Hertha BSC lost again
Despite being the better side for long periods of the game, Hertha lost their third straight game since the winter break on Saturday afternoon. Coach Michael Skibbe’s men unluckily lost 0-1 to Hannover 96, for whom it was the first away win since August of last year. Hertha debutant Sebastian Neuman was sent off for a second bookable offence. As was the case after the break, during last weekend’s matchday 19 – 1-2 home loss to HSV, Skibbe gave the role of playmaker to Fabian Lustenberger. The suspended duo of Mijatovic and Lell were replaced by debutants Sebastian Neumann and Alfredo Morales. Hannover 96 replaced the suspended Pogatetz with Christian Schulz in central defence.
Despite their makeshift line-up, the home side made the better start. On nine minutes after being played in by Lasogga, Lustenberger chipped the ball over Hannover’s Ron-Robert Zieler, but also past the goal. Had the Swiss midfielder hit the target he would have been ruled offside anyway. Not long afterwards Levan Kobiashvili superbly took the ball to the byline from where he crossed into the Hannover box, but Zieler took the sting out of a strong header by Peter Niemeyer (12.). Hannover’ s former Hertha player Manuel Schmiedebach tried his luck from distance, but home keeper Thomas Kraft easily caught the effort and the danger passed (24.).
At the other end Ebert curled a free kick inches wide of the left hand upright from 20 metres out (30.). The Berlin-born battler then put a header agonisingly wide, after being nicely played in by Lasogga. On 41 minutes Hertha just failed to break the deadlock again as Ottl fed Ramos, who in turn fed Lasogga instead of shooting himself. Lasogga failed to reach the pass with the visiting defence at sixes and sevens.
That chance was thwarted by an unbelievable last-ditch goalline clearance by substitute Christopher Avevor. On the stroke of halftime Hannover had a good scoring chance, but Pinto sent the ball high and wide of target (45.).
Hertha tried to take the game to Hannover as the second half got underway. Lustenberger was stopped in the nick of time by USA veteran Cherundolo (52.). Hannover’s Lars Stindl then passed to second half sub Mame Diouf,whose header was meat and drink for Berlin stopper Kraft (54.). Lasogga got a shot in from an acute angle, but the ball went wide of the far post (59.). Nine minutes later the home crowd were stunned into silence as Mohammed Abdellaoue put the visitors ahead with a once in a lifetime shot from the left edge of the Hertha area. Hertha stood open-mouthed (68.).Ramos unluckily lost his footing while promisingly placed after good approach work from Lasogga (73.). Referee Peter Sippel then sent off Sebastian Neumann for a second bookable offence. The youngster had nastily stood on the heel of Jan Schlaudraff and was sent for an early shower (74.). Amazingly, Hertha continued to put pressure on the visitors and on 81 minutes an Ottl shot flew well over the crossbar (81.), Hubnik nodded a Ronny free kick a whisker wide on 83 minutes (83.).Try as they did, the capital city side failed to break the resilient Hannover defence, and had to accept what was their third straight loss since the second half of the season began. On Wednesday they have another home game. This time they take on in-form Borussia Mönchengladbach in an eagerly-anticipated DFB Cup quarter final clash. That game on Wednesday night (08.02.12), kicks off at 19.00 CET.