In comparison to the 2-1 home victory over Mainz 05, Pál Dárdai made three changes to his starting XI. Davie Selke (hip injury), Valentino Lazaro (knee injury) and Arne Maier were replaced by Vedad Ibišević, Lukas Klünter and Karim Rekik, who was back after serving his one match suspension. Freiburg’s coach named the same starting XI that lost 2-0 to Leverkusen last week.
In the game between the two longest-serving Bundesliga coaches, the spectators at the Schwarzwaldstadion did not have to wait long for the first chance of the game. Joachim Löw was also in attendance. Janik Haberer came close in the second minute of the game as the home side threatened from early on. Seven minutes later, Marko Grujić had a long range effort as the away side also grew into the game. The first big chance of the game however, fell to Niklas Stark, whose header from an Ondrej Duda freekick was well saved by the Freiburg goalkeeper (25’). Two minutes later, the home side took the lead as Nils Peterson headed home a Vincenzo Grifo cross to make it 1-0. From then on, the home side grew in confidence and Hertha had to defend well. However, it was Hertha who had the biggest chance before the break as Ondrej Duda headed the ball just wide of the post from a Maximilian Mittelstädt cross and so the first half ended 1-0 to Freiburg.
The second half started with an early substitution for Hertha as Arne Maier replaced Fabian Lustenberger. The home side had the first chance of the half but Rune Jarstein comfortably saved Peterson’s effort. Hertha were better in the second half and offered more going forward. Grujić threatened the goal with another long shot but his effort was saved. In this phase of the game, Hertha dominated possession and had the ball in Freiburg’s half. The away side were awarded for this good play as captain Vedad Ibišević scored after a good cross from Jordan Torunarigha to make it 1-1. However, the Herthaner’s joy did not last long as a Grifo corner was headed into his own net by Ibišević and the home side went up 2-1. The Old Lady were unable to recover from this sucker-punch and the game ended in a disappointing defeat.
Outlook and conclusion
After the disappointing 2-1 defeat, the Blue-Whites sit in 9th with 35 points. The capital club will play against Borussia Dortmund next Saturday (16/03/19, 18:30 CET) at the Olympiastadion.