There were four changes to the Hertha starting eleven for the derby against 1. FC Union. Sandro Schwarz brought Marvin Plattenhardt, Filip Uremović, Peter Pekarík and Jean-Paul Boëtius into the side for the final game of this double gameweek. Agustín Rogel (suspension) and Jonjoe Kenny (concussion) missed out entirely, while Maximilian Mittelstädt and Ivan Šunjić dropped to the bench. Florian Niederlechner was also on the benchfor the first time. Pekarík made his first start of the season and it was Uremović’s first start since October. Former Hertha player Genki Haraguchi was on the bench for the visitors.
Brilliant tifo – good start to the game
There was a brilliant blue and white tifo stretching around the Olympiastadion before the game, creating a brilliant atmosphere. On the pitch, the ‘Old Lady’ started playing a 4-3-3 and were energetic in the first 20 minutes, winning 65% of duels. Both Suat Serdar and Lucas Tousart found themselves in the vistor’s penalty area early on, but their shots were both blocked (8’). The game developed into an intense battle, mostly being played in midfield, with dangerous situations developing when the ball was turned over. Dodi Lukébakio broke forward, played a one-two with Wilfried Kanga before the ball coming to Marco Richter. However, he was only able to fire over the bar from the edge of the box (34’). Hertha did not give Union an inch, but they managed to score with their first chance, with Danilho Doekhi heading home a Christopher Trimmel freekick to put Urs Fischer’s side ahead at half time (44’).
The second half began initially at a slightly lower tempo, and it took 10 minutes for Hertha to make headway. Richter attempted to surprise Frederik Rønnow with a lob from just inside Union’s half, but it sailed well wide of the target (55’). Schwarz brought Jessic Ngankam on for Kanga after an hour. After that, it was referee Dr. Felix Brych who was in the middle of the action. Rani Khedira tackled Marc Kempf in the FCU box, before Union countered and doubled their lead through Paul Seguin (67’). The goal was checked by VAR, where it was decided that there was no foul, and a goal was awarded (69’).
Kept pushing but without any reward
After that, Niederlechner came on to make his debut, replacing Boëtius (70’). Hertha did not give up, with Rønnow called into action to save a Tousart near post header from a corner (74’), and four minutes later a well-struck Richter effort (78’). Pekarík then made way for Prince Boateng (78‘). Richter remained lively, with Rønnow once again needed to prevent a strike from the edge of the box (82’). The bottom line, however, is that these efforts went unrewarded and Hertha fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Pekarík (76‘ Prince), Uremović, Kempf, Plattenhardt (C) – Boëtius (69‘ Niederlechner), Tousart, Serdar – Lukébakio, Kanga (61‘ Ngankam), Richter
1. FC Union: Rønnow – Leite, Knoche, Doekhi – Roussillon (69‘ Gießelmann), Haberer (89‘ Haraguchi), Khedira, Schäfer (46. Seguin), Trimmel (C) – Becker (83‘ Michel), Behrens (69‘ Siebatcheu)
Goals: 0-1 Doekhi (44‘), 0-2 Seguin (67‘)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych
Yellow cards: Khedira, Seguin
Attendance: 74,667 (sell-out)