Hertha Berlin pulled level on points with champions FC Bayern München at the top of the Bundesliga table after beating FC Schalke 04 2-0 thanks to goals from Mitchell Weiser and Valentin Stocker.
Fresh from scoring his first European goal for Schalke against OGC Nice in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Abdul Rahman Baba started confidently, marauding up the left and sending two dangerous deliveries into the Hertha box inside the first ten minutes. At the other end, Vladimir Darida fizzed an effort wide from the edge of the area, but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s goal-bound effort deflecting narrowly off target meant that it was the Royal Blues who went into the interval the more frustrated with the scores at 0-0.
Schalke’s Benjamin Stambouli saw a long-range drive tipped over the bar by Rune Jarstein minutes after the restart, but the hosts settled soon after, and broke the deadlock just past the hour. Peter Pekarik won the ball from Stambouli high up the right flank before squaring for Weiser, and the former Bayern man made no mistake angling his first goal of the season past Ralf Fährmann from a tight angle. The capital club completed the victory soon after, with Weiser chipping the ball through to half-time substitute Stocker, who slid home his first goal in over a year.
Hertha spent 20 weeks in the UEFA Champions League places last season before falling away. The notion that their run last term was a fluke is being further dispelled by the week. This was their biggest test after wins over SC Freiburg and FC Ingolstadt 04, and they passed it with aplomb.
- Hertha are, aside from champions Bayern, the only team to have won each of their first three games. The capital club sealed just their second win over Schalke in 16 attempts.Stocker had not found the net since opening the scoring in the 1-1 draw with SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 2 of last season.
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp, Stark, Plattenhardt - Lustenberger, Skjelbred (Regeler 77’) - Weiser, Darida (Stocker 55’), Haraguchi - Ibisevic (c) (Schieber 87’)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Schalke: Fährmann - Höwedes (c), Naldo, Nastasic, Baba - Stambouli (Di Santo 81’), Bentaleb - Embolo (Konoplyanka 46’) Goretzka (Meyer 60’), Choupo-Moting - Huntelaar
Coach: Markus Weinzierl