bundesliga

Lukas Nmecha fires Wolfsburg to victory over Hertha Berlin

Lukas Nmecha came off the bench to score his first Bundesliga goal and seal a come-from-behind win for Wolfsburg at Hertha Berlin.

Hertha Berlin 1-2 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Lukebakio (pen. 60'), 1-1 Baku (74'), 1-2 Nmecha (87')

Making his capital homecoming, Kevin-Prince Boateng fired a loose clearance over with the first opening of the contest. Wolfsburg returned fire instantly, with Maxence Lacroix touching Maximilian Arnold’s free-kick against the outside of the left-hand post. The Wolves started to bite down on their hosts as Wout Weghorst - the club's matchwinner against promoted Bochum last time out - met a Jerome Roussillon cross, forcing a superb reaction save out of Alexander Schwolow, before Hertha lost Boateng to injury late in the first half.

Wolfsburg perhaps should have forged ahead within seconds of the restart, when a stretching Weghorst poked Renato Steffen’s cross into the six-yard box wide. Hertha heeded the warning as Stevan Jovetic, Boateng’s replacement, finally made Koen Casteels work with a shot from inside the area. The Old Lady made the most of their mini spell as Dodi Lukebakio won and scored a penalty, only for Ridle Baku to latch onto Xaver Schlager’s through-ball and level 14 minutes later. Substitute Nmecha curled in following some penalty-box ping-pong to complete the turnaround.

Match stats

  • Nmecha scored his first Bundesliga goal, on his seventh appearance in the German top flight. He made his first six whilst on loan at Wolfsburg during the first half of 2019/20.
  • Boateng played his first Bundesliga home game for boyhood club Hertha since May 2007.
  • Lukebakio has scored seven of nine penalties in the Bundesliga.
  • Hertha have lost their opening two games of a Bundesliga season for the first time since 1990/91, when they were ultimately relegated.
  • The Wolves have remained unbeaten across the first three matchdays of the last three seasons.
  • Wolfsburg haven't lost in Berlin against Hertha since April 2017 (W3, D2).

Watch: Nmecha: "Superb to score in my first game"

Line-ups

Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik, Boyata (c) (Torunarigha 84'), Stark, Plattenhardt - Boateng (Jovetic 43'), Ascacibar - Lukebakio, Serdar (Zeefuik 84'), Dilrosun (Richter 67') - Selke (Tousart 85')
Unused subs: Körber, Darida, Klünter, Mittelstädt
Out: Cunha (unconfirmed), M. Dardai (ankle), Jarstein (match fitness), Piatek (ankle)
Coach:
Pal Dardai

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (Gerhardt 89') - Schlager (Guilavogui 90'), Arnold - Baku, Philipp (Nmecha 70'), Steffen (Brekalo 70') - Weghorst
Unused subs: Pervan, Bornauw, Mehmedi, Marmoush, Ginczek
Out: Bialek (knee), Ginczek (back), Otavio (ankle), Vranckx (calf), William (knee)
Coach:
Mark van Bommel

Watch: Van Bommel on reunion with Pal Dardai