- Hertha and Augsburg played out a goalless draw on Saturday.
- Esswein had two good chances for the visitors but was ultimately frustrated.
- Augsburg with their best ever season start.
Hertha Berlin had to settle for a share of the spoils on Saturday, after a resolute FC Augsburg held them to a goalless draw at the WWK ARENA.
Augsburg began the day nine points and places behind their fourth-placed visitors, but they were lively in the opening exchanges, with John Anthony Brooks’ last-gasp interception all that separated Dong-won Ji from a gilt-edged chance minutes in. The capital club settled into their stride though, and Alexander Esswein was unlucky not to break the deadlock midway through the half, but the winger saw one shot on his weaker right-foot pushed around the post by Marwin Hitz, before another effort on his preferred left span wide.
Pal Dardai brought Genki Haraguchi and Julian Schieber on for Esswein and Salomon Kalou just past the hour, but they struggled to make an impact against a resolute home defence. Schieber saw a deflected header drift wide for a goal kick before Valentin Stocker - with another header - was denied by Hitz, who did brilliantly to race off his line after Veded Ibisevic had wrought havoc in the home box. It ended 0-0 with Hertha the more frustrated of the two sides at the share of the spoils.
Man of the Match
USMNT centre-back Brooks was imperious at the back for Berlin, snuffing danger out before it had a chance to blossom, and dictating the play from deep with a game second-best 92 touches.
Hertha’s 21 points is nonetheless their best return at this stage of the season since the 2001/02 campaign when they went on to finish fourth. Dardai’s side spent 20 weeks in the UEFA Champions League stages last year, and a tricky point on the road here is indicative of that having been no fluke.
- Hertha kept their fifth clean sheet of the season.
- The capital club completed 456 passes to Augsburg’s 279.
- Now on 12 points, this is Augsburg’s best ever start to a top-flight campaign.
Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh (c), Janker, Hinteregger (Gacar 73’), Stafylidis - Kohr, Baier - Schmid (Teigl 70’), Altintop (Moravek 83’), Max - Ji
Coach: Dirk Schuster
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Stark, Skjelbred – Esswein (Haraguchi 62’), Stocker, Kalou (Schieber 62’) - Ibisevic (c)
Coach: Pal Dardai