Alexander Nouri made four changes from the comeback in Düsseldorf: Dedryck Boyata (thigh problem), Per Skjelbred (ill during the week) weren’t in the squad, and Javairo Dilrosun and Dodi Lukebakio both started on the bench. In their place, Niklas Stark, Marvin Plattenhardt, Maximilian Mittelstädt and Marius Wolf all came into the starting XI. Coach Florian Kohfeldt made three changes from his Werder side that lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB-Pokal during the week. Goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino came in for the injured Jiri Pavlenka, and Milos Veljkovic came in at the back for the injured Ömer Toprak. Davie Selke was replaced by Josh Sargent.
Bremen made a lightning fast start to the game as Josh Sargent demonstrated his ability from distance, beating Thomas Kraft with a shot from all of 25 yards to give the visitors the lead (3’). It got even worse right from the off for the Herthaner as Davy Klaassen headed in a Milot Rashica cross to put Werder 2-0 up inside 7 minutes. And so it was up to Hertha to produce a bit of a fightback and try and get into the game themselves. Jordan Torunarigha had the first chance 10 minutes after Werder’s second goal, but couldn’t come up with the goods. Matheus Cunha grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and began to boss things from an attacking midfield position. The Brasilian had a great chance to score himself just ten minutes before the break but his shot only found the gloves of Werder keeper Stefanos Kapino (35’). Shortly after, Hertha’s number 26 nearly turned provider for Vladimir Darida but just couldn’t find the right pass at the right moment (39’). Two minutes later they finally got it right: a free kick whipped in by Marvin Plattenhardt found the head of Niklas Stark beautifully and the defender planted the ball in to the corner to give Hertha a way back into the game (41’). The teams went into half time at 2-1, but Hertha would look to push on in the second half.
Nouri’s team began the second half exactly as they finished the first as they seemed much livelier and were showing much better body language than before. They began to really cause Werder problems on the wings with Marius Wolf and Marvin Plattenhardt whipping in some dangerous crosses. Much of the second half was therefore played in Werder’s half, and Hertha finally rewarded themselves for their domination as Cunha snatched up on a bit on indecisiveness in the Werder box after a Kapino save to give the home side a well-earned equaliser (60’). The 58,028 supporters in the stadium were ecstatic to see the goal go in and the positive feeling was reflected in a bright sun which fell over the Olympiastadion in the aftermath of the goal. The atmosphere got even better on 80 minutes as the referee pointed to the sport for a Hertha penalty after an Vedad Ibisevic shot appeared to be handled in the box by a Werder defender, but the decision was later overturned after consultation with VAR (80’). The game remained an open one for the remainder of the time, and Vedad Ibisevic almost nicked it for Hertha but his header went just over the bar as the teams ended up sharing the points after what was a pulsating game.
Conclusion and Outlook
After yet another comeback, Hertha now sit 13th in the table with 28 points. The team will want to start the first half in the next few fixtures in the same manner as they’ve started the second half in their recent games. The next task for the Herthaner is next Saturday as they take on TSG Hoffenheim away on Saturday (14/03/20, 15:30 CEST).