Germany: Bundesliga
3 - 0
(2 - 0)
Hertha BSC
K. Piątek (13), P. Pekarík (22), N. Radonjić (85)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Hertha in safe territory following convincing win over Freiburg

With still one more game to go before they catch up with the rest of the league, Pal Dardai and Hertha BSC have pulled themselves safely out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over Freiburg.
In his second match back from a mandated 14-day-quarantine that forced players to train individually from home, Hertha trainer Pal Dardai rotated heavily. The Hungarian's starting XI, nine new starters featured in the lineup. Keeper Alexander Schwolow and midfielder Mateo Guendouzi were the only two holdovers from Monday's draw with Mainz.

A 4-2-3-1 spearheaded by Krzysztof Piatek, anchored by Vladimir Darida, and buttressed by a deep midfield axis comprised of Guendouzi and Santiago Ascacibar weathered an initial attacking pulse from Christian Streich's Freiburg, yet still got on the scoreboard early.

Defender Jordan Torunarigha set up Piatek after a fine strip of the ball in the the 13th. Nine minutes after the Polish striker's ice-cold finish, fullback Peter Pekarik headed home to give the hosting Berliners an early 2-0 advantage.

The early lead gave the Challottenburgers loads of confidence and they proceeded to dominate on both sides of the ball. Even an injury to Guendouzi near the end of the first half couldn't impede the momentum. Sami Khedira slotted in easily.

The Breisgauer certainly looked more energetic after the restart, but the outcome of the match appeared in little doubt. Freiburg substitute Petersen and Berlin's Matheus Cunha traded near misses between the 70th and 80th to give the game a little tension.

Hertha's Nemanja Ronjic put the issue beyond all doubt when he finished in the 85th, not long after his own close encounter with goal. The convincing result means survival prospects for Hertha suddenly look quite bright.

Dardai's Berliners host Armenia Bielefeld on Sunday before their final make-up match against the already-relegated Schalke next week.

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