Pál Dárdai made two changes in his starting XI after Hertha’s 4-2 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Karim Rekik returned from injury to play in defence and replaced the injured Marko Grujic, whilst Pálko Dárdai replaced Salomon Kalou in the team to make his first ever Bundesliga debut. The Werder coach Florian Kohfeldt made three changes in his starting XI with Sahin, Harnik and Osako starting in place of Bargfrede, Kainz and Pizarro.
Both teams started quickly, with Werder having the first couple chances of the game. Rune Jarstein denied Harnik in the fourth minute and a minute later, Eggestein hit the post for Hertha. Werder then took the lead after some very scrappy play in the box which resulted in Harnik tapping the ball over the line. It all happened from when a Nuri Sahin freekick was caused havoc in the box, with Lustenberger first blocking a shot onto the bar and then knocking the ball out of Jarstein’s hands into the path of Harnik who tapped home in the eleventh minute. The Berliner’s first major chance of the game fell to Vedad Ibisevic just before half-time, when he took the ball around the keeper only to then sky his effort over the bar. Just before the whistle went for half-time, Veljkovic put Werder two up with a header from a corner.
During the break, Hertha were forced into a change, with Thomas Kraft coming on for the injured Jarstein. The Berliners started the second half well, with an early chance falling once again to veteran striker Ibisevic whose shot went narrowly wide. However, four minutes later, Javairo Dilrosun skinned his defender and rifled a shot into the back of the net from a narrow angle and Hertha were suddenly back in the game. Nevertheless, there was a sense of déjà-vu as Hertha conceded a fifth penalty in as many games, which Kruse tucked away. In the last few minutes of the game Davie Selke had a chance when he cut inside around his defender but unfortunately curled his effort wide of the post.
Conclusion and Outlook
After losing their first game of the season, the Berliners now sit in third. Dárdai’s team will have the chance to bounce back straight away with a tough game against league leaders Bayern Munich on Friday at the Olympiastadion.