In-form Hertha Berlin attackers Javairo Dilrosun and Vedad Ibsevic were on target once again to steer the Old Lady to a 3-1 victory at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Matchday 7 opener on Friday.
Hertha Berlin 3-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 0-1 Hennings (pen. 32'), 1-1 Ibisevic (37'), 2-1 Dilrosun (44'), 3-1 Darida (62')
Hertha began the game with the confidence and swagger of a team riding the wave of two successive league wins and they pinned their visitors deep inside their own half initially. Ibisevic, Niklas Stark and Dilrosun all forced Düsseldorf's USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen to be alert in the opening exchanges and it was half an hour before the guests began to threaten. Fortuna had already had a penalty appeal waved away when they were awarded a spot-kick on 32 minutes, with Rouwen Hennings converting to give them the lead against the run of play. Unfazed, it only took the home side five minutes to restore parity when Ibisevic volleyed in Marius Wolf's cross from the right. Hertha deservedly took a narrow lead into the break when the lively Dilrosun scored almost a carbon copy of Ibisevic's effort, only this time from Vladimir Darida's pinpoint delivery.
The hosts were eager to press their advantage in the second half and Ibisevic thought he had his brace early on when he tapped in Darida's cross, only for his effort to be ruled out for handball in the build-up. Ante Covic's side eventually got the two-goal cushion their superiority deserved when Dodi Lukebakio came off the bench to torment his former teammates with a mazy run before squeezing a pass through to Darida to slot in from 12 yards. Düsseldorf, to their credit, never gave up and looked for a way back into the game until the very end, but Hertha were just too good en route to collecting their third win of the season.
- Düsseldorf took the lead for a fifth match in a row. They have only earned one point overall from those fixtures, though.
- Dilrosun scored for a third successive match, and with three goals for the season he now has more than he managed throughout the whole of 2018/19. It was also the first time the Dutch winger has scored outside the month of September in Germany's top flight.
- Ibisevic likewise hit his third goal of the season, taking his Bundesliga career total to 123 and putting him 28th in the league's all-time chart.
- Darida scored his first Bundesliga goal since 25 February 2017, ending a run of 47 games without finding the net.
- Hertha claimed their first Bundesliga victory over Fortuna since 8 December 1979, ending a winless run of seven top-flight games against the Rhine-Westphalia club.
- Düsseldorf coach Funkel took charge of his 500th Bundesliga match, 27 of which came on the touchline for Hertha. Only five coaches have overseen more Bundesliga games.
Hertha: Jarstein – Klünter, Stark, Boyata, Mittelstädt – Skjelbred, Grujic – M. Wolf (Leckie 79'), Darida, Dilrosun (Lukebakio 60') – Ibisevic (c) (Selke 71')
Unused subs: Kraft, Plattenhardt, Rekik, Torunarigha, Duda, Kalou
Out: Maier (knee), Pekarik (calf), Löwen (knee)
Coach: Ante Covic
Düsseldorf: Steffen – Zimmermann, Adams, Ayhan, Gießelmann – Bodzek, Baker (Morales 71') – Tekpetey, Fink (c) (Karaman 77'), Ampomah (Thommy 63') – Hennings
Unused subs: Kastenmeier, Hoffmann, Pledl, Contento, Sobottka, Bormuth
Out: Barkok (shoulder), Kownacki (hamstring), Rensing (shoulder), Suttner (groin), Zimmer (hamstring), Stöger (match fitness), R. Wolf (inner ear)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel