Hertha BSC has won the relegation summit in the Bundesliga and coach Felix Magath sweetened the anniversary. In Magath’s 500th Bundesliga duel as head coach, the Berliners won the key game against VfB Stuttgart 2-0 (1-0) at the end of the 31st match day and distanced the Swabians by four points.
VfB, whom Magath coached between 2001 and 2004, is more at risk than ever of falling back into the second division on the relegation place after two years in the top flight. Hertha is also still in danger as 15th. The fact that the Berliners can look forward to the season finale at least a little more relaxed is thanks to the attackers Davie Selke (4th) and Ishak Belfodil (90+3rd).
After the important success in Augsburg, Magath decided not to rotate. Only the suspended Marco Richter was replaced by Vladimir Darida. At VfB, captain Wataru Endo returned to the starting XI after his Corona break.
The 54,589 spectators in the well-filled Olympic Stadium saw a brilliant Hertha start. There was no sign of the lethargy that was shown far too often in the past, the Berliners showed the right body language, acted aggressively in the duels and convinced with a lot of offensive drive.
The reward followed quickly: After a sharp cross from ex-national player Marvin Plattenhardt, Selke scored the lead. Ex-Stuttgarter Marc Oliver Kempf had just missed the lead after a corner (3rd).
The blue and whites then controlled what was happening, also because the midfield around the industrious Suat Serdar narrowed the spaces and won many decisive duels. However, the following switching actions mostly fizzled out.
Stuttgart found it extremely difficult in possession and hardly came dangerously close to the Berlin penalty area. The level of the match flattened out until the break whistle. Neither team created any great opportunities.
In the second half, the balance of power initially shifted in favor of the guests. Hertha became more passive and seemed to lose self-confidence at times. VfB made more deals, Konstantinos Mavropanos only hit the bar after a strong solo (52′). Hertha became more stable after personnel changes, but the game remained open. Belfodil made everything clear late.