bundesliga

Hertha Berlin leave relegation zone with Krzysztof Piatek, Peter Pekarik and Nemanja Radonjic earning win over Freiburg

Hertha Berlin moved out of the relegation zone thanks to a 3-0 win over Freiburg, with Krzysztof Piatek, Peter Pekarik and Nemanja Radonjic scoring precious goals for Pal Dardai's men.

Hertha Berlin 3-0 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0 Piatek (13'), 2-0 Pekarik (22'), 3-0 Radonjic (85')

Freiburg made the more encouraging start, but it was Hertha who drew first blood through Piatek. It was only his second goal since January, but what a time to score it as he reacted quickest to Florian Müller only parrying Jordan Torunarigha's shot, and dispatched the loose ball beyond the Freiburg custodian. Pekarik headed in a second for the hosts after excellent work by Radonjic in stopping the ball just shy of the goal line and delivering a cross right onto the head of the veteran full-back. You could see the confidence back in Piatek's game as he tried his luck with a long-distance volley, and he was not the only Hertha player with a swagger in his step as the Old Lady took a fully deserved two-goal lead into the break.

Freiburg may well have heard some stern words from their coach Christian Streich, given how they emerged for the second half with Nicolas Höfler's header from substitute Vincenzo Grifo's free-kick saved instinctively by Alexander Schwolow. With 70 percent of the possession and four shots to Hertha's one in the opening 25 minutes of the second half, it seemed to be a matter of time before Freiburg scored, but it was Hertha who came closest to adding a third when Cunha's shot hit the post and the rebound hit Müller's head, but spared the Freiburg goalkeeper's blushes by going wide. The chances continued to present themselves on the break for Hertha, but it was a fine individual effort from Radonjic which sealed victory late on as he dribbled his way through before providing a cool finish to boost Hertha's goal difference further.

Match stats

  • Piatek's seventh goal of the season took him level with Cunha and Jhon Cordoba as Hertha's top scorers, though it was only his second since January.
  • Pekarik took his total for the season to three, having only ever scored once in his previous 11 seasons.
  • Radonjic scored his first Bundesliga goal, adding to his assist for Hertha's second.
  • Hertha have only lost one of their last seven outings (2-0 at Borussia Dortmund), although they have also drawn three.
  • Freiburg have only lost three of their last 16 Bundesliga meetings with Hertha, winning six and drawing seven.

Watch: Dardai: "We're trying to grow something here"

Line-ups

Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik, Boyata (c) (Stark 75'), Alderete, Torunarigha - Ascacibar, Guendouzi (Khedira 39') - Dilrosun (Cunha 61'), Darida (Zeefuik 75'), Radonjic - Piatek (Cordoba 61')
Unused subs: Körber, Mittelstädt, Dardai, Tousart
Out: Jarstein (not included), Löwen (muscular), Lukebakio (not included), Netz (foot), Plattenhardt (not included)
Coach: Pal Dardai

Freiburg: Müller - Lienhart, Schlotterbeck (Grifo 46'), Gulde - Schmid, Santamaria (Keitel 46'), Höfler, Günter (c) - Sallai (Jeong 83'), Demirovic (Til 87'), Höler (Petersen 70')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Kübler, Heintz, Tempelmann
Out: -
Coach: Christian Streich

Watch: Piatek: "We wanted more from this season"