bundesliga

Hertha Berlin rue missed chances in draw with unbeaten Wolfsburg

Despite Matheus Cunha finding the net for a third time this season, Hertha Berlin were left kicking themselves after missing a barrage of chances to end Wolfsburg's unbeaten start to the season.

Hertha Berlin 1-1 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0
Cunha (6'), 1-1 Baku (20')

Hertha had made their worst start to a Bundesliga season for 11 years coming into this game, but made the perfect start after just six minutes with Cunha sliding the hosts in front after Dodi Lukebakio's cut-back. That came just a minute after Wolfsburg had the ball in the Hertha net through Maximillian Philipp, with the offside flag ruling out his first for the club. The Wolves were not to be denied for long, though, as a pair of summer signings brought them level. Philipp turned provider with his pass finding Baku on the edge of the Hertha box, and the former Mainz man superbly fired past Alexander Schwolow to level the score. Omar Alderete could have put Hertha back in the lead minutes later, but his close-range header was straight at Koen Casteels. The Paraguayan thought he had won a penalty for his side minutes later, but referee Martin Petersen overturned his initial decision to award a spot-kick after consulting Video-Assist as a frantic and entertaining first half came to an end.

Hertha copied their bright start to the game in the second half with Cunha forcing a save from Casteels with a free-kick early on. Lukebakio had a huge chance after Jhon Cordoba's switch of play found him in the box, but Casteels made another big save to deny the Belgian. Matteo Guendouzi came on for his debut for the Old Lady before the hour-mark with Hertha still on top. The next huge chance for Hertha came for Cordoba himself after he was laid in on goal by Cunha, but the Colombian took too long in winding up his shot as Maxence Lacroix recovered to make an outstanding last-ditch block. Wout Weghorst glanced a header wide with his side's best effort of the half, but Hertha remained the most likely to grab a winner. Cordoba miscued yet another chance before he was substituted, heading over from Marvin Plattenhardt's cross before captain Dedryck Boyata headed wide minutes later as the chances to clinch all three points piled up at one end. In the end, Hertha were left kicking themselves as the chance to end Wolfsburg's unbeaten start to the season slipped through their fingers.

Match stats

  • Cunha's goal was Hertha's quickest in the Bundesliga since March 2019.
  • Cunha is Hertha's three-goal leading marksman after six match days. He netted his only previous goal in four career attempts against Wolfsburg in the 2018/19 DFB Cup last 16 whilst playing for RB Leipzig.
  • Baku scored his first goal for Wolfsburg in the same city in which he scored his last for Mainz, which he scored against Union Berlin in May 2020.
  • Brooks made 90 Bundesliga appearances for Hertha. The American is unbeaten in five meetings with his former club (W2, D3).
  • Philipp was also born in the German capital, and represented the Hertha youths. Wolfsburg's new signing made his first Bundesliga appearance since February 2019 on Matchday 5.

Line-ups

Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik, Boyata (c), Alderete, Mittelstädt (Plattenhardt 74') - Stark, Tousart (Guendouzi 57') - Lukebakio (Dilrosun 74'), Darida, Cunha - Cordoba (Piatek 82')
Subs: Jarstein, Klünter, Dardai, Löwen, Ngankam
Out: Ascacibar (muscular), Torunarigha (ankle), Zeefuik (suspended)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (Klaus 84') - Schlager, Gerhardt - Steffen, Philipp (Mehmedi 65'), Brekalo (Victor 65') - Weghorst (Bialek 90'+3)
Subs: Pervan, Pongracic, Siersleben, Malli, Ginczek
Out: Bruma (thigh), Guilavogui (thigh), Mbabu (knee), Otavio (hamstring), William (knee)
Coach: Oliver Glasner