Jürgen Klinsmann made four changes from the first game of the Rückrunde against Bayern Munich as Dedryck Boyata (suspended), Marvin Plattenhardt (bench), Vladimir Darida (illness) and Davie Selke all dropped out of the team. In their place came Niklas Stark, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Per Skjelbred and Marius Wolf. Wolfsburg’s coach Oliver Glasner made two changes from their previous game with Robin Knoche and Renato Steffen starting in place of John Anthony Brooks and Daniel Ginczek.
After a quiet opening period in which both teams were strong in the tackle and defensively sound, it was Marius Wolf who had the first chance of the game. Stood free in the box and found perfectly by a Dodi Lukebakio cross, the winger looked certain to score but unfortunately failed to make a meaningful connection with the ball. After that, hertha really began to crank up the pressure on the Wolfsburg defence. Dodi Lukebakio’s high-flying attempt didn’t connect (17’) after a fine cross from Maximilian Mittelstädt. Wolfsburg only came up with two chances of note during this period of pressure, but harmless strikes from Wout Weghorst and Josuha Guilavogui proved to be no test for Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein. Javairo Dilrosun went up the other end but couldn’t take his chance (27’). In the final minutes of the first half though, it was the home side who looked the more dangerous. Maximilian Arnold shot from distance but it went just wide in what was the most notable chance before the break for Wolves, and so the teams went in to half time goalless.
The start of the second half was littered with little fouls that broke up any rhythm that the game attempted to pick up, but the first chance came early on as Steffen went through for Wolfsburg only to be denied by Rune Jarstein (52’). Marko Grujic had the first chance for hertha but his effort didn’t trouble the keeper (53’). Shortly after though, the first goal of the game finally came as substitute Admir Mehmedi’s seemingly harmless cross fooled everyone before trickling its way in to the bottom corner (68’), much to the delight of the home fans. But the excitement didn’t last long as Jordan Torunarigha came out of nowhere from a corner to nod the away side level (74’). Four minutes later the Herthaner had their keeper to thank once again as he parried an Arnold strike which would have seen the side fall behind again in a relatively swift fashion. At the other end, Lukebakio had a great chance to score but his effort was saved incredibly by Koen Casteels (87’). But that was not the end of the story: in the 90th minute, Hertha’s number 28 won the game for hertha with a crafty header. After three minutes of added time, the referee blew the whistle to signal a great away win for Hertha!
Conclusion and Outlook
After this win, Hertha now sit 13th in the table with 22 points. This coming Friday, the team will play host to FC Schalke 04 in the Olympiastadion on Matchday 20, before they meet the same opponents again in the DFB-Pokal.