Full-time: Wolfsburg 1-2 Hertha Berlin
Disaster strikes for Wolfsburg, who finish the season without European football having lost to relegated Hertha Berlin. The hosts enjoyed a solid start at their Volkswagen Arena home, Jakub Kaminski netting after just two minutes. However, Hertha struck back with Ibrahim Maza and Marco Richter condemning the Wolves to an eighth-placed finish.
Wolfsburg starting line-up
Casteels - Bornauw, Guilavogui, van de Ven - Baku, F. Nmecha, Arnold (c), Gerhardt, Kaminski - Wimmer, Wind
Pervan, Fischer, Cozza, Svanberg, Franjic, Paredes, Waldschmidt, Pejcinovic, Marmoush
Hertha starting line-up
Ernst - Kenny, Klemens, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) - Tousart, Serdar - Boetius, Niederlecher, Richter - Ngankam
Christensen, Pekarik, Rogel, Eitschberger, da Silva Kiala, Maza, Stange, Scherhant, Rölke
Coach's view: Wolfsburg
© Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Coach's view: Hertha
© IMAGO / Matthias Koch
Watch: Decision Day at Both Ends
© IMAGO/Eibner-Pressefoto/Wolfgang Frank/IMAGO/Eibner
Defeat at Freiburg last time out leaves Wolfsburg in a precarious position in terms of European qualification, a point behind sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, two ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt in eighth, and not knowing whether seventh will get them into the UEFA Europa Conference League. Unbeaten in six at home and up against already relegated Hertha, there’s a good chance they will be able to bring European football back to the Volkswagen Arena – and that’s not just thanks to their women’s team, who contest the UEFA Women’s Champions League final in a week.
Maximilian Mittelstädt (pictured r.) misses Hertha’s final Bundesliga game for who knows how long due to suspension for five yellow cards, while Kevin-Prince Boateng, Tolga Cigerci, Marton Dardai and Filip Uremovic sit out the trip to Wolfsburg through injury. Jessic Ngankam could come in up front as part of a reshuffle. It remains to be seen how many of this squad will still be here when the Old Lady kick off life in Bundesliga 2 next season, and whether any youth players are given a chance to shine now ahead of the expected rebuild in the second division.
© IMAGO/nordphoto GmbH / Engler/IMAGO/Nordphoto
Hertha looked like taking their top-flight survival push to the final day last week, only to concede a very late equaliser at home to Bochum that confirmed the end of their decade in the Bundesliga – as well as last spot in the table. Victory over Stuttgart three weeks ago is their only win since the end of February, with Pal Dardai’s return failing to re-ignite their push to avoid the trap door.
Wolfsburg: probable XI
Casteels - Bornauw, Guilavogui, Van de Ven - Baku, F. Nmecha, Arnold (c), Svanberg, Kaminski - Wimmer, Wind
Lacroix (shoulder), L. Nmecha (knee), Otavio (ankle)
Hertha: probable XI
Christensen - Pekarik, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) - Tousart, Serdar - Lukebakio, Jovetic, Richter - Ngankam
Boateng (knee), Cigerci (calf), M. Dardai (muscular), Jarstein (not considered), Mittelstädt (suspended), Nsona (knee), Sunjic (not considered), Uremovic (concussion)
Watch: Hertha Berlin 0-5 Wolfsburg - previous meeting
Watch: Freiburg 2-0 Wolfsburg - higlights
Watch: Hertha Berlin 1-1 Bochum - highlights
One man who will be particularly sad to see Hertha depart the Bundesliga is Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac. He played for Hertha from 2003 to 2006 with current coach Pal Dardai and midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Despite the inferior league position, Hertha's top scorer this season, Dodi Lukebakio, has scored almost twice as many goals (11) as Wolfsburg's top scorers (Yannick Gerhardt and Jonas Wind on 6).
Hope for Hertha
After their past two relegations (in 2010 and 2012), the Berlin club achieved promotion from Bundesliga 2 again immediately in the following season. We may just see this fixture again in 2024/25 therefore, if that trend continues.
Seventh time down
Hertha Berlin have been relegated from the Bundesliga for a seventh time. Only Nuremberg and Bielefeld have dropped down from the top flight more often.
Wolves chasing top six
While the visitors can start planning for life in Bundesliga 2 after their relegation was confirmed last weekend, Wolfsburg need a win - and Leverkusen to drop points against Bochum - to secure sixth spot, as their current seventh may not be enough to secure a European spot if Frankfurt win the DFB Cup final.
Here you can find all the information about VfL Wolfsburg against Hertha Berlin on matchday 34.