Erling Haaland bade farewell to Borussia Dortmund with a goal in a 2-1 win at home to Hertha Berlin on Matchday 34, the result condemning the visitors to the relegation play-offs.
Their focus sharpened by the looming threat of relegation, Hertha began on the front foot at the Signal Iduna Park, initially pinning the home team back with their intensive pressing and aggression in the tackles. While they struggled to create any chances in front of a sold-out crowd, their approach nevertheless paid off when Ishak Belfodil was felled in the box by Dan-Axel Zagadou, one of a number of players donning the Dortmund jersey for the last time. Referee Tobias Stieler pointed to the spot and Belfodil left Roman Bürki no chance with his precise effort into the bottom corner. The hosts grew into the game as the half wore on, but despite enjoying 72 percent of possession they only mustered two efforts on goal in the first 45 minutes, neither of which caused Hertha goalkeeper Marcel Lotka any trouble.
The hosts brought on Jamie Bynoe-Gittens for the second half and the 17-year-old was the catalyst for his side to get back into the game. His bold, driving runs forced Hertha on to the back foot and one such dribble led to Dortmund’s equaliser. His pace caused havoc on the edge of the box, with Vladimir Darida fouling Jude Bellingham in the chaos. Raphael Guerreiro took the resulting free-kick, which struck Marvin Plattenhardt on the arm and gave Dortmund a penalty, which Haaland buried to a huge roar from the Yellow Wall. Momentum very much on their side, Dortmund pushed for a winner, which they duly got when Jude Bellingham split the Hertha defence with a sublime pass from deep, freeing Youssoufa Moukoko into the box for the teenager to squeeze a shot past Lotka from a tight angle. At that stage Hertha were still safe, but a late winner from VfB Stuttgart at home to Cologne saw them leapfrog Felix Magath's side into 15th, meaning the Old Lady must now navigate the relegation play-offs against the third-placed team from Bundesliga 2.
- Haaland departs with 62 goals in 67 Bundesliga games for Dortmund.
- Belfodil, who was on target in the reverse fixture earlier this season, took and scored his first Bundesliga penalty.
- Haaland, Bürki, Zagadou and Axel Witsel all played their last game for Dortmund here, with Reinier, Marin Pongracic, Marcel Schmelzer and Marwin Hitz also departing the club this summer.
- Bürki conceded all 23 penalties he faced in the Bundesliga.
- Moukoko has scored two of his five Bundesliga goals against Hertha.
Watch: Magath: "I'm looking forward to the play-offs"
Dortmund: Bürki - Can (Bynoe-Gittens 46'), Akanji, Zagadou (Pongracic 82') - Wolf, Witsel (Moukoko 83'), Bellingham, Guerreiro - Brandt, Reus (c) – Haaland (Reinier 90'+1)
Unused subs: Unbehaun, Schulz, Meunier, Passlack, Pheral
Out: Dahoud (shoulder), Hazard (back), Hummels (thigh), Kobel (ankle), Malen (muscular), Meunier (hamstring), Morey (knee), Reyna (hamstring), Tigges (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose
Hertha: Lotka - Pekarik, Boyata (c), Kempf, Plattenhardt - Tousart, Ascacibar (Jovetic 88') - Ekkelenkamp (Richter 46'), Serdar (Darida 56'), Mittelstädt (Bjorkan 65', Boateng 88') – Belfodil
Unused subs: Christensen, Maolida, Dirkner, Atemona
Out: Dardai (hip), Gechter (cold), Jarstein (knee), Klünter (shoulder), Lee (ankle), Schwolow (thigh), Selke (muscular), Stark (cold)
Coach: Felix Magath
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