Hertha Berlin continued their impressive home form this term with a 2-1 victory over a ten-man Bayer 04 Leverkusen side on Saturday afternoon.
Goals: 1-0 Darida (7’), 1-1 Hernandez (29’), 2-1 Brooks (60’)
Red card: Boenisch (17’)
Hertha showed no ill effects of their defeat to FC Bayern München last weekend and started brightly in the capital. They did not have to wait long for their pressure to take its toll as Leverkusen's defence crumbled in the seventh minute, with Vladimir Darida finishing off a neat team move. Things soon went from bad to worse for the visitors when Sebastian Boenisch was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle.
Leverkusen took a while to regroup but managed to haul themselves level when Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez expertly tucked the ball home from a tight angle following Admir Mehmedi's pass. However, Hertha retook the lead in the second half when USA international John Anthony Brooks met a corner from the right with a powerful header into the top corner to seal the points for Pal Dardai's side.
Man of the match
Brooks had an excellent game at the back for Hertha, and although Hernandez escaped him once to score, his positioning was generally outstanding. The 22-year-old won an impressive 54 per cent of his tackles, completed over 80 per cent of his passes and scored the decisive winner.
Hertha may be this season’s surprise package but their lofty position in the table is no fluke. This was their fifth home win in seven outings at the Oympiastadion in 2015/16, while their robust defence has conceded fewer goals than all but three Bundesliga teams.
- Darida's goal was the fourth time Hertha have scored in the opening 15 minutes this season.
- Chicharito has scored six of Leverkusen’s last nine goals.
- Brooks netted his first Bundesliga goal of the season and just his fourth overall.
Hertha: Jarstein – Regäsel, Lustenberger (c), Brooks, Plattenhardt – Weiser, Darida (Hegeler 85’), Skjelbred, Haraguchi (Van den Berghen 90’) – Kalou (Baumjohann 78’), Ibisevic
Leverkusen: Leon – Donati (Hilbert 68’), Tah, Toprak (c), Boenisch –Kramer, Kampl - Bellarabi, Brandt (Wendell 20’), Mehmedi (Calhanoglu 68’) – Hernandez