Hertha Berlin left it late but twice came from behind to grab all three points at VfL Wolfsburg, thanks to a Salomon Kalou penalty in injury time.
VfL Wolfsburg 2-3 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Mayoral (12'), 1-1 Plattenhardt (16'), 2-1 Seguin (18'), 2-2 Esswein (69'), 2-3 Kalou pen. (90+1')
Red card: Seguin (87')
Wolfsburg were the first to draw blood in this encounter when Real Madrid CF loanee Borja Mayoral scored his first Bundesliga goal as Daniel Caligiuri’s header was only parried. The visitors, however, reacted almost immediately with a free-kick from left-back Marvin Plattenhardt, which left keeper Diego Benaglio rooted to the spot in the Wolves’ goal. Not to be outdone, the hosts struck back even quicker through 21-year-old Paul Seguin – another debut Bundesliga goal for Wolfsburg.
Hertha had the lion’s share of the possession in the second half but could not get past the deep-lying Wolfsburg defence until the 69th minute when substitute Alexander Esswein received the ball 25 yards out and swept the ball home into the far corner. Wolfsburg goal-scorer Seguin was sent off for his second booking of the day in the 87th minute before it got worse for the home side when Caligiuri was penalised for a foul on Plattenhardt in the box and Kalou stepped up to convert the penalty to condemn Wolfsburg to their fifth home defeat of the season.
Man of the match
In a game with many attempts on goal, Hertha defender Plattenhardt was key to the capital club’s victory with his sweet free-kick and his run into the Wolfsburg box to win the decisive penalty in the closing minutes.
Hertha approached this match as if they were at home and managed 18 attempts on goal today, the most they’ve had this season. Wolfsburg began the game with a surprising 3-5-2 formation and it looked to be paying off up front, but the amount of shots his side allowed will not have pleased Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael.
- Plattenhardt now has five Bundesliga goals, all scored from direct free-kicks.Two Wolfsburg players scored their debut goals in the German top flight today: Mayoral and Seguin.Kalou has now converted all five of his penalties in the Bundesliga.
Wolfsburg: Benaglio (c) - Knoche, Bruma, Rodriguez - Guilavogui (Gustavo 61') - Seguin, Arnold - Caligiuri, Gerhardt - Mayoral (Draxler 78'), Gomez
Coach: Valerien Ismael
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp (c), Brooks, Plattenhardt - Lustenberger, Stark (Allan 80') - Haraguchi (Esswein 59'), Stocker (Darida 59'), Kalou - Schieber
Coach: Pal Dardai