Marvin Ducksch hits hat-trick as Werder Bremen deepen Hertha Berlin's relegation fears
Marvin Ducksch was Werder Bremen's hat-trick hero as they snapped a six-game winless streak in the Bundesliga, giving Pal Dardai a miserable start to his third stint in charge of bottom side Hertha Berlin.
Hertha Berlin 2-4 Werder Bremen
Goals: 0-1 Ducksch 6' (assist: Stage), 0-2 Ducksch 27' (assist: Groß), 0-3 Ducksch 51' (assist: Jung), 0-4 Weiser 63', 1-4 Ngankam 68' (assist: Serdar), 2-4 Lukebakio pen. 79'
Hertha had the game's first opening as Marco Richter floated a lovely ball over the top for Dodi Lukebakio, whose low drive was straight at visiting goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka, but after that it was one-way traffic in the other direction. Despite starting with the Bundesliga's top scorer Niclas Füllkrug on the bench, Bremen only needed six minutes to forge ahead, with Ducksch lifting a cool finish over Oliver Christensen from Jens Stage's pass. Ducksch struck again before the half-hour, heading in a pinpoint cross from Christian Groß, and Bremen continued to look by far the more dangerous side. Maximilian Philipp had an effort deflected wide by Marton Dardai, who almost conceded an own goal from the resulting corner. Ducksch and Stage also had chances to make it 3-0, and the home side were probably relieved not to be trailing further by the interval.
Dardai brought on Kevin-Prince Boateng, Suat Serdar and Agustin Rogel at the break, switching to three at the back, but Bremen were out of sight by just after the hour mark. Ducksch completed his hat-trick with aplomb, chesting down Anthony Jung's cross and drilling past Christensen for 3-0. The Hertha keeper then had a terrible mix-up with Rogel, gifting Mitchell Weiser possession and allowing him to sweep home against his former side. The capital club did at least show a bit of fight in the closing stages, with Jessic Ngankam pulling one goal back and winning a penalty that Lukebakio converted. But the damage had already been done, and Dardai will need to come up with something special in the remaining five games to prevent Hertha dropping back to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in a decade.
- Ducksch netted his maiden Bundesliga hat-trick, having got his first top-flight brace against Borussia Mönchengladbach a few weeks ago.
- Eight of his 11 Bundesliga goals in 2022/23 have come during the Rückrunde, making him the joint-top scorer in the second half of the season with Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani.
- Weiser scored his first career goal against Hertha, the club he played for between 2015 and 2018.
- Bremen snapped a six-game winless streak in the Bundesliga, while Hertha are now without victory in seven.
- Lukebakio has successfully converted his last eight Bundesliga penalties, all for Hertha.
- All four of Ngankam's goals this term have come since Matchday 20.
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Hertha: Christensen - Pekarik, Kempf, M. Dardai (Rogel 46'), Plattenhardt (c) - Tousart, Cigerci (Serdar 46') - Lukebakio, Richter (Niederlechner 72'), Scherhant (Boateng 46') - Ngankam (Ejuke 80')
Unused subs: Ernst, Kenny, Mittelstädt, Maza
Out: Boetius (shoulder), Jarstein (not considered), Jovetic (muscular), Nsona (knee), Uremovic (suspended)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Bremen: Pavlenka - Veljkovic (Pieper 80'), Stark, Friedl (c) - Weiser, Bittencourt (Schmid 66'), Groß (Gruev 90'), Stage, Jung (Buchanan 80') - Philipp (Dinkci 66'), Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Chiarodia, Schmidt, Füllkrug
Out: Agu (patella tendon)
Coach: Ole Werner
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