Hertha Berlin produced a stunning late comeback at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday, fighting from 2-0 and 3-1 down to snatch a 3-3 draw in a gripping Matchday 12 encounter.
Hertha Berlin 3-3 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Demirbay (1'), 0-2 Kramaric (10'), 1-2 Ibisevic (12'), 1-3 Bicakcic (55'), 2-3 Leckie (71'), 3-3 Lazaro (87')
The visitors got off to a flying start in the German capital, punishing a defensive mistake inside the first minute as Adam Szalai laid the ball off to Kerem Demirbay to curl home from the edge of the box. Julian Nagelsmann's side doubled their advantage shortly afterwards when Andrej Kramaric latched on to a long punt forward from goalkeeper Oliver Baumann before lashing into the net. It looked like Hoffenheim might run away with things in what was an attractive, open encounter, but Vedad Ibisevic reduced the deficit to give Hertha a foothold in the game.
Kramaric spurned another couple of chances before the break and Hoffenheim were almost made to pay for that early in the second half when Mathew Leckie was afforded time and space to shoot inside the box, but Baumann made a brilliant save to keep it out. The guests restored their two-goal lead shortly afterwards when Ermin Bicakcic met a teasing Demirbay free-kick with a powerful header into the net. If Hoffenheim looked on course for a comfortable win, Hertha had other ideas. Leckie's close-range finish in the 71st minute set up a nervy finale and when Ibisevic prodded wide when one-on-one with Baumann, they looked to have blown their chance for a point. However, Valentin Lazaro's thundering shot from distance late on rifled into the net to give Hertha a deserved point.
- Demirbay became the first German player to score for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga this season. His strike was the first time Hoffenheim have scored in the first minute of a game since Kevin Volland scored after nine seconds against Bayern Munich in August 2015.Baumann's pass for Kramaric made him the first goalkeeper to provide an assist in the Bundesliga in 2018/19.Ibisevic's goal made him the first player in Bundesliga history to score 33 goals or more for three different top-flight clubs in Germany (Hertha, Hoffenheim and Stuttgart).Bicakcic netted his first Bundesliga goal since May 2017. Each of his three league goals for Hoffenheim have been headers from set-pieces. Hertha are winless in their six Bundesliga matches since beating Bayern Munich 2-0 on Matchday 6 (D3, L2).
Hertha: Jarstein – Lazaro, Luckassen, Lustenberger, Plattenhardt – Maier, Grujic, Duda (Selke 62') – Kalou, Leckie – Ibisevic (c)
Unused substitutes: Kraft, Pekarik, Skjelbred, Köpke, Dardai, Torunarigha
Absentees: Gersbeck (cruciate ligament), Kade (ankle), Klünter (thigh), Rekik (hamstring), Stark (foot), Mittelstädt (suspended)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Kaderabek, Vogt (c), Bicakcic, Schulz – Nordtveit (Nelson 88') – Akpoguma, Demirbay – Kramaric (Bittencourt 79'), Joelinton, Szalai (Belfodil 69')
Unused substitutes: Kobel, Adams, Zuber, Grifo
Absentees: Amiri (foot), Rupp (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann