Krzysztof Piatek scored his first Bundesliga goal for Hertha Berlin to seal a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 away to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Matchday 24 curtain-raiser on Friday.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-3 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Karaman (6'), 2-0 Thommy (10'), 3-0 Karaman (45'), 3-1 Thommy (o.g. 64'), 3-2 Cunha (66'), 3-3 Piatek (pen. 75')
Buoyed by a first win under head coach Uwe Rösler last week, Fortuna immediately sought to pick up where they had left off - and did so with aplomb. Kenan Karaman set the tone for a one-sided first half by brilliantly controlling a diagonal ball over the defence before coolly slotting through the legs of goalkeeper Thomas Kraft. Not content with that, the hosts sought to press home their advantage and doubled their lead within minutes when Erik Thommy cut inside from the left and curled a superb shot into the far corner. Hertha tried to rally and created a couple of half-chances for Piatek and Matheus Cunha, but the match appeared to be over when Karaman swept in his second of the game from Matthias Zimmermann's cut-back on the stroke of half-time.
Hertha had other ideas, however, and the fightback began when Thommy inadvertently bundled the ball over his own line while trying to clear Vladimir Darida's speculative cross into the middle. Seemingly stunned at that setback after so long in control, the game soon began to unravel for the hosts and Hertha further reduced the deficit two minutes later when Cunha finished a swift counter-attack with a curling shot into the bottom corner. With momentum now very much on their side, the visitors continued to drive forward and were rewarded with a penalty when Piatek was brought down by Fortuna goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier. The winter signing stepped up and converted from the spot to complete an unlikely comeback - and they could even have won it late on had Cunha's shot not hit the post. They are unlikely to complain about the point, though, which keeps the capital club above their hosts and well clear of the relegation zone.
- Karaman scored a brace in the Bundesliga for the first time ever.
- The last time Düsseldorf were 2-0 up after nine minutes of a game was against Eintracht Frankfurt on 4 June 1983. They won 5-1 that day.
- Thommy has found the net in each of Fortuna's last three league outings. He has scored all eight of his Bundesliga goals with his right foot.
- Cunha netted his first Bundesliga goal of the season, and first for Hertha, ending a 16-game drought without scoring.
- Piatek scored his maiden Bundesliga goal for Hertha, converting the team's first penalty of the season. He opened his account in the DFB Cup round of 16 defeat to Schalke.
- This was the first game in Bundesliga history that Hertha have earned a point after a 3-0 deficit.
Watch: Piatek: "An important point"
Fortuna: Kastenmeier – Ayhan, Hoffmann, Suttner – Zimmermann, Stöger, Bodzek, Berisha (Morales 74'), Thommy (Zanka 68') – Karaman (Ampomah 63'), Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Okoye, Fink, Ofori, Gießelmann, Tekpetey, Zimmer
Out: Kownacki (knee), Sobottka (ill), Steffen (knee)
Coach: Uwe Rösler
Hertha: Kraft – Klünter, Boyata, Torunarigha, Rekik – Lukebakio (Wolf 46'), Skjelbred (c), Darida, Dilrosun (Mittelstädt 46') – Cunha – Piatek (Ibisevic 90+1')
Unused subs: Jarstein, Leckie, Grujic, Plattenhardt, Maier, Samardzic
Out: Ascacibar (suspended), Köpke (ill), Stark (suspended)
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Watch: Karaman: "The point doesn't help much"