Hertha Berlin moved up to second in the Bundesliga standings after inflicting a first defeat of the season on fellow high fliers 1. FC Köln.
Hertha Berlin 2-1 1. FC Köln
Hertha played some delightful attacking football in the first half and, shortly after Vedad Ibisevic tested the reflexes of Köln goalkeeper Timo Horn with a shot on the turn, were duly rewarded for their eye-catching efforts. Jonas Hector was dispossessed on halfway by Hertha wide man Mitchell Weiser, who raced clear before pulling the ball back for Ibisevic to sweep home his sixth Bundesliga goal of the current campaign with aplomb.
The Old Lady continued to cause problems for the Köln defence after the restart, with the tireless Genki Haraguchi and Marvin Plattenhardt combining to force a quite brilliant save from Horn at his near post. Haraguchi tickled the side netting when well placed moments later, before Anthony Modeste met a Leonardo Bittencourt cross to level against the run of play. Hertha restored their lead through Niklas Stark, but were indebted to the frame of Rune Jarstein's goal in the end for keeping Köln at bay, while Artjoms Rudnevs had a late equaliser ruled out for a foul.
It was always going to take something special to beat a Köln side that had not lost in the Bundesliga in 12 matches, but that is what Hertha delivered in front of their own fans. Rock-solid defensively and slick in attack, the Old Lady are, indeed, the real deal.
- Köln suffered their first Bundesliga defeat since 10 April 2016.Ibisevic is now sixth on the Bundesliga's list of all-time leading non-German marksmen with 98 goals.Modeste is the first Köln player to score eight goals in his first eight goals of a season since Klaus Allofs (1984/85).
Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Skelbred, Stark - Esswein (Schieber 68’), Kalou (Allan 84’), Haraguchi - Ibisevic (c) (Allagui 90+1’)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Köln: Horn - Sörensen, Mavraj, Heintz (Rudnevs 79’), Hector - Lehmann (c), Höger - Risse, Rausch (Zoller 68’) - Osako (Bittencourt 46’), Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger