On his birthday, head coach Ante Covic made one change to the lineup from last weekend, bringing in Marvin Plattenhardt for Salomon Kalou after the left back returned to team training this week. Maximilian Mittelstädt was therefore pushed further up the field to left wing. It wasn’t just Plattenhardt making a return during the game either as Javairo Dilrosun also played for the first time in this young season after recovering from a thigh injury.
Both teams started brightly in the hot summer sun of Gelsenkirchen with Benito Raman (3’) for the home side and Vladimir Darida (5’) for the visitors both firing wide early in the game. Just five minutes later, Dodi Lukebakio had a great chance to take the lead after being put in nicely by Ondrej Duda. The Belgian, unchallenged in the box, hit a low shot straight at FC Schalke 04 keeper who saved well. Although the game was lacking in clear goalscoring opportunities, it stayed relatively entertaining throughout. The ‘Knappen’ had more possession, but the Herthaner were strong defensively and waited patiently for their opportunities to counter. The next chance came from a dead ball situation as Plattenhardt found Duda on the left who subsequently struck at goal but it was a comfortable save for Alexander Nübel (28’). At the other end, Rune Jarstein watched as a powerful strike from Guido Burgstaller whistled past the post (33’). Shortly after though, the Norwegian was called into action, but couldn’t stop an unlucky Niklas Stark’s deflected block from going across the line after a cross from Daniel Caligiuri. The Herthaner were lucky not to concede again just after as Burgstaller pounced on a miscommunication between Stark and Jarstein, only to put his effort over the bar from six yards out (43’). They almost hit back on the counter though as Darida set away Lukebakio, only for the Belgian to miscontrol in front of goal (45’), sending the club from the capital in to half time 1-0 down.
The second half couldn’t have started much worse for them either. After a slick Schalke counter attack, Burgstaller was set free and hit a shot past Jarstein. In trying to block the effort, however, Karim Rekik unfortunately carried the ball over the line himself to make it 2-0 (48’). Not two minutes later, Vedad Ibisevic answered for the visitors after a deflected shot from Duda found its way into the path of the striker, only to see his effort ruled out for offside (50’). Coach Covic then made a double change, bringing on Davie Selke and Dilrosun for Ibisevic and Mittelstädt (61’). The Dutchman was instantly involved as he sent a shot just over the bar (67’). Selke’s shot from a tight angle was then blocked by Benjamin Stambouli (74’) before Rekik’s header went flying over (77’). The Herthaner tried hard to make a comeback in the final stages but it was to no avail. To everyone’s surprise, Jonjoe Kenny then rifled in a long range strike five minutes from time to make it 3-0.
Conclusion and Outlook
Covic’s men will have to wait a bit longer for their first win of the season, despite having more shots and winning more duels. The Herthaner have just one point to their name after three games heading in to the international break. The ‘Alte Dame’ will now switch their attention to the away game against Mainz on 14th September.