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No luck for Hertha

Hertha had a game of contrasting halves against Freiburg on Saturday, with captain Vedad Ibišević in particular suffering contrasting emotions.

Vedad Ibisević's header found the back of his own net.

In the 76th minute against Freiburg, it looked as though Hertha had finally secured themselves a point. After some good link-up play between Marko Grujić, Ondrej Duda, Salomon Kalou and Jordan Torunarigha, Vedad Ibišević made the score 1-1. Head coach Pál Dárdai called it a “beautiful goal”, whilst Grujić said it was “the best move of the game.” Vedator himself credited the system change from 3-5-2 to 4-2-3-1 at half time.

Similar to against Mainz, but no happy ending

Everything seemed to be against Hertha picking up any points in Freiburg on Saturday. Four minutes away they equalised, the ball was in the back of their own net again, coming off Vedad Ibisević. Freiburg’s Vincenzo Grifo took a corner, and the ball bounced off the Hertha striker and into the goal. It’s the second time in two weeks that the misfortune of an own goal has struck, with Niklas Stark putting into his own net against Mainz. However in Freiburg, there was no turnaround to come. Pál Dárdai said “This time it hit Vedad. I can’t really blame him. The corner was taken well, and the ball just hits his head and goes in.” “I was so unlucky with how the ball hit me, that it went behind me. It’s really annoying, and the defeat really hurts,” added Ibisević.

In Dárdai’s opinion, the cause for the defeat lies elsewhere: “I get the impression that it’s a mental thing with the team, whenever we have the chance to climb up the table. You could see that with another scrappy first half.” Lukas Klünter, who came in for the injured Valentino Lazaro, shared this view: “We were surprised at ourselves in the first half and a little lost. After the break, we switched to four at the back and it was better, but we didn’t manage to score more despite having more possession.”

Dárdai wants help from above

Hertha had 60% possession, and had several more shots at goal than their opponents (16-10). However, they were punished for their poor first half in the end. Even changing the system in the second half didn’t lead to any points. Do Hertha need help from above? “We’ll have to go to church with the team. It’s really hard with what we’ve been having in front of goal recently,” joked the boss. “We dropped a point in Freiburg, a point that we deserved after our second half,” he added.

Teams, 10.03.2019