Hertha Berlin enjoyed a home boost at the expense of a Cologne team now in need of a miracle to maintain their Bundesliga status after a quick-fire, second-half double from Davie Selke earned the hosts a come from behind win.
Hertha Berlin 2-1 Cologne
Goals: 0-1 Bittencourt (29'), 1-1 Selke (49'), 2-1 Selke (52')
Staring up at a mountain from the foot of the table, Cologne were desperate for maximum points but needed to survive an early scare - goalkeeper Timo Horn thwarting Salomon Kalou - before hitting their stride. Yuya Osako failed to find a way past goalkeeper Rune Jarstein from close range while an untimely injury to Simon Zoller saw the winger replaced by Jhon Cordoba. The change would eventually prove pivotal to the game's first goal, Cordoba connecting with Timo Horn's lengthy clearance to nod into the path of Bittencourt who registered his second Bundesliga goal this season.
Having witnessed their side win just once in the last five games, Hertha's fans whistled their displeasure as the referee signalled for half time. The noisy protest raised a huge response from Pal Dardai's men who emerged in determined fashion after the break to register twice in three minutes through Selke and storm into the lead. The 23-year-old first pounced on Dominique Heintz's clearance before smashing home and just moments later produced a simple right-footed finish to convert Marvin Plattenhardt's perfect centre. Chances continued to fall to both sides before the encounter entered a dramatic end-to-end finish, but it was the capital team who held on at the expense of their beleaguered opponents.
- Selke's second of the day brought up Hertha's 1,000th home goal in the Bundesliga.The striker's opener ended the hosts' drought of 350 minutes without a goal at home. Selke also ended a personal run of three months without a goal when he opened the scoring. Jhon Cordoba produced his first goal assist since Matchday 2.Both Bittencourt's goals this term have come on the road. His first came away at RB Leizpig on Matchday 24. With his strike in last month's 3-2 loss to VfB Stuttgart, Cologne striker Claudio Pizarro became the first player ever to score a goal in each of the last 20 calendar years.Between them, Vedad Ibisevic and Pizarro have scored 300 Bundesliga goals, the latter being the highest-scoring non-German in Bundesliga history with 193.
Hertha: Jarstein – Weiser (Leckie 46'), Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Lazaro, Darida, Skjelbred, Kalou (Schieber 76') – Ibisevic (c) (Duda 66'), Selke
Unused subs: Kraft, Baak, Pekarík, Maier
Absentees: Klinsmann (shoulder), Mittelstädt (hip), Torunarigha (hip), Lustenberger (knee)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Cologne: T. Horn – Mere, Sörensen, Heintz, Hector – Höger - Zoller (Córdoba 22'), Clemens (Terodde 75'), Osako, Bittencourt – Pizarro (Risse 66')
Unused subs: Kessler, Lehmann, Jojic, Koziello
Absentees: J. Horn (flu), Maroh (stomach bug), Queiros (back), Guirassy (ankle)
Coach: Stefan Ruthenbeck