KShortly after the start of the second half, a noise could be heard in the Berlin Olympic Stadium that had to be interpreted as malicious laughter. The scoreboard showed the score from distant Gelsenkirchen, where Schalke was hopelessly behind against 1. FC Union. This caused general amusement, as the supporters of Borussia Dortmund and Hertha BSC have a common, deep dislike for Schalke.
As great as the gloating may have been at the moment, the self-critical among the Berlin fans must have brought a bitter realization to the repeated victory of Union. Their own team is about as far away from their local rivals’ level of performance and table region as Berlin is from Gelsenkirchen. Although Hertha once again put in a committed performance against BVB, they are still waiting for their first win after the fourth matchday and find themselves in the penultimate place in the table.
In the end it was 0:1 in a game that could have ended 2:2 or 1:6 from Berlin’s point of view. This gigantic spread was partly due to Dortmund’s sloppiness in front of the opposing goal. As regularly as Borussia had to cede the championship to FC Bayern in recent years, they naturally missed opportunity after opportunity in Berlin.
Poor BVB chance conversion
With the consequence that Hertha almost equalized in the end. But the Berliners are also lacking in execution qualities, Marco Richter only hit the crossbar in the final phase on his return after surviving cancer. It was the last, but not the first, time that aluminum played a crucial role that afternoon.
“We should have decided the game much earlier,” said Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, agreeing with his coach Edin Terzic, who described the low yield in relation to the benefit even more drastically: “Even if we had scored three goals, we would still have have to talk about poor exploitation of opportunities,” said Dortmund’s coach.
Terzic saw what he wanted to see from his team in Berlin: a reaction to the still inexplicable 2:3 draw against Werder Bremen, when a seemingly comfortable two-goal lead was squandered in the 89th minute. From Dortmund’s point of view, it was clear that something similar shouldn’t be repeated if you really wanted to challenge FC Bayern this season.
The Dortmund team started with corresponding commitment. The ball ran complacently through their ranks. “It was definitely important to show an increase in performance compared to last week. We managed to do that,” said Terzic. However, his team did not initially come dangerously in front of the Berlin goal. Unlike Hertha. Goalkeeper Kobel had to stretch a lot when Jonjoe Kenny shot.
Modeste swings the ball into the net
However, BVB then took control and received involuntary support from Hertha’s defense. Marc-Oliver Kempf sent an unsuccessful header save directly into the foot of Marco Reus, but his deflected shot landed on the crossbar. Like Reus, Salih Özcan failed because of the goal limit, his attempt hit the post.
Shortly thereafter, Anthony Modeste missed twice in a promising position. Dortmund should have been in the lead long ago, even if Hertha could have scored with a little more precision from Chidera Ejuke, who had the ball, after a mistake by Raphael Guerreiro in the build-up game. It was not only in this scene that the Berliners lacked coordination in important situations. It cannot be overlooked that the squad underwent a general overhaul in the summer and will probably continue to do so.
The clubs are allowed to sign players until next Thursday, and Hertha’s manager Fredi Bobic has repeatedly emphasized in the past few days that he will continue to monitor the market. A unerring attacker would look good on Hertha. Like Modeste, who scored his first goal for BVB in Berlin. The beefy striker headed a cross from Özcan into the net. Then he ran 60 meters across the pitch, straight into Terzic’s arms. Modeste had already had to defend himself against criticism after two weaker appearances in the Dortmund jersey.
In Berlin, he was conspicuously wanted by his teammates with high balls, and crosses repeatedly sailed into the opposing penalty area, especially in the first half. In the second half, Modeste stood out as a hard worker, others exploited the chances. Karim Adeyemi missed twice, and Jude Bellingham missed twice.
In between, Hertha kept trying to counterattack. “In the second half it was often too wild, we lost control there,” said Terzic. Unlike against Werder Bremen, however, this did not have a negative effect, BVB brought the result over time this time.