nearly scored a screamer, but his shot went just over the bar (57’). Mainz began to sit back and close off the spaces for Hertha and Klinsmann’s side really found it difficult to get through. Köpke had one of the few chances after a Mittelstädt corner but his shot went wide of the mark (68’). The striker was subbed off shortly after as Vedad Ibisevic was given a chance to shine. Mainz also made changes, and they seemed to work as Aaron combined well with Adam Szalai but missed the target, before the striker then also did the same (78’). Shortly after though, the ball did end up in the Hertha net as Karim Onisiwo had no qualms squaring it to Robin Quaison for his second of the game (82’). A response was definitely forthcoming from Hertha as they pulled one back instantly thanks to an own goal from Jeffrey Bruma following a Dodi Lukebakio corner (85’). The Marius Wolf was sent off for a second bookable offence after committing a late foul (88’). In the last minute then, Mainz sealed their victory as Boyata brought down Onisiwo in the box and Quaison calmly put away the penalty for his hat-trick. And that was how the game ended for the Herthaner – a 3-1 defeat.
Conclusion and Outlook
At the end of the Matchday, Hertha now sit 14th in the table after their loss to Beierlorzer’s men. It was an avoidable defeat, but the team struggled to create chances and get goals to put the game away and the visitors took advantage of that. Now Hertha will move on and look forward to next week when they play SC Paderborn away (15/02/20, 15:30 CEST).