bundesliga

Stevan Jovetic at the double as Hertha Berlin fight back for draw at VfB Stuttgart

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Stevan Jovetic's first Bundesliga brace earned Hertha Berlin a point at VfB Stuttgart, who had led through goals from Omar Marmoush and Philipp Förster.

VfB Stuttgart 2-2 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0
Marmoush 15' (assist: Anton), 2-0 Förster 19' (assist: Al Ghaddioui), 2-1 Jovetic 40' (assist: Torunarigha), 2-2 Jovetic 76' (assist: Belfodil)

Stuttgart took the lead when, with 10 Hertha players committed forward for an attack, Waldemar Anton sent Marmoush through on goal from inside his own half, and the Egypt international kept his composure to slot the ball in past Alexander Schwolow. Förster added a second within five minutes, progressing unchallenged towards the edge of the penalty area before curling a shot beyond Schwolow's reach. Marmoush nearly added a third with Schwolow this time managing to push the ball away, with Stuttgart stamping their authority on the game. Something special was needed to get Hertha back in the game and Ishak Belfodil provided it by dribbling through and curling his shot into the far corner, although a VAR review saw an offside in the build-up and the goal was ruled out. Jovetic then followed Belfodil's example, and there was no ruling out his curling effort which had Florian Müller beaten all ends up.

Alexis Tibidi came on at the start of the second half and the 18-year-old Frenchman almost netted his first goal for Stuttgart, but he lacked coordination with his attempt. Stuttgart were controlling possession and playing down the clock, but they almost added a third when Marmoush burst clear again, only this time the offside flag cut short his celebrations. One goal is always a slender advantage, though, and it looked wafer thin when Jovetic brought a fine one-handed save out of Müller with still more than 15 minutes for the Swabians to hold out. They were unable to do so with Jovetic pouncing from close range from Belfodil's assist to bring the Old Lady level and earn Tayfun Korkut a point against his former club in his first match in charge of Hertha.

Match stats

  • Silas made his 60th competitive appearance for Stuttgart. He scored his last of 11 Bundesliga goals on 20 January.
  • Jovetic scored in the second half of a Bundesliga game for the first time, having netted three in first halves.
  • He scored his first brace in the Bundesliga and is now Hertha's top-scorer with four.
  • Korkut oversaw 22 matches as Stuttgart coach between February and October 2018 (W10, D6, L6).
  • Hertha are winless in their last six trips to Stuttgart, and have won just five of 35 Bundesliga matches at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Watch: Jovetic: "It wasn't easy to come back"

Line-ups

Stuttgart: Müller – Mavropanos, Anton, Ito – Massimo (Tibidi 46'), Endo (c), Mangala (Karazor 75'), Sosa – Förster – Al Ghaddioui (Silas 63'), Marmoush
Unused subs: Schock, Coulibaly, Stenzel, Klement, Nartey, Klimowicz
Out:
Ahamada (match fitness), Bredlow (thigh), Führich (not included), Kalajdzic (shoulder), Millot (knee), Sankoh (knee), Thommy (pelvis)
Coach:
Pellegrino Matarazzo

Hertha: Schwolow – Pekarik, Boyata (c), Torunarigha (Stark 72'), Plattenhardt – Richter (Boateng 72'), Ascacibar, Darida, Maolida (Ekkelenkamp 63') – Belfodil (Piatek 85'), Jovetic
Unused subs: Christensen, Selke, Mittelstädt, Zeefuik, Gechter
Out:
M. Dardai (muscular), Jarstein (knee), Klünter (shoulder), Serdar (illness)
Coach:
Tayfun Korkut

Watch: Matarazzo: "We wanted three points"