Marton Dardai rocket against Borussia Mönchengladbach fires Hertha Berlin out of bottom two


Birthday boy Marton Dardai’s 25-yard rocket saw Hertha Berlin come from behind to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach and climb out of the automatic relegation zone.

Hertha Berlin 4-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 0-1 Elvedi 17’ (assist: Netz), 1-1 Ngankam 30’ (assist: Richter), 2-1 Dardai 52‘ (assist: Cigerci), 3-1 Scherhant 90'+1 (assist: Tousart), 4-1 Lukebakio (pen. 90'+7)

Having watched the four teams immediately above them in the table lose on Saturday, and Schalke below them only draw on Friday, Hertha had a great chance to make up ground in the relegation race from their starting position of 17th. The Old Lady started brightly as they hurried and harried the Foals, but it was Gladbach who struck first when Nico Elvedi headed in former Hertha man Luca Netz’s corner. Borussia really should’ve been two up almost immediately after as Jonas Hofmann beat Oliver Christensen to a long ball up the right and rounded the keeper. He continued to dribble and looked to slot into the empty net, only for Filip Uremovic to slide across and block – a move celebrated just as loudly as a goal and was the visitors’ last effort of the half. The Berliners turned up the pressure and the home faithful did then have a goal to cheer on the half hour when Jessic Ngankam tucked away Marco Richter’s square ball across the face of goal to take Hertha up the Olympiastadion escalator level at the break.

It didn’t stay at 1-1 for long after the restart as Dardai smashed a rocket from some 25 yards in off the underside of the crossbar to mark his 21st birthday with his father Pal – himself a former Hertha coach and the club’s record appearance maker in the Bundesliga – watching on in delight from the stands. Gladbach had only won once on the road all season, so Daniel Farke sent on reinforcements in Florian Neuhaus and Alassane Plea to try and repeat the feat of a fortnight ago. However, the Foals struggled to find their stride. Despite seeing more of the ball, they only mustered seven attempts on goal to the hosts’ 17 and never really threatened an equaliser. Hertha then made sure of their first points of 2023 with substitute Derry Scherhant's finish in stoppage time before Dodi Lukebakio added further gloss with a penalty in the 97th minute. It sees them climb out of the bottom two at the expense of VfB Stuttgart, but they remain two points adrift of Bochum and outright safety with 20 games gone. Meanwhile, Gladbach slipped into the bottom half of the table.

Match stats

  • Elvedi’s third goal of the season was his second with a header from a corner in Berlin (also against Union) and was Gladbach’s sixth from a corner – a league high.
  • Dardai Jr. got his first Bundesliga goal on his 21st birthday and in his 32nd game. Father Pal needed only 18 matches but was 22 when he netted his maiden goal.
  • His goal was the first by a Hertha defender this term. Elvedi’s was Gladbach’s ninth – a league high.
  • After just one goal in their first four games of 2023, Hertha recorded their biggest win of the season and biggest under Sandro Schwarz.
  • Hertha have gone 1-0 down in all five of their games this calendar year, but this was the first time they didn’t trail at half-time and was their first first-half goal of 2023.
  • The Old Lady came from behind to win a game for the first time this season - and first time since December 2021 - following three draws and 11 defeats. Gladbach have now lost after leading in both their games in Berlin this term.

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Hertha: Christensen - Uremovic, Kempf, Dardai (Mittelstädt 83’) - Richter, Tousart, Cigerci (Sunjic 83’), Serdar (Boetius 65’), Plattenhardt (c) - Ngankam (Lukebakio 65’), Niederlechner (Scherhant 72’)
Unused subs: Ernst, Kenny, Boateng, Klemens
Out: Ejuke (knee), Jarstein (not considered), Jovetic (muscular), Kanga (toe), Nsona (knee), Pekarik (hip), Rogel (knee)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz

Gladbach: Omlin - Scally (Herrmann 90’), Itakura, Elvedi, Netz (Lainer 90’+1) - Kramer (Ngoumou 78’), Kone - Hofmann, Stindl (c) (Plea 66’), Wolf (Neuhaus 66’) - Thuram
Unused subs: Olschowsky, Friedrich, Fraulo, Jantschke
Out: Weigl (suspended)
Coach: Daniel Farke