Anyone who has ever questioned the existence of the football god only has to look at the duel between Hertha and Stuttgart for 15th place in the past few weeks and will never doubt it again.
On the one hand, the Berliners, who – at least felt – have recently squandered more money and worn out more coaches than any Bundesliga club before. On the other hand, the Stuttgart team, who with coach Pellegrino Matarazzo since January 2020 have only survived the rise and now also the difficult second season with an unfamiliar continuity.
Towards the end of the season, both teams got going just in time, and Hertha, under Felix Magath, found stability after winning duels against their direct rivals Augsburg and Stuttgart and built up a clear lead.
On the third-to-last matchday, in the 88th minute, Stuttgart were 1-0 down at home to Wolfsburg, while Hertha led 1-0 in Bielefeld. With a seven-point lead, Hertha secured relegation with two games left. The Bielefeld side, still in the running for relegation, threw everything forward and caught a counterattack in which two Berliners ran towards the Bielefeld goalkeeper alone. Then the football god intervened and steered the action from then on until the stoppage time of the last matchday with an obviousness never seen before.
It happened in quick succession: In Bielefeld, the two Berliners frittered away the ball in a way that was unimaginable for a Bundesliga player. Stuttgart equalized almost at the same time in the 89th minute, and Hertha conceded the goal in added time to tie the game. Still four points behind, Stuttgart scored in the next game away from Bayern Munich, of all places, although the old warrior Felix Magath, who had long suspected what was to come, drew the eyes of the whole of Germany to Bayern and their commitment.
The day before, his Hertha had lost 2-1 to Mainz at home in front of 70,000 spectators because in the 89th minute the ball bounced off the Mainz inner post over the goalkeeper’s back instead of into the goal where it belongs.
And now, on the last day of the game, when Hertha was still leading in Dortmund after an hour and Stuttgart’s goalkeeper made a bad mistake to equalize for Cologne, the football god intervened again. Not only did he let Hertha lose after an unfortunate hand penalty, he also scored Stuttgart’s winning goal in the 90th minute and gave them the chance to stay up in the league. Hertha, on the other hand, has to be relegated.
In conclusion, it can be said that Hertha and Felix Magath do not have to worry. You don’t stand a chance against higher powers and Stuttgart should simply stay in the league. Nothing is lost, because Stuttgart are not part of the relegation, and the football god has certainly noticed that he now has something to make up for at Hertha.