Jhon Cordoba came on from the bench to score on his debut and add to goals from Peter Pekarik, Dodi Lukebakio and Matheus Cunha in a big win for Hertha Berlin at Werder Bremen on the opening weekend.
Hertha hadn’t beaten their north German opponents in the Bundesliga since December 2013 coming into their opening weekend fixture. The Old Lady however, working under Bruno Labbadia in his first full season with the club, were measured in their approach through the first half. Kryzysztof Piatek had the game’s first chance as his header bounced off the Bremen upright, while Josh Sargent sent a warning shot at the other end by forcing a save out of summer signing Alexander Schwolow at his near post. It looked sure that the game would be level at the break before a moment of brilliance from Maximilian Mittelstädt handed Peter Pekarik the opening goal on a plate. Hertha doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Lukebakio latched onto Vladimir Darida’s through ball and smashed a shot home at the near post.
Leonardo Bittencourt was brought for the home side in time for the second period and he had an immediate impact, forcing two saves from Schwolow in the opening five minutes. Bremen continued to press but were unable to find a breakthrough before Cunha added Hertha’s third, his first-time effort after Darida’s pass creeping under the dive of Jiri Pavlenka in the Bremen goal. With 20 minutes left to play, the home side gave themselves a lifeline as Davie Selke headed home Ludwig Augustinsson’s cross, but Cordoba dashed any chances of a fightback when he came on for his Hertha debut, finding the net in the final moments by slotting home from Mathew Leckie's pass to seal all three points.
- Hertha collected three points against Bremen for the first time in 13 Bundesliga meetings, dating back to December 2013.
- Pekarik scored just his second goal in his 189th Bundesliga game, the other coming back in March 2017 against Hoffenheim.
- Cunha opened his tally for the campaign having scored five goals in 11 games following his winter arrival from RB Leipzig.
- Lukebakio was Hertha's most potent attacking force in 2019/20, contributing seven goals and six assists from the wing. He also found the net today.
- Cordoba came off the bench to score his first goal for Hertha. The Colombian hit 13 goals in the Bundesliga last season for Cologne.
- Tahith Chong made his debut for Bremen today, while Schwolow and Lucas Tousart did so for Hertha.
Watch: Dedryck Boyata talks up Hertha's "quality" in attack
Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Moisander (c), Friedl, Augustinsson – Osako (Bittencourt 46‘), M. Eggestein, Klaassen (Füllkrug 63‘), Chong (Woltemade 63‘) - Sargent, Selke
Unused subs: Kapino, Veljkovic, Agu, J. Eggestein, Erras, Mbom
Out: Möhwald (match fitness), Rashica (knee), Toprak (calf)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Hertha: Schwolow – Pekarik (Zeefuik 81‘), Boyata, Torunarigha, Mittelstädt - Tousart, Stark (c) (Maier 81‘) – Lukebakio (Leckie 81‘), Darida, Cunha – Piatek (Cordoba 61‘)
Unused subs: Jarstein, Rekik, Plattenhardt, Ngankam, Redan
Out: Ascacibar (foot), Dilrosun (thigh)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia