For the third consecutive year, the top division German footballing side has won the promotion-relegation playoff. Hertha BSC follow Bremen (19/20) and Köln (20/21) as the latest team to rescue themselves from the drop via the elimination legs.
A spectacular night for Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt (one goal and one assist on two set-piece tallies) gave the Berliners a 2-1 win over second-tier side Hamburger SV on aggregate.
The once proud Hanseatic Rothosen will play their fifth straight season in the 2. Bundesliga after an effectively harmless offensive performance at home.
|Marvin Plattenhardt.||Photo: Granada, CC-by-SA 4.0|
Hertha BSC successfully turned the tables on Hamburger SV in their own stadium on Monday evening. An epic night for set-piece-meister Marvin Plattenhardt ensured that the Berlin's Charlottenburg side pulled off a 2-0 victory over the HSV at the Volkparkstadion. After taking the 2-0 lead, Hertha kept their opponents away from the danger area down the stretch.
Having secured their sixth fixture in the last seven competitive games at the Olympiastadion last Thursday night, HSV trainer Tim Walter saw no reason to tinker with the starting XI that took the opening leg 1-0. There were some injury concerns surrounding winger Bakery Jatta (subbed off in the victory), but the Gambian attacker was deemed fit enough to start.
Hertha trainer Felix Magath, on the other hand, made three changes to his lineup. Santiago Ascacibar returned from yellow-accumulator-suspension to take Niklas Stark's place. As he had hinted at during his Sunday presser, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Stevan Jovetic were tapped to start. The duo replaced Maximilian Mittelstädt and Luca Wollschläger. A very tight 4-4-2 diamond was the end result.
The visiting Berliners began with a noticeable amount of spring in their step. The two-striker set of Jovetic and Ishak Belfodil caused the Hamburg back-line immediate problems. Belfodil had earned a corner by the 3rd; a set piece off which the guests would score. The famous dead-ball-boot of Marvin Plattenhardt whipped in a service in the direction of both Lucas Tousart and skipper Dedryck Boyata. The Hertha captain converted with his head.
Magath's top-tier side continued to apply pressure for the opening quarter-of-an-hour. Somewhat shocked by the early goal, the Rotenhosen struggled to find their way into the game. The capacity crowd at the Volksparkstadion also seemed to be taken out of proceedings early. Plattenhardt continued to send in dangerous crosses and dead-ball kicks. Belfodil and Jovetic were nevertheless not able to fashion any chances out of them.
HSV keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes, along with central defenders Sebastian Schonlau and Mario Vuskovic, made some important stops when it counted. The amount of mistakes in the trio's build-up play still ensured that the hosts never really got into gear. Tousart, Belfodil, and Suat Serdar were able to get modest looks in before the half was out.
Hamburg managed to get some penetration on the right-hand-side of Jatta and Moritz Heyer, but still finished the opening 45 without a legitimate chance on goal. The Berliners maintained a 10:1 shot ratio as it was time to go into the tunnel. Heyer and Thursday's goal-scorer Ludovit Reis immediately tried distance efforts after the restart. The attempts fired up the crowd and Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen had to stretch to save Reis' shot.
Riding the momentum, the Hanseatic hosts kept the pressure up. Boyata had to be precisely on point to halt back-to-back incursions in the 52nd/53rd. Trainer Walter brought on Germany U21 prospect Joshua Vagnoman to work the left-wing. Sonny Kittel moved back to the eight position in the hopes that Vagnoman's newfound offensive positioning might make a difference.
The best chance at equalizer came in the 62nd, when the hosts worked in a ball to lead-striker Robert Glatzel. Boyata was once again on his mark to ensure that the former Lautern, Heidenheim, and Mainz forward couldn't find space to direct a header on target. Barely a minute later, Plattenhardt gave his team the 2-0 advantage with a gem of a free-kick from just outside the box right.
Plattenhardt went for gold off the set piece and curled an absolute stunner past the hopelessly backpedalling Heuer Fernandes. A deflated HSV encountered great difficulty trying to come up with ideas in the aftermath. Desperate distance efforts failed to trouble Christensen. Plattenhardt continued to boldly advance up his left flank, keeping the hosts far too busy to get their own game going.
Defending at times in a back-seven, Hertha kept their opponents totally harmless.
|3||M. Heyer ↪82|
|4||S. Schonlau (C)|
|41||M. Rohr ↪58|
|18||B. Jatta ↪74|
|11||M. Kaufmann ↩74|
|2||J. Gyamerah ↩82|
|27||J. Vagnoman ↩58|
|4||D. Boyata (C) ⚽|
|21||M. Plattenhardt ⚽ ↪81|
|8||S. Serdar ↪85|
|27||K. Boateng ↪90|
|14||I. Belfodil ↪82|
|11||M. Maolida ↩82|
|3||F. Bjørkan ↩81|
|5||N. Stark ↩85|
|6||V. Darida ↩90|