Goals from Vedad Ibisevic, Dodi Lukebakio, Matheus Cunha and Dedryck Boyata inspired Hertha Berlin to a derby victory over Union Berlin with the home side hitting all four goals in the second half.
As expected, there was fire in the bellies of both sides as soon as things got underway at the Olympiastadion. Hertha enjoyed the better of the first half, with the majority of the possession and several chances on goal. Most of which fell to the in-form Cunha, but Union No.1 Rafal Gikiewicz was equal to his best effort of the half as he flicked a cross from Ibisevic towards goal after 27 minutes. Union failed to register a shot on target in the opening 45, with Robert Andrich going closest with a free-kick which clipped the roof of Rune Jarstein's net.
The game burst into life in the second half as Hertha took the lead just six minutes after the restart. Ibisevic heading home from Marvin Plattenhardt's cross for his second goal in as many games and the home side doubled their lead almost immediately. Just 70 seconds later Lukebakio slid the ball into the empty Union net after rounding Gikiewicz from Ibisevic's fantastic through-ball. Less than 10 minutes later and Hertha had a third, Ibisevic claiming his second assist of the day as he set up Cunha to slot the ball home from inside the Union box. Unlike last weekend where the Old Lady hit Hoffenheim for three in the second half, Hertha added a fourth to rub salt in the Union wounds with Plattenhardt claiming his second assist after Dedryck Boyata headed home his pin-point corner. The win takes Hertha within five points of a Europa League qualification spot as their perfect start to life under Bruno Labbadia continues.
- Labbadia is Hertha's fifth coach since June, following Pal Dardai, Ante Covic, Jürgen Klinsmann and Alexander Nouri.
- Cunha has had a direct hand in five goals in his six Hertha appearances (four goals, one assist).
- Labbadia had a scoring habit against Union as a player, finding the target against them three times as a striker for Karslruher between 2001 and 2003.
- For the second week running, Hertha scored three goals in the second half of a Bundesliga game and added a fourth today against Union.
- 19 of Ibisevic's 43 goals for Hertha have been the opening goal of a game. Hertha are undefeated when Ibisevic has scored first (15 wins, 4 draws).
- 18-year-old Lazar Samardzic came on for his Hertha debut.
Watch: Lukebakio on Ibisevic: "I asked him if he's 16 again"
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred (Samardzic 81'), Grujic - Lukebakio (Dilrosun 75'), Darida (Maier 80'), Cunha (Mittelstädt 66') - Ibisevic (c) (Piatek 75')
Unused subs: Smarsch, Klünter, Dardai, Ngankam
Out: Ascacibar (knock), Kalou (not included), Kraft (knock), Rekik (knee), Stark (groin), Wolf (ankle)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Union: Gikiewicz - Friedrich, Hübner, Parensen - Trimmel (c), Prömel, Andrich (Kroos 72'), Reichel (Malli 63') – Ingvartsen (Ujah 57'), Bülter (Ryerson 63') - Andersson (Polter 72')
Unused subs: Nicolas, Subotic, Mees, Gentner
Out: Becker (thigh), Gogia (match fitness), Lenz (knock), Schlotterbeck (suspended)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Watch: Ibisevic: "My team-mates help me feel younger"