Goals from Ishak Belfodil and Sebastian Polter in either half saw Hertha Berlin and Bochum share the points in the capital on Friday night.
Beginning the weekend two points behind promoted Bochum, Hertha had been busy in the January transfer window and handed an immediate debut to new centre-back Marc-Oliver Kempf as they looked to shore up a defence that had already shipped 42 goals – the third most in their Bundesliga history after 20 matchdays. However, that backline wasn’t really tested as the Old Lady kept Bochum at arm’s length and produced the best of the attacking moments of the first 45 minutes. Vladimir Darida was heavily involved with a hand in five out of the nine attempts in the first half, but it took a lovely delivery from a free-kick to break the deadlock in the capital. Stevan Jovetic with the in-swinger from wide on the left and onto the head of Belfodil, who flicked inside the far post with his head for his second of the campaign.
For all the confidence and good work Hertha showed in the first half, it was immediately undone after the break as Alexander Schwolow parried a Jürgen Locadia effort on the turn straight into the path of Polter, who put into an empty net just two minutes after coming on. It spurred the visitors on and they started to take charge of proceedings as they looked for only their third Bundesliga win away at Hertha and first since April 1991. Locadia – Bochum’s sole winter arrival – continued to look lively and fired off a few more efforts, but to no avail. The same could be said for Jovetic, who also found no way through with a couple of speculative shots. In a game neither side could afford to lose, neither will be overly content with a draw either, but know it is at least a point more towards safety for two teams in the bottom half of the table.
- Belfodil’s goal was just his second for Hertha. The first came in the 3-2 win at home to Borussia Dortmund.
- Jovetic got his first assist in the Bundesliga.
- Hertha maintained their record of having scored in every home game this season.
- Polter ended a run of five games without a goal to bring up his seventh of the season. Serge Gnabry is the only German with more (10) in the Bundesliga in 2021/22.
- Eight of Polter’s 16 Bundesliga goals have also been as a substitute.
- Bochum ended a five-game losing run against Hertha in all competitions but have still only won one of the last 19 encounters.
Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik, Stark (c), Kempf, Mittelstädt (Serdar 87’) – Ekkelenkamp (Lee 58’), Darida, Ascacibar, Maolida (Bjorkan 75’) - Belfodil (Richter 75’), Jovetic
Unused subs: Lotka, Klünter, Gechter, Boateng, Selke
Out: Boyata (ankle), Christensen (thigh), Jarstein (knee)
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Bochum: Riemann (c) - Gamboa, Bella-Kotchap, Leitsch, Soares - Rexhbecaj, Tesche (Polter 46’), Asano (Osterhage 46’) - Pantovic, Locadia (Bonga 88’), Holtmann (Antwi-Adjei 71’)
Unused subs: Esser, Bockhorn, Lampropoulos, Stafylidis
Out: Blum (muscular), Losilla (not included), Masovic (not included), Zoller (knee)
Coach: Thomas Reis
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