Turbulant draw at the Olympiastadion Berlin
In an action packed 90 minutes, Hertha and Leverksen had to settle for a 3-3 draw in their round 14 Bundesliga clash at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on Saturday afternoon. For the second game in succession, Hertha squandered a two-goal lead and had to settle for a point. Pierre Michel Lasogga’s brace against his former club and an own goal by Bayer’s Toprak, were cancelled out by a hattrick by Eren Derdiyok. Lasogga’s second goal was an equaliser on 82 minutes.
Hertha took the game to the clear pre-match favourites from the off, creating their first major chance on five minutes. Daniel Schwaab clearly handled the ball inside his own penalty area, and match referee Robert Hartmann pointed to the spot. Up stepped Georgian veteran Levan Kobiashvili to take the spot kick. But Bayer keeper Bernd Leno stopped not only the initial shot but also the rebound. Hertha went one better only two minutes later though as Raffael played a superb pass to Lasogga unmarked in the middle, from where he had a simple tap in to open the scoring (7.).
Raffael himself could (and probably should) have doubled Hertha’s lead, but somehow missed a Kobiashvili corner while unmarked at the near post (8.). On 19 minutes a Rukavytsya free kick was unwittingly headed into the back of his own net by Leverkusen’s Ömer Toprak making it 2-0 to Hertha. Leverkusen scored with their first shot of the game, as Derdiyok latched onto a fine through ball and left home keeper Thomas Kraft no chance (24.). Moments later Kraft was in action again sharply saving an effort from Sidney Sam.
On 30 minutes Lasogga had cleverly timed a run only to be (as it turned out wrongly) pulled up for offside (30.). After that the game quietened down. In fact nothing noteworthy happened before the break, so Hertha had a slender 2-1 lead at halftime.
Dutt must have given his side the right team talk because Leverkusen came out and took the game by the scruff of the neck as the second half began. Hertha’s defence held up well at first, in fact the first chance fell to Hertha as they took possession off the visitors and counter attacked. Raffael passed to the-advancing Peter Niemeyer who let fly with a fierce shot from 20 metres out, which flew just wide of the left hand upright (52.). Then Leverkusen allowed Kobiashvili to advance unchallenged to the edge of their area. Luckily for the visitors, his shot was a wayward so Bayer Leverkusen were let off (62.). Once again, the visitors struck with their first attack of the second half as substitute Stefan Kießling’s blocked shot was scrambled home by Derdiyok (64.).
Kießling looked dangerous at times, but he either aimed too (68.) or found his master in Kraft (73.). Derdiyok also fired just wide following a sweet pass by Kießling (75.). Then Sam broke free and advanced on the Hertha area, from where he played the ball square to Derdiyok in acres of space. The Swiss-born striker completed his hat trick in style to give Leverkusen a 3-2 lead. Hertha to their credit hit back on 82 minutes through Lasogga, after Kobiashvili spotted him lurking at the far post and crossed to him. The youngster finished well from an acute angle to make the final score 3-3. (82.).
Next week Hertha are on their travels again as they take on their DFB Cup opponents Kaiserslautern at the Betzenberg stadium, in a round 15 Bundesliga clash. That game will be played on Saturday (03.12.11), and kicks off at 15.30 CET.