Hertha declaw Wolves to close on Europe

Hertha Berlin solidified their European credentials with Saturday’s 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Wolfsburg. Captain Vedad Ibisevic delivered the crucial game-winner for the Old Lady.

Goals: 1-0 Ibisevic (59′)

Wolfsburg pushed for an early advantage, with Yunus Malli and Mario Gomez each getting a one-on-one opportunity to put the visitors ahead, but Rune Jarstein kept the door closed for Hertha. Andries Jonker’s crew continued to control play for most of the first half. The hosts used a pair of set-piece chances to finally announce their presence in the last ten minutes of the half, but could not otherwise do much to excite the fans beyond show promise for a better second-half presence.

Hertha came out of the half with the same fire they showed late in the first, and it soon paid off.  Triggered by John Anthony Brooks taking the ball off the foot of Mario Gomez at the edge of Hertha’s penalty area, the Berliners quickly moved the ball up the right flank, from where Alexander Esswein delivered a terrific cross for Vedad Ibisevic. Alexander Esswein crosses from the right flank for Vedad Ibisevic. Rune Jarstein swatted the initial header directly back to Ibisevic who stooped slightly to send the game-winner into goal.

Man of the Match

Ibesevic simply seems to get better with age. Now 32, The Bosnia-Herzegovina striker has not passed the ten-goal mark since the 2012/13 season, when he fired VfB Stuttgart to survival with his haul of 15.

Talking Point

Hertha haven’t played in European competition since a run to the last 32 of the Europa League in 2009/10. This victory may not have been the prettiest, but the capital club will fancy another tilt at continental competition with performances like this.

Match Stats

  • Ibisevic’s haul of 12 goals means he has now scored double the next highest-scoring Hertha player – Salomon Kalou, who has six.
  • Hertha right-back Peter Pekarik mde his 100th Bundesliga appearance.
  • Now fifth, Hertha have yet to dip below sixth this season.

Line-ups

Hertha: Jarstein – Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt – Skjelbred, Darida – Esswein, Allan, Kalou – Ibisevic (c)  

Coach: Pal Dardai

Wolfsburg: Casteels – Blaszczykowski, Knoche, Gustavo (c), Gerhardt – Bazoer, Guilavogui – Vieirinha, Arnold, Malli – Gomez

Coach: Andries Jonker

Bundesliga.com – News Bundesliga

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