Victory for Hertha BSC against VfB Stuttgart: Never change a winning shirt – Sport

There are things that Felix Magath claims don’t mean much to him. For example: The remarkable fact that he has now coached 500 Bundesliga games. He has played the last five as coach of Hertha, which is in acute danger of relegation, and three have been victorious. Including the game that Hertha played against VfB Stuttgart on Sunday evening.

The Berliners won 2-0 through an early goal from Davie Selke and a late goal from Ishak Belfodil – putting them in a good position to stay in the game with three games left in the season. Hertha is now 15th in the table. four points ahead of the Swabians and six ahead of penultimate Arminia Bielefeld. “The heart is relieved,” Selke said after the game at Dazn: “I don’t need to explain how important this win was.”

At the same time, the focus was once again on the fan topic around the game. Hertha gave the 40,000 or so club members two free tickets for the relegation duel as a thank you for their support in this season that has gone so badly so far (and to fill the large stadium as much as possible). The stadium was not full. And the 54,589 spectators present had to do without the usual winning ritual after the game. As soon as the game was over, the Hertha kickers marched into the dressing room. That was a reaction from the pros to those scenes after the derby defeat against Union two weeks ago, when radical Berlin supporters forced the footballers to take off the club shirt. “As a team, we decided not to approach the fans at first. It wasn’t okay against Union,” said goalkeeper Marcel Lotka.

His team-mates had dressed in the dark blue away shirts for the game against VfB – as in the previous week in Augsburg, when Hertha scored three important points with a fine magic goal from Suat Serdar. True to the motto: Never change a winning shirt.

Tousart and Ascacíbar wear down the Stuttgart creative department

Immediately before the kick-off, the Augsburgers had tightened the starting position for Hertha and Stuttgart. Because FCA won 2-0 at VfL Bochum and thus took an important step towards remaining in the league. In this mixed situation, it wasn’t the worst idea to bang your fist on the table as early and loudly as possible. Hertha succeeded in an excellent way.

Redeemed Hertha in stoppage time: striker Ishak Belfodil.

(Photo: John Macdougall/AFP)

In the second minute, Marvin Plattenhardt kicked a corner sharply into the six-yard box; Marc Oliver Kempf, of all people, who moved from Stuttgart to Berlin in the winter, just missed the goal of his former colleagues with a header. A few seconds later, Stuttgart goalkeeper Florian Müller was beaten. After a cross from Plattenhardt – this time from the left – Hertha’s center forward Davie Selke got the ball and steered it into the goal with his leg stretched out to make it 1-0. The linesman raised the flag, but they know how to use calibrated lines in the video referee’s room.

The goal counted and gave Hertha equal parts security and confidence, especially since they went into duels with determination and defended in solidarity. With the exception of two long-range shots from Wataru Endo and Chris Führich, Stuttgart were unable to combine into the Berlin penalty area. Hertha’s two defensive midfielders, Lucas Tousart and Santi Ascacíbar, wore down Stuttgart’s creative department so much that Hertha’s four-man defense only had to sweep out the last remnants of Swabian attacking efforts.

At the beginning of the second half, Stuttgart becomes a bit more intrusive

On the sidelines, Hertha coach Magath’s Scottish assistant, Mark Fotheringham, repeatedly urged the team to move forward. The distances for the Stuttgart team to the Hertha goal became longer and longer. However, there were hardly any chances for Hertha up to half-time. But applause on the way to the cabin.

Hertha BSC: Celebrated a win in the 500th game as head coach: Hertha coach Felix Magath.

Celebrated a win in the 500th game as head coach: Hertha coach Felix Magath.

(Photo: Andreas Gora/dpa)

At the beginning of the second half, VfB became a bit more intrusive. After winning the ball in midfield, defender Konstantinos Mavropanos crossed half the field, but his shot went slightly deflected over the goal. Führich and Erik Thommy tried without luck, Hertha only came back to relieve attacks after Ishak Belfodil came on for Kevin-Prince Boateng – for example with a long-range shot by Peter Pekarik (68th).

All in all, however, the game remained an extremely tough affair, in which Hertha increasingly insisted on maintaining the lead over time, and the self-sacrificingly fighting VfB ran out of ideas to present Hertha’s defense with real tasks. In the end it was Belfodil who let four Stuttgarters run into space with ice coldness in the six-yard box – and scored the 2-0 in injury time. Now, after four games without a win, Stuttgart have to try to take on Wolfsburg, Munich and Cologne. Hertha still have games in Bielefeld, against Mainz and – on the last day of the game – a visit to Dortmund. Nothing is certain yet, but it seems unlikely that the win against Stuttgart was a real big point.

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