Bundesliga News

Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 2
(0 - 1)
Hertha BSC
K. Piątek (70)
P. Lienhart (17), N. Petersen (78)

Dardai laments more set-piece woes:
"I can't go in there and head away myself."

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Two goals conceded off set-pieces against Freiburg on Saturday now mean that almost half of Hertha's 20 allowed goals this season have come from dead-ball situations.

For trainer Pal Dardai and chief executive Fredi Bobic, it's thus about getting back to basics over the international break.
Pal Dardai.
Pal Dardai.Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
Left to answer for yet another disappointing defeat on Saturday afternoon, Pal Dardai and Fredi Bobic did their utmost to accentuate the positives.

"Today we lost because of the set-piece goals," Dardai told the Sky mics afterwards, "There's no need to sugarcoat anything. It's a shame actually. The spaces were there. The chances were there. We just didn't take them."

Dardai addressed some of his side's squandered chances by noting, "We let in six goals against Leipzig last week", then adding, "I think everyone's confidence isn't too high at the moment."

Four minutes after Kyzystof Piatek scored the equalizer, Hertha very nearly took the lead. Unfortunately, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp's 74th minute effort hit the post. Nils Petersen then gave Freiburg what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 78th when the hosting Berliners couldn't clear the corner.

"It's really a shame," Dardai reiterated, "We cannot concede two goals off corners. That must not happen to us. But it's part of football. Today you can't say that it came down to tactical errors. Those were two set-piece situations. I can't go in there and head away myself."

The ongoing debate as to whether Sporting CEO Fredi Bobic will accept the soft resignation Dardai offered after Hertha began the campaign with three straight losses is only likely to intensify over the international break.

For his part, Bobic tried to strike a positive tone as well.

"The loss was very annoying, but it didn't stem from a lack of will from the team," Bobic said afterwards, "I saw plenty of players who pushed themselves beyond their limit today."

Eight of the 20 goals Hertha have conceded this season came off set-pieces. The good news is that the team will have plenty of time to work on them during the two weeks before their next match.

Moreover, the club can count on a much-needed clearing of multiple injuries over the next 14 days. Striker Piatek, who was subbed on at the half, made his first appearance since bowing out with a serious ankle fracture during last year's relegation fight.

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