Dodi Lukebakio seals Hertha Berlin win in crunch battle with Augsburg
Dodi Lukebakio came off the bench to score a vital second goal as Hertha Berlin moved out of the relegation zone with an important 2-0 win against Augsburg.
Hertha Berlin 2-0 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Richter 61’, 2-0 Lukebakio 70’ (assist Rogel)
Hertha, buoyed by a 4-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in their last home match, started brightly, with former Augsburg striker Florian Niederlechner pinching the ball off Niklas Dorsch and firing wide in the opening minutes. The visitors responded with the kind of sharpness suggesting they were determined to end a run of three successive away defeats, taking the ball forward and probing the Hertha defence. The sides then regularly traded possession and attacks throughout the first half, without either backline showing any sign of buckling. Chances were at a premium. Filip Uremovic slid in to prevent Kelvin Yeboah going through on goal, and Jessic Ngankam flashed over from the edge of the box, but 0-0 was the logical scoreline at the break.
Augsburg were better able to up their tempo at the start of the second period, with a few quick attacks and testing crosses delivered in the opening minutes. The visitors were unable to convert that into a sustained period of dominance, and Tolga Cigerci sent the hosts' first effort of the half into Rafal Gikiewicz's hands from 25 metres out. Hertha's confidence was building, and they suddenly struck as a Marvin Plattenhardt free-kick was cleared out to Marco Richter 20 metres from goal - and the former Augsburg man dispatched a stunning drive into the corner of the net. Mergim Berisha twisted at the other end and sent a shot wide as the visitors sought to bounce back. Augsburg's pressure gave space for the hosts to exploit and seal the win - as Lukebakio raced to meet an Agustin Rogel free-kick and finished tidily in the box for a hard-fought but ultimately deserved home win.
- Lukebakio scored his 33rd Bundesliga goal today - the same as Emile Mpenza scored in the league. Thorgan Hazard is the only Belgian with more Bundesliga goals.
- Richter has now scored four goals this season - and two against his former club, Augsburg.
- Hertha took two consecutive home wins for the first time since December 2021.
- Augsburg's Arne Maier won more challenges than any other of his team-mates (67%) - against his former side.
- Augsburg avoided conceding in the first half for the first time in 12 Bundesliga matches.
- Augsburg have lost all four of their away matches so far in 2023.
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Hertha: Christensen - Uremovic, Kempf (Mittelstädt 81'), Rogel - Richter (Kenny 72'), Tousart, Cigerci, Serdar (Boetius 71'), Plattenhardt (c) - Ngankam (Lukebakio 46'), Niederlechner (Jovetic 79')
Unused subs: Ernst, Boateng, Scherhant
Out: Ejuke (knee), Jarstein (not considered), Nsona (knee), Kanga (toe), Dardai (back)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Gumny (Caligiuri 86'), Gouweleeuw (c), Veiga, Iago (Pedersen 62') - Maier (Jensen 86'), Engels, Dorsch (Baumgartlinger 62'), Demirovic - Yeboah (Vargas 46'), Berisha
Unused subs: Koubek, Bauer, Beljo, Mbuku
Out: Cardona (foot), Hahn (knee), Rexhbecaj (calf), Strobl (cruciate ligament), Uduokhai (thigh)
Coach: Enrico Maaßen
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