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Defeat in Dortmund despite a solid performance

Jessic Ngankam challenges Mats Hummels for the ball.

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Sandro Schwarz kept faith in the starting eleven that started the important 4-1 home win against Borussia Mönchengladbach for Sunday’s away game against Borussia Dortmund. Hertha played a 3-5-2 formation as they had done against the Foals. There was one change on the bench, with Agustín Rogel returning to the matchday squad having overcome a knee injury and Pascal Klemens dropping out.

Ngankam has the first chance and over 60% of duels won

Even if there was not much flow to the game in the first minutes, with several breaks in the game including one due to smoke coming from the away end, Hertha made a very solid start. The Blue-Whites tried to win the ball, while defending in a compact and clever way. After a Dortmund player gave the ball away, Jessic Ngankam ran at the Dortmund backline before shooting, but he could only curl his effort over the bar (12‘). The hosts didn’t have a shot in the first quarter of an hour, with Hertha defending resolutely and winning over 60% of their duels in the first 20 minutes.

Niederlechner und Richter miss chances – Dortmund score twice

Hertha didn’t only focus on defending but also had several attacking opportunities. Florian Niederlechner shot straight at Gregor Kobel, who also managed to save Marco Richter’s follow up (22’). At the other end, the hosts went one better, as Karim Adeyemi flicked home Dortmund’s first real chance to give them a slightly flattering 1-0 lead (27’). It got worse moments later, with Adeyemi running down the left and injuring himself in the process, but not before crossing to the back post where Donyell Malen tapped home to make it two (31’). Hertha kept their heads up despite these double setbacks, with Tolga Ciğerci und Richter both having shots saved (37,38’). The deficit stood at two at the break.

Perfect start to the second half – Tousart hammers home

Hertha couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the second half, with Ngankam carrying the ball to the sideline before playing it to Suat Serdar who nudged it on to Lucas Tousart who smashed it into the top corner (46’). Moments later and Hertha almost pulled a second back, but Niederlechner shot straight at Kobel (52’). Plattenhardt then fired wide from a tight angle (53’). Like in the first half, Hertha were absolutely in the game and disrupted Dortmund by pressing high in their own half but without mainy concrete efforts to show for it. At the other end, Oliver Christensen was called into action to make a brilliant save from Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (65’). Schwarz made four changes for the final stages, bringing on fresh legs in the shaope of Rogel, Jean-Paul Boëtius, Dodi Lukébakio and Derry Scherhant.

The quartet had hardly made it onto the pitch before Dortmund extended their lead, with Dortmund’s captain Marco Reus firing a freekick into the top right corner from the edge of the box (76’). But even after this setback, Hertha didn’t give up and pushed for a goal with efforts from Tousart, Richter and Lukébakio (83’, 84’, 90+4’). Even if it was not to be this Sunday evening, and Julian Brandt would go on to put Dortmund 4-1 up (90’), the Blue-Whites did not sell themselves short and put in a hardworking performances against what is now the Bundesliga’s second placed side.

Borussia Dortmund: Kobel – Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson – Öczan (66‘ Bellingham), Can – Adeyemi (35‘ Bynoe-Gittens), Reus (87‘ Süle), Brandt – Malen (66‘ Haller)

Hertha BSC: Christensen – Uremović (68‘ Rogel), Kempf, Dárdai – Richter, Ciğerci (79‘ Prince), Tousart. Serdar (68‘ Boëtius), Plattenhardt (C) –  Ngankam (68‘ Lukébakio), Niederlechner (68‘ Scherhant)

Goals: 1-0 Adeyemi (27‘), 2-0 Malen (31‘), 2-1 Tousart (46‘), 3-1 Reus (76‘), 4-1 Brandt (90‘)

Referee: Harm Osmers

Yellow cards: Ryerson – Ciğerci, Rogel

Attendance: 81,365 (sell-out)

Defeat in Dortmund despite a solid performance

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