Salomon Kalou set up one goal and scored the other as Hertha Berlin defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 on Wednesday to maintain their push for a top-four finish.
A tense first half at the Olympiastadion saw few clear-cut chances. Vedad Ibisevic and Marco Russ came close at either end, the former seeing his effort easily stopped by Lukas Hradecky, the latter failing to find the target. Marco Fabian did test Rune Jarstein midway through the half while Mitchell Weiser’s powerful run carved out the best chance before the break for Ibisevic, but the Bosnia-Herzegovina international striker could not beat Hradecky.
Prompting promisingly from midfield, Fabian almost produced the breakthrough early in the second half, stretching Jarstein with a fine effort. Instead, though, it was Hertha who struck decisively. Kalou, helped out by a kindly bounce and some equally friendly defending, bustled into the area and found Weiser, whose rising finish was too good for Hradecky. Kalou then broke clear himself, clipping home the second to keep Hertha in the hunt for a European qualifying place.
Man of the match
Creative and clinical, Kalou stole the show in the capital.
With other results not going their way, Eintracht look to be in real danger of the drop. Saturday’s visit of FC Ingolstadt 04 will be a crucial one for Armin Veh’s men.
- Weiser now has two league goals this season.
- Per Skjelbred captained Hertha for the first time this season.
- Kalou now has 12 goals to his name this term.
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Stark, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred – Darida (Stocker 81’) - Weiser, Haraguchi (Cigerci 68’) - Kalou (Mittelstädt, 90') - Ibisevic
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Hasebe, Zambrano, Abraham, Oczipka - Russ - Stendera (Waldschmidt 79’) - Aigner, Huszti (Kittel 71’) - Fabian - Seferovic