19.08.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Mönchengladbach: Fußball: Bundesliga, Borussia Mönchengladbach - Hertha BSC, 3. Spieltag, Stadion im Borussia-Park. Gladbachs Nico Elvedi und der Berliner Dodi Lukebakio kämpfen um den Ball. Foto: Federico Gambarini/dpa - WICHTIGER HINWEIS: Gemäß den Vorgaben der DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga bzw. des DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund ist es untersagt, in dem Stadion und/oder vom Spiel angefertigte Fotoaufnahmen in Form von Sequenzbildern und/oder videoähnlichen Fotostrecken zu verwerten bzw. verwerten zu lassen. +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After a quarter of an hour, the graphic announcing a goal by the home team appeared on the scoreboards in Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park. But it only lasted a fraction of a second before she was gone again. The ball, which apparently someone had already seen in the Hertha BSC goal, was deflected past the goal by Borussia striker Marcus Thuram from a very short distance.

The supposedly inevitable was postponed once more. Hertha has rarely been able to celebrate successes in Mönchengladbach in the recent past. On Friday evening, too, at first glance it looked like it almost always does. For the Berlin Bundesliga team, it was the obligatory defeat. In the end it was 0:1 (0:1). But from Hertha’s point of view, it was quite unfortunate that it came about. And not the slightest fault with the attitude of the team.

Hertha’s coach Sandro Schwarz had the same starting lineup as a week ago in the 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. As expected, captain Marvin Plattenhardt was unavailable due to his adductor problems. Jean-Paul Boetius, a possible starting XI candidate, remained on the bench again. Marco Richter sat there for the first time since his testicular cancer.

Otherwise, the Berliners continued their at least partially promising performance from the previous week. As expected, Gladbach had a clear majority of possession, but Hertha had a good grip and were by no means hopelessly inferior. Both teams fought an exciting duel with high intensity and many scoring opportunities – on both sides.

The game was immediately up to operating temperature without much lead time. After just two minutes, Oliver Christensen had to clear his head after a long pass well in front of his goal. When Jonas Hofmann tried the follow-up shot from a long distance, Hertha’s goalkeeper was already back on his post.

Tjark Ernst, who was only 19 years old, sat on the bench again as Christensen’s deputy. It is not yet certain whether this will remain the case – Hertha is considering signing another goalkeeper. What is certain, however, is that the contract with the previous number two Rune Jarstein should be dissolved. The confirmed sports manager Fredi Bobic before the game at Dazn. “There’s no turning back,” he said. “We’ve calmed down a bit now. We talk like sensible people and try to separate things cleanly at the end of the day.”

Christensen had his work cut out as the game progressed – and luck early on when Alassane Plea’s shot hit the post. But the guests kept getting good opportunities, especially through their three offensive players Dodi Lukebakio, Wilfried Kanga and Chidera Ejuke, who gave the Gladbach defense some trouble.

Lukebakio, again very eager, hit the side netting early on, failed once from a promising position by Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer – and missed the great opportunity to score his second goal of the season just before the break. After beating Nico Elvedi well, he fired over the goal unchallenged from 14 meters and with his strong left foot.

A goal in this scene would have been the equalizer for Hertha to make it 1-1, because Gladbach had taken the lead ten minutes before the break thanks to a penalty converted by Plea. Maximilian Mittelstädt had blocked a cross from international Jonas Hofmann with his arm. At this point, the lead was by no means undeserved.

But that changed at the beginning of the second half. Hertha attacked early on, put Gladbach under a lot of pressure and won a lot of balls as a result. Schwarz, who has never won against Borussia Mönchengladbach as a coach, also brought in Boetius, a player who is handy and poisonous.

Shortly thereafter, the fans from Berlin and Mönchengladbach practiced a rare unanimity. “Fucking DFB!” shouted Hertha’s supporters, “Fucking DFB!” replied the Borussia fans. Referee Matthias Jöllenbeck stood on the sidelines and looked at the monitor installed there. According to the TV pictures, he imposed a second hand penalty for Gladbach. Jonas Hofmann was saved by Christensen, but Jöllenbecks showed Filip Uremovic a yellow card for his handball and, as it was his second, Hertha played with a man down for the remaining 20 minutes.

That didn’t make things any easier, especially since the Gladbachers now skilfully let the ball run. The home team didn’t get into real trouble anymore, having spent at least one night at the top of the table thanks to their success. Hertha, on the other hand, is still waiting for the first win of the season. A point after three games is not what was hoped for. But at least one more than after three games a year ago.