bundesliga

Hertha Berlin still in relegation equation after defeat at home to Mainz

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Hertha Berlin failed to celebrate survival in front of their own fans at the Olympiastadion as a 2-1 defeat at home to Mainz left them still too close to the drop zone for comfort.

Hertha 1-2 Mainz
Goals: 0-1 Widmer 25' (assist: Onisiwo), 1-1 Selke (pen. 45+5), 1-2 Bell 81' (assist: Stach)

With a large, raucous crowd inside the Olympiastadion and safety within reach, the occasion may have got the better of Davie Selke as he snapped at an early shot from 18 yards when he could have taken time to settle. Settle is what Hertha did, though, playing some confident football that belied their league position, until a moment which typified their season so far. There did not appear to be too much danger when Silvan Widmer exchanged passes with Karim Onisiwo, but from an almost impossible angle, the Swiss squeezed a shot inside Marcel Lotka's near post. Anton Stach thought he had doubled the guests' lead when he curled an effort in from the edge of the area, but two Mainz players in an offside position both tried to connect with the ball and, as such, the goal was promptly ruled out. Hertha managed to claw themselves back into the game before the break, though, when Dedryck Boyata fell following a challenge in the area as a group of players rose to meet a corner, and a penalty, after a long consultation of VAR, was given. Selke stepped up and sent Finn Dahmen the wrong way.

Mainz thought they had regained the lead when Onisiwo struck a sweet volley into roof of the net, but he had used his arm in controlling the ball and the goal was immediately ruled out. A fantastic save by Lotka from Widmer's header maintained parity, but Mainz did not appear in any mood to let Hertha off the hook and they took the lead again when Stefan Bell met Stach's corner with a stooping header which nestled in the far corner. Hertha had to respond, and respond they did. Only moments after taking to the field, Luca Wollschläger hit the post and as the game entered into stoppage time, Selke rose to meet a sweeping cross from the left and head it past Dahmen. Not for the first time, though, his and the Hertha fans' celebrations were brought to an abrupt end by the referee, and their celebrations at avoiding relegation will have to wait too, with defeat leaving them still too close to the relegation zone for comfort.

Match stats

  • Felix Magath has lost just one of 12 Bundesliga meetings with Mainz: 0-2 on 30 September 2012 when he was Wolfsburg coach.
  • Hertha have scored in all 17 home games this season; only Bayern and Borussia Dortmund have managed the same.
  • Selke has converted all three penalties he has taken in the Bundesliga, two for Hertha, one for Werder Bremen.
  • Mainz coach Bo Svensson has been booked more than any other coach in the Bundesliga this season, picking up his seventh warning in this game.
  • Mainz had registered just two points in their last 11 away games.

Watch: Boyata: "We have to go until the end"

Teams

Hertha: Lotka - Pekarik, Boyata (c), Kempf, Dardai (Bjorkan 78') - Tousart, Ascacibar - Darida (Wollschläger 88'), Boateng (Mittelstädt 67'), Serdar (Belfodil 67') - Selke
Unused subs: Christiansen, Ekkelenkamp, Maolida, Eitschberger, Kade
Out: Jarstein (knee), Jovetic (muscular), Klünter (shoulder), Lee (ankle), Maolida (knee), Schwolow (thigh)
Coach: Felix Magath

Mainz: Dahmen - Hack, Bell, Niakhate (c) - Widmer, Barreiro (Boetius 63'), Stach (Tauer 90'+2), Kohr, Martin - Onisiwo, Burkardt (Ingvartsen 78')
Unused subs: Zentner, St. Juste, Brosinski, Stöger, Lucoqui, Nebel
Out: Burgzorg (heart), Lee (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson