Hertha Berlin got back to winning ways in Felix Magath's first game in charge, sweeping Hoffenheim aside 3-0 with goals from Niklas Stark, Ishak Belfodil and Lucas Tousart at the Olympastadion.
With a second managerial change of the season, albeit with Felix Magath in isolation and unable to sit in the dugout, Hertha were looking for a knee-jerk reaction, and they almost got it right away. Marco Richter intercepted a wayward pass, but slashed his shot wide of the far post early on as the Old Lady began with a bellow. Belfodil flicked a header wide before curling another effort over as the hosts, with a notable spring in their step, sought a confidence-boosting opener. Jacob Bruun Larsen almost scuppered their hopes when he took down a lofted pass but volleyed over with just Alexander Schwolow to beat. Richter was next to take aim for Hertha before Stark finally broke the deadlock five minutes before the break, meeting Marvin Plattenhardt's free-kick with a close-range header which was confirmed after an agonising – for the home fans – VAR check into a raised offside flag.
Another VAR check was needed before Belfodil could celebrate doubling Hertha's lead on the hour mark, after he pounced on Marc-Oliver Kempf's nod down from another dangerous Plattenhardt set piece. An almost carbon copy Plattenhardt free-kick headed down into the danger area by Dedryck Boyata set up Tousart to make it three and put the points in the safe. Hoffenheim simply had no reply, failing to give Schwolow any work to do in the second half as the Hertha fans found their voice and celebrated a win which lifted the Old Lady out of the bottom two, with Magath celebrating a first win in charge - Hertha's first of 2022 - albeit in absentia.
- Magath took charge of his 496th Bundesliga game, his first since a 2-0 loss to Freiburg on 20 October 2012 that cost him his job as Wolfsburg boss.
- Six of Stark's seven Bundesliga goals have been headers; this was his first goal in 59 games.
- Hertha have scored at least once in all 14 of their games at the Olympiastadion this season.
- Hertha had scored three goals from free-kicks over the first 26 games of the season – they doubled that in 76 minutes here.
- Hertha became the last Bundesliga team to win in 2022, having claimed just two points from their nine games since the turn of the year before today.
- Hoffenheim's unbeaten run of five games - the longest in the Bundesliga up to today - came to an end.
Watch: Fotheringham: "I'm lucky to be able to learn from Magath"
Hertha: Schwolow - Stark, Boyata (c), Kempf - Pekarik, Tousart (Dardai 90'+1), Ascacibar (Gechter 90'+1), Plattenhardt - Richter (Kade 82'), Serdar (Mittelstädt 68') – Belfodil (Selke 81')
Unused subs: Christensen, Boateng, Lee, Winkler
Out: Bjorkan (match fitness), Darida (not included), Jarstein (knee), Jovetic (muscular), Maolida (not included), Schwolow (match fitness)
Coach: Felix Magath
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) – Akpoguma (Che 77'), Posch, Vogt, Raum (John 88') – Geiger (Dabbur 62'), Stiller – Baumgartner (Nordtveit 88') – Bruun Larsen, Kramaric, Rutter (Bischof 77')
Unused subs: Philipp, Nuhu, Hübner
Out: Bebou (not included), Bicakcic (knee), Grillitsch (not included), Kaderabek (not included), Pentke (not included), Richards (ankle), Rudy (hamstring), Samassekou (suspended), Skov (thigh)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
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