Outright survival is effectively beyond rock-bottom Hannover after the Reds could only draw 0-0 with mid-table Hertha Berlin in the capital on Matchday 30.
Hertha had lost their last five and Hannover their last eight, and there was very little to separate two out-of-form sides at the sun-drenched Olympic Stadium. Hertha enjoyed the greater possession in a keenly contested first half, though Hannover top scorer Hendrik Weydandt went closest to breaking the deadlock with a header that dropped just wide of the upright. Australia international Mathew Leckie and Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic tested Hannover goalkeeper Michael Esser, before opposite number Rune Jarstein was made to work by defender Waldemar Anton in first-half added time.
Both sides had opportunities in the second half as Hannover’s Florent Muslija chanced his arm from range and Hertha top scorer Ondrej Duda fired over the crossbar following a fine piece of play from veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic. Davie Selke injected fresh impetus into the hosts’ attack, and almost provided the breakthrough within seven minutes of his introduction. The former Germany U21 international played in Salomon Kalou, whose Ibisevic-bound pass was picked off at the last by Felipe. Kalou fired over in an entertaining but goalless finale, which does little for Hannover’s survival prospects. The Reds are six points adrift of the relegation play-off spot, and 12 behind 15th-placed Schalke with four games to go.
- Hannover are on 15 points with a goal difference of -41. Schalke are on 27 points with a goal difference of -20.
- Hertha were already assured of their place in the Bundesliga following Augsburg’s win over Stuttgart.
- Hannover played out their first away draw of 2019 and first under Thomas Doll - and kept their first clean sheet away from home since Matchday 1 of 2017/18.
- Hertha midfielder Duda has not scored since Matchday 21.
- Hannover's Genki Haraguchi scored six goals in 106 competitive appearances for Hertha between July 2014 and January 2018.
Hertha: Jarstein – Klünter, Stark (Lustenberger 90+3'), Rekik, Plattenhardt – Skjelbred (Selke 60'), Grujic – Leckie (Dilrosun 76'), Duda, Kalou – Ibisevic (c)
Unused subs: Kraft, Pekarik, Darida, Mittelstädt
Out: Luckassen (ankle), Lustenberger (thigh), Maier (knee), Torunarigha (ankle)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Hannover: Esser – Sorg, Anton, Felipe, Ostrzolek – Haraguchi, Bakalorz (c), Schwegler, Maina (Soto 84') – Muslija (Müller 73') – Weydandt
Unused subs: Sahin-Radlinger, Korb, Walace, Fossum, Wimmer
Out: Albornoz (ankle), Akpoguma (shoulder), Bebou (thigh), Elez (groin), Füllkrug (knee), Hübers (knee), Jonathas (hamstring), Prib (muscular), Sarenren Bazee (shin), Wood (knee)
Coach: Thomas Doll