Hertha Berlin relegated after heartbreaking late Bochum leveller
Hertha Berlin were relegated to Bundesliga 2 after being held 1-1 by Bochum in a must-win encounter.
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Bochum
Goals: 1-0 Tousart 63' (assist: Richter), 1-1 Schlotterbeck 90+4' (assist: Stöger)
Hertha went into the game knowing they needed a win to have any chance of avoiding relegation. Bochum soon showed their eagerness to secure survival too, with Philipp Hofmann sending a free header wide of the target from short range in the opening stages. It was clear just how much was at stake in a fiercely contested and open first half. Dodi Lukebakio raced through the Bochum defence to seemingly slot Hertha ahead – only for the goal to be disallowed after a VAR check illuminated a foul from Stevan Jovetic in the build-up. Christopher Antwi-Adjei then dipped a curling effort over the bar as the end-to-end action continued, with in-form Oliver Christensen making a diving stop to deny a powerful Takuma Asano header as Bochum dominated the first-half shot count. Lukebakio was then denied by Riemann from short-range shortly before the break, and it remained goalless.
Hertha went out with a second wind after the break as they continued to hunt the three vital points. Marco Richter cracked the first shot of the period from a tight angle. Jovetic then headed just over and cleared the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the box. Hofmann headed over from a corner to remind the hosts that Bochum were waiting to pounce. Hertha's sheer willpower eventually led to a breakthrough, as Lucas Tousart headed a Richter corner into the net. Christensen pulled off another diving stop from Asano to keep Hertha ahead. Bochum's efforts to level were rather short-lived, however, and Jovetic had a pair of chances to extend the lead. A late hand-in-mouth moment saw Bochum substitute Keven Schlotterbeck send a shot into the post via a deflection, before Chidera Ejuke also rattled the post for the hosts. Just when Hertha seemed to have the big win in the bag, a cruel twist saw Schlotterbeck rise to head a Kevin Stöger corner into the net in stoppage time and condemn the hosts to the drop.
- Lukebakio, who has a team-leading 11 Bundesliga goals in 2022/23, made his 100th competitive appearance in a Hertha shirt.
- Tousart has scored in two consecutive Bundesliga matches for the first time in his career.
- The Old Lady are unbeaten in their last 14 competitive home games against Bochum (W7, D7).
- Erhan Masovic won a greater share of his challenges than any other player on the field - a full 100%.
- Bochum had more shots today than in any other away match this season - 17.
- Bochum have conceded a league-high 21 goals from corners this season.
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Hertha: Christensen - Kenny, Rogel, M. Dardai, Mittelstädt (Plattenhardt 86') - Tousart, Serdar (Niederlechner 86')- Lukebakio, Boateng (c) (Boetius 65'), Richter (Ejuke 65') - Jovetic
Unused subs: Ernst, Pekarik, Klemens, Maza, Scherhant
Out: Cigerci (calf), Jarstein (not considered), Kempf (ribs), Ngankam (suspended), Nsona (knee), Sunjic (not considered), Uremovic (concussion)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Bochum: Riemann - Janko, Ordets, Masovic (Schlotterbeck 81'), Heintz (Broschinski 74') - Losilla (c), Stöger - Asano (Zoller 81'), Förster (Holtmann 70'), Antwi-Adjei - Hofmann
Unused subs: Esser, Gamboa, Soares, Lampropoulos, Kunde
Out: Osterhage (muscular), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Thomas Letsch
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