Philipp Hofmann and Philipp Förster combined to earn Bochum a third straight win in the Bundesliga, lifting them out of the relegation zone and above rivals Hertha Berlin with a 3-1 success.
Wearing the Hertha captain's armband for the first time, Lucas Tousart rifled in what initially appeared to be the opening goal for Hertha, but a VAR check of the build-up to the goal showed that the ball had earlier gone out of play. It was a let-off that Bochum responded well to, taking the lead for themselves midway through the first half when Hofmann leapt high to meet Förster’s perfectly weighted cross and head in from close range. A Kevin Stöger free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar as the hosts threatened a second, which they found on the stroke of half-time. Keven Schlotterbeck made it a dream debut for him when he ghosted in unmarked at the far post from a Förster corner to head in from under the crossbar for his first ever Bundesliga goal.
Bochum did not sit on their lead at the start of the second half and duly added a third goal. A Hertha attack broke down and a quick counter led to Christopher Antwi-Adjei sending in a cross which was taken down by Hofmann. His shot on the turn took a deflection to loop over Oliver Christensen and leave Hertha with a mountain to climb. Climb it they tried, though, and it took a fine save from Manuel Riemann to turn Myliane Maolida’s shot onto the crossbar. After another Maolida effort was blocked, the ball fell for Suat Serdar to give the guests some late hope, but that was as much as they could muster as the two clubs traded places in the standings, with Hertha slipping into the bottom two.
- Bochum’s first two goals were headers – the same number of headed goals they scored across the first 15 games of the season.
- Hofmann scored two goals in the same game for the first time in his Bundesliga career, while it was also the first time that Förster provided two assists in the same game.
- Schlotterbeck’s goal was his first in his 71st Bundesliga appearance.
- Only Bayern Munich (11) have hit the woodwork more times than Bochum, who struck it for the 10th time.
- Hertha had lost just once against Bochum in the past 20 years (W10, D8), that defeat coming away in August 2009 (1-0).
- The Old Lady survived via the relegation play-off last term.
Watch: Letsch: "A deserved win"
Bochum: Riemann - Janko, Ordets, Schlotterbeck, Soares - Stöger (Osterhage 80'), Losilla (c), Förster (Kunde Malong 59') - Zoller (Asano 72'), Hofmann (Ganvoula 80'), Antwi-Adjei (Holtmann 72')
Unused subs: Johansson, Masovic, Osei-Tutu, Lampropoulos
Out: Esser (knock), Gamboa (knee), Grave (shoulder), Heintz (back)
Coach: Thomas Letsch
Hertha: Christensen - Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Mittelstädt - Tousart (c), Sunjic (Maolida 64') - Richter, Boetius (Serdar 63'), Scherhant (Ngankam 64') – Kanga
Unused subs: Ernst, Pekarik, Uremovic, Plattenhardt, Boateng, Dardai
Out: Ejuke (knee), Jarstein (not considered), Jovetic (muscular), Lukebakio (suspended), Niederlechner (thigh), Nsona (knee)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
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