Hertha Berlin deliver big blow to Borussia Dortmund's title hopes
Borussia Dortmund ended the year nine points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich after surrendering a 1-0 lead in defeat to Hertha Berlin.
Hertha Berlin 3-2 Borussia Dortmund
Goals: 0-1 Brandt (31'), 1-1 Belfodil 51' (assist: Darida), 2-1 Richter 57' (assist: Maolida), 3-1 Richter 69' (assist: Ekkelenkamp), 3-2 Tigges 83' (assist: Guerreiro)
There was a procession of goal-scoring chances in a furious opening to proceedings in the capital. Marwin Hitz was at full stretch to deny Jurgen Ekkelenkamp inside six minutes, with Alexander Schwolow standing up to an effort from Marco Reus moments later. Reus then headed a Thomas Meunier cross wide, before Ekkelenkamp sliced off target with the Dortmund goal at his mercy. Myziane Maolida turned in a Peter Pekarik cross, but Ishak Belfodil was adjudged to be offside in the build-up following a VAR review. Julian Brandt clipped Haaland's deflected cross over Schwolow to send BVB - not quite their usual selves without Gregor Kobel, Mats Hummels and Jude Bellingham - in at the break with their noses in front.
Happily for mid-table Hertha, they quickly learned the error of their profligate ways. The half was only six minutes old when Vladimir Darida sprayed a pass over the top of the Dortmund defence for Ishak Belfodil, who burst away from Axel Witsel and slotted beyond Hitz for 1-1. Marco Richter added a quick-fire second with a thunderous finish after Brandt had conceded possession to Maolida. Thorgan Hazard had a goal ruled out for offside, before Dahoud miscued from an inviting Donyell Malen cross. After Richter volleyed in his second of the contest following another Brandt mistake, substitute Steffen Tigges gave BVB a lifeline when he headed home Raphael Guerreiro's cross with seven minutes remaining - but Marco Rose's side were unable to take it.
- Hertha have won 14 of their 21 points this term on home turf.
- Richter scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season. He's never had so many in a Bundesliga campaign.
- Belfodil ended a run of 30 Bundesliga matches without a goal, stretching back to May 2019.
- Hertha became only the third team in this season's Bundesliga to stop Haaland from scoring. The Norwegian had just one (off-target) attempt all game.
- Brandt scored his fifth goal of the campaign; Tigges put away his second.
- The only other games in the Bundesliga this season where Dortmund have conceded three goals was in their 4-3 win at Bayer Leverkusen and the 3-2 defeat to Bayern.
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Hertha: Schwolow – Pekarik (Zeefuik 55'), Stark (c), Torunarigha, Mittelstädt – Ascacibar, Darida (Tousart 72') – Richter (Gechter 72'), Maolida, Ekkelenkamp (Selke 87') – Belfodil (Plattenhardt 87')
Unused subs: Christensen, Piatek, Jastrzembski, M. Dardai
Out: Jarstein (knee), Jovetic (calf), Klünter (shoulder), Serdar (knee)
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Dortmund: Hitz – Meunier (Wolf 72'), Can, Pongracic, Schulz (Guerreiro 72') – Brandt (Tigges 81'), Witsel (Zagadou 72'), Dahoud – Reus (c) (Hazard 58') – Malen, Haaland
Unused subs: Drljaca, Reinier, Passlack, Knauff
Out: Akanji (knee), Bellingham (suspended), Bürki (ankle), Hummels (illness), Kobel (illness), Morey (knee), Moukoko (muscular), Reyna (match fitness), Schmelzer (knee), Unbehaun (hand)
Coach: Marco Rose
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