Hertha Berlin beat fellow European aspirants Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the German capital, with Salomon Kalou and Marvin Plattenhardt scoring to drown our Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal for the visitors.
Goals: 1-0 Kalou (11’), 1-1 Aubameyang (55’), 2-1 Plattenhardt (71’)
Andre Schürrle sprung the Hertha offside trap with the first attack of the game before scooping what might have been his third goal of the season high and wide. Genki Haraguchi then flashed an effort wide at the other end before Kalou gave the capital club a well-deserved lead, thanks in no small part to Vedad Ibisevic’s selfless play out wide. BVB left-back-cum-midfielder Raphael Gurreiro then cleared an effort off the line before Kalou came inches away from making it two on the stroke of half-time, only to see Marvin Plattenhardt’s cross fly just beyond him.
Whatever Thomas Tuchel said to his charges at the interval seemed to spur them into action, with Aubameyang inches away from heading home the equaliser when Erik Durm’s cross had left Rune Jarstein stranded. The Gabon captain wouldn’t be denied for long, though, and when Shinji Kagawa’s quick feet afforded him a gilt-edged opportunity, Aubameyang lashed home, left-footed, for 1-1. Hertha rebounded after that brief flurry, though, and Plattenhardt curled home what is becoming a trademark free-kick midway through the half.
Man of the Match
Plattenhardt has been one of the surprise success stories of the season. He would have had an assist if there had been a shade less pace on his first-half cross for Kalou, while his free-kick was his third of the season – and seventh score from a Bundesliga dead-ball in total.
Hertha figure to push Dortmund all the way in the race for European qualification come the end of the campaign. Pal Dardai’s side haven’t been third since Matchday 16, but they are now only three points from BVB, who currently occupy that spot behind leaders Bayern Munich and second-place RB Leipzig.
- Aubameyang scored his 22nd goal of the season. He managed just three more last term, in nine more games.
- The Gabon captain scored his first goal at the Olympiastadion, having previously lost three DFB Cup finals in Berlin.
- Hertha won for the first time in seven competitive games against Dortmund.
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Stark, Skjelbred – Haraguchi (Allagui 90+4’), Darida, Kalou (Mittelstadt 81’) - Ibisevic (c) (Wieser 66’)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Dortmund: Bürki – Durm (Pulisic 76’), Ginter, Bartra, Schmelzer (c) - Weigl – Schürrle (Merino 83’), Castro (Dembele 76’), Kagawa, Guerreiro – Aubameyang
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Watch: Kalou says a European finish is there for the taking for Hertha!: