bundesliga

Honours even for Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin on historic day for Sami Khedira

Sami Khedira made his 100th Bundesliga appearance against first club VfB Stuttgart as new employers Hertha Berlin rescued a 1-1 draw, Luca Netz cancelling out Sasa Kalajdzic's opener.

VfB Stuttgart 1-1 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Kalajdzic (45'+1), 1-1 Netz (82')

Stuttgart welcomed Hertha to the Mercedez-Benz Arena without the two players - Gonzalo Catsro and Marc-Oliver Kempf - who had fired them to a 2-0 victory in October's reverse fixture. The Swabians nonetheless clicked into gear early, with Wataru Endo forcing a save from Rune Jarstein in the visiting goal. Kalajdzic, playing in place of another injured Stuttgart protagonist, Nicolas Gonzalez, then scuffed a good chance wide of the far post on the half-hour, before Erik Thommy flashed a free-kick straight into Berlin's wall. Philipp Förster thought he should have had a penalty towards the end of the half after a challenge from Omar Alderete, but referee Harm Osmers' whistle stayed in his pocket. After sending another effort wide, Kalajdzic beat Jarstein with a header from a Borna Sosa free-kick, though, and Stuttgart carried a deserved 1-0 lead into the break.

The early second-half traffic flowed in the same direction as the first, and Sosa could have afforded a shot on goal himself instead of squaring a pass which was then cleared by Atakan Karazor. Pal Dardai sent winter arrivals Sami Khedira and Nemanja Radonjic on for the final half hour - the former making his 100th Bundesliga appearance against his first club - and their introduction gave their side a boost, Matheus Cunha drawing a free-kick soon after which ultimately came to nothing. Hertha had a good spell of possession late in the second period, and they got a well-earned equaliser when 17-year-old Netz benefitted from his own mis-control and tapped the ball home into an empty net.

Match stats

  • Kalazdjic pulled up to nine goals for the season. The league's tallest player has scored every 100 minutes he has played this term.
  • Stuttgart have won just one of 10 home games in the league this season, drawing six and losing three.
  • VfB kept one of their two clean sheets so far this term in the reverse fixture. Die Schwaben have not been involved in a goalless draw since Matchday 30 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga 2 campaign.
  • Khedira played for Stuttgart for 15 years (1995-2010), scoring 14 goals in 98 Bundesliga outings for the club and helping them win the title in 2007.
  • Hertha have recorded just one win in their last 11 Bundesliga games, and are winless in their last seven on the road.
  • The Old Lady's six-goal leading marksman Cunha is now without a goal in 11 Bundesliga matches.

Watch: Kalajdzic: "I didn't take advantage of my chances"

Line-ups

Stuttgart: Kobel - Mavropanos, Anton, Karazor - Silas (Coulibaly 68'), Mangala, Endo (c), Sosa - Förster (Cisse 86'), Thommy (Didavi 68') - Kalajdzic (Klimowicz 86')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Stenzel, Klement, Ahamada, Kaminski
Out: Al Ghaddioui (match fitness), Castro (hamstring), Churlinov (broken nose), Egloff (ankle), Gonzalez (hamstring), Kempf (ill), Mola (hip)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo

Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik (Leckie 79'), Stark (c), Alderete, Mittelstädt (Netz 79') - Tousart, Ascacibar (Khedira 58') - Lukebakio, Guendouzi, Cunha - Piatek (Radonjic 58')
Unused subs: Schwolow, Darida, Klünter, Löwen, Palk. Dardai
Out: Boyata (foot), Cordoba (muscular), Dilrosun (knee), Plattenhardt (groin), Torunarigha (hip)
Coach: Pal Dardai