Berlin - Borussia Dortmund slumped to their ninth league defeat of the season as Hertha Berlin held on for a 1-0 victory over Jürgen Klopp’s charges at the Olympiastadion.
Little goalmouth action
Former Dortmund striker Julian Schieber gave the Old Lady the lead five minutes before the interval and although Dortmund upped the pressure after the restart, Hertha held on for a precious win that sees them leapfrog BVB in the table.
Italian striker Ciro Immobile kept his place in the Dortmund starting line-up at the expense of ex-Hertha striker Adrian Ramos, who was forced to settle for a place on the bench. Clear goal-scoring opportunities were few and far between in the opening quarter of an hour, however, with Per Skjelbred registering the only notable effort on goal.
Klopp’s side began to see more of the ball as the half wore on, but for all their possession they struggled to pierce a well-drilled home back line. Mitchell Langerak, starting his third consecutive match for die Schwarz-Gelben remained the busier of the two keepers and was relieved to see Ronny’s curling free-kick fly over the cross-bar after 26 minutes.
Schieber comes back to haunt BVB
Klopp was forced into a substitution ten minutes before half time when Henrikh Mkhitaryan pulled up clutching the back of his right thigh, with Jakub Blaszczykowski coming on as his replacement. The change did little to alter the overall pattern of the game, though, and when Schieber was played through by Skjelbred, the former BVB man was left with the simple task of sidefooting past Langerak to give Hertha the lead.
Roy Beerens could have doubled the hosts’ advantage moments later, but Langerak kept the score at 1-0 with a smart save. Ramos then entered the fray at the start of the second half, replacing midfielder Sebastian Kehl, but Hertha continued to look the more likely scorers and Änis Ben Hatira should have done better when he breezed past the visitors’ defence and fired into the side-netting from a tight angle.
No way back for Dortmund
Immobile finally tested Thomas Kraft after 65 minutes with a right-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area, before BVB captain Mats Hummels saw a powerful header punched over the crossbar by the Berlin custodian. The two chances appeared to spark some urgency in the visitors’ play, but Kraft was equal to everything Dortmund had to throw at him.
The closing stages were played out entirely in the Berlin half and after Kraft had done brilliantly to tip Immobile’s goal-bound header around the post, the former Torino FC striker somehow managed to direct a header wide of the target when it looked easier to score. It proved to be the Yellow-Blacks’ last chance of the match as Hertha held on to arrest their run of three consecutive league defeats and put Dortmund right back in trouble.
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