- Dortmund and Hertha share the spoils.
- Aubameyang misses second-half penalty.
- Exciting game keeps top end of table wide open.
The top-of-the-table tussle between Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin ended in a thrilling 1-1 draw at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on Friday night.
Red Card: Mor (83'), Stocker (89')
A raft of injuries forced Thomas Tuchel to make five changes to the side that lost in Leverkusen last time out and Dortmund’s youngsters started the game determined to get back to winning ways immediately. Enjoying the lion’s share of possession, their pace going forward kept Hertha’s back four very busy. However, it was the visitors who came closest to opening the scoring with Alexander Esswein twice going close from mid-range. Christian Pulisic and Emre Mor in particular looked dangerous for the hosts but Hertha were solid and well-organized and the teams went into the break with the score still goalless.
The majority of the 80,000 fans suffered a shock at the start of the second half as Hertha took the lead five minutes in. A neat through ball by Vedad Ibisevic sliced open the defense and Valentin Stocker kept his composure to finish neatly. Tuchel reacted with a double substitution on the hour-mark as Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele entered the fray to shake things up in attack. Dortmund stepped up a gear and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang almost equalised but his chipped shot was deflected agonisingly onto the post by Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein. Aubameyang was then presented with the perfect opportunity to level things up with a quarter-of-an-hour to go. Genki Haraguchi was ruled to have handled a Kagawa shot and Dortmund were awarded a penalty. But Jarstein guessed correctly and kept out the spot-kick. With ten minutes to go, the Gabon striker was not to be denied however, sliding home to finish after great work from Dembele. Dortmund were reduced to ten men with seven minutes remaining as Mor was sent off for a push. Hertha’s Stocker also saw red a short while later as the game finished on an explosive note.
Man of the Match
He was only the pitch for half an hour, but Ousmane Dembele made an immediate impact. His pace and trickery caused plenty of problems and he created the equaliser in style.
Injury-ravaged Dortmund fielded a starting line-up with an average age of just 22.9 years and their exciting talents look set to thrill Bundesliga audiences this season. However, the experience and efficiency of a solid Hertha side suggested they still have plenty to learn.
- Dortmund have set a new club record of 25 home matches without defeat.
- Dortmund are unbeaten in their last 24 Friday night matches at home (W16, D7).
- Rune Jarsten saved a penalty for the first time in his Bundesliga career.
- With 14 points from seven games, Hertha have made their best start for 11 years.
Dortmund: Bürki - Passlack, Ginter, Merino, Schmelzer (c) (Park 71') - Weigl - Pulisic, Rode (Dembele 60'), Götze (Kagawa 60'), Mor - Aubameyang
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred (Allan 78'), Stark - Esswein, Stocker, Haraguchi - Ibisevic (Allagui 80')
Coach: Pal Dardai