Salomon Kalou scored a first-half brace on his return to the Hertha Berlin starting XI as the Old Lady swept aside Hannover.

Hertha Berlin 3-1 Hannover

Goals: 1-0 Kalou (18'), 2-0 Kalou (45'+1), 2-1 Bebou (65'), 3-1 Torunarigha (83')

Hertha started on the front foot, and their early running paid off when Kalou tapped in a Peter Pekarik cross in the 18th minute. The rainy and muddy conditions in Berlin made it difficult to play precision passing football, but Hertha adjusted their game accordingly and extended their lead when a free-kick from deep caused panic in the Hannover defence, allowing Kalou to turn in his second of the night.

Hannover gave the hosts a taste of their own medicine in the 65th minute when Martin Harnik headed a free-kick from Iver Fossum goalwards. Rune Jarstein could only parry, and Ihlas Bebou took full advantage to make it 2-1. Another set-piece at the other end proved the visitors' undoing, however, as Jonathan Torunarigha scrambled in from close range used to secure a 3-1 victory that leaves Hertha only one point behind Hannover in mid-table.