Suat Serdar strikes as Hertha Berlin win survival battle in Augsburg
Suat Serdar scored the only goal of the game as Hertha Berlin cut the deficit on Augsburg to three points with a crucial win in a relegation six-pointer at the WWK Arena.
Augsburg 0-1 Hertha Berlin
Goal: 0-1 Serdar (assist: Richter) 49'
Augsburg started the brighter as Mads Pedersen picked Lucas Tousart's pocket and teed up Michael Gregoritsch, who flashed his shot wide of the far post. Alfred Finnbogason wasted the hosts' next chance after 10 minutes, though he was somewhat surprised that Arne Maier's cross made it to him and contrived to tap it into Marcel Lotka's waiting arms. It took 10 more minutes before Hertha got their first shot in, with Peter Pekarik not troubling Rafal Gikiewicz unduly. Gregoritsch then fizzed in a free-kick which just cleared the crossbar, before Marco Richter, who spent nine years with Augsburg, saw his venomous effort deflect behind for a corner.
Hertha made the breakthrough early in the second half when Richter robbed Maier and cut the ball across for Serdar to flick in with a neat backheeled finish at the near post. Augsburg responded well and a Gregoritsch header hit the top of the crossbar before substitute Ruben Vargas flicked another header wide. Ricardo Pepi also made an entrance for Die Fuggerstädter, but the next shot came from Iago, who blazed over from an angle. The home fans did their bit to lift their team, but Hertha held firm for a crucial three points, narrowing the gap on their hosts to three points and leaving the bottom two in what promises to be a tight and tense survival battle for both clubs.
- Kevin-Prince Boateng was back in the Hertha starting XI for the first time since October, in a 2-1 defeat to Freiburg, when he played 58 minutes.
- Hertha last led away from home also in October, when they went on to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 on Matchday 8; that was their last win before today.
- Serdar's last goals date back even further, to Matchday 4, when he scored two in a 3-1 win over Bochum; this was his third goal of the season.
- Augsburg have not won three on the spin since 2019.
- The Berliners have a better record against Augsburg (only three losses in 20 games) than against any other current Bundesliga club. They’re unbeaten in the last five encounters (W4, D1).
Watch: Selke: "It was a very, very important game"
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Gumny (Framberger 73'), Gouweleeuw (c), Oxford (Zeqiri 84'), Iago - Hahn, Maier (Moravek73'), Dorsch, Pedersen (Vargas 56') – Gregoritsch, Finnbogason (Pepi 56')
Unused subs: Koubek, Winther, Gruezo, Günther
Out: Caligiuri (ill), Niederlechner (ill), Sarenren Bazee (knee), Strobl (knee), Uduokhai (thigh)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Hertha: Lotka - Pekarik, Boyata (c), Kempf, Plattenhardt – Richter (Kade 69'), Tousart (Dardai 90'+2), Ascacibar, Serdar (Mittelstädt 78') – Selke, Boateng (Stark 69')
Unused subs: Körber, Christensen, Bjorkan, Ekkelenkamp
Out: Belfodil (not included), Gechter (cold), Jarstein (knee), Jovetic (muscular), Maolida (not included), Schwolow (thigh)
Coach: Felix Magath
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