Afternoon all, my name is Daniel Lambert, and I’ll be taking you through the Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen at the Olympiastadion. For Leverkusen, today’s game is a chance to regain a place in the top four whilst Hertha Berlin on the other hand are hoping to climb the table after a slow start to their league campaign.
Hertha Berlin make three changes in the wake of their 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim last Friday. Krzysztov Piatek drops to the bench, Deyovaisio Zeefuik doesn’t make the squad, whilst out goes the suspended Dedryck Boyata. In comes Stevan Jovetic, Marvin Plattenhardt and Marton Dardai.
Bayer Leverkusen only make the one change following their 4-0 win over Real Betis on Thursday night in the Europa Conference league. Exequiel Palacios comes in for Leverkusen starboy Florian Wirtz who no doubt will be a big miss for Leverkusen today following his early season form. Wirtz misses today’s game with a muscular injury.
Both teams are out. Leverkusen in Black and red stripes, and Hertha in blue and white. Kick-off is seconds away and Hertha will get the game underway!
1′ Leverkusen get the game going quickly as Amine Adli lays in a through ball to Paulinho and his cross gets blocked near the bye line and goes out for a corner. I must say the pitch looks very heavy today- certainly something to watch out for.
7′ The first test of the game for Lukas Hradecky as a Maximilian Mittelstaedt turnover is laid off to Stevan Jovetic. Jovetic’s deflected effort was comfortable for Hradecky. With the pitch cut up all over, you feel these long shots could fall kindly on the odd occasion.
9′ It certainly seems like Robert Andrich got my memo on long shots! He tried a speculative one from 30 yards out but it went inches wide of the post.
11′ Good early pressure from Leverkusen here. Jeremie Frimprong’s quick feet got himself down the right hand channel before hitting a low driven cross into the arriving Robert Andrich but falls straight at Alexander Schwolow.
14′ Quick slick feet from Marco Richter as he shimmies between Leverkusen bodies in Hertha’s final third to make something happen, but another long range effort is comfortable for Hradecky.
17′ It’s clear that Leverkusen are trying to implement a possession based style on this pitch here in Berlin despite the playing conditions. A lot of slick and intricate one touch passes are being played particularly down the right hand channel with Frimpong as the focal point of attacks.
21′ Admittedly its hard to get a flow of possession sequences going for either side but so far it’s more like a game of Basketball with possession going back and forth. Most of this game is played in midfield and very little action in either box.
24′ This Hertha press is very aggressive off the ball as Suat Serdar dispossesses Leverkusen in their own third and they produce a counter attack with 3v2. Serdar slots in Jovetic but his shot is saved by Hradecky from a tight angle.
26′ DISALLOWED GOAL! Leverkusen have a goal rightly ruled out. Adli runs the ball out of play beyond the by-line. His cross finds Andrich on the cut back who taps it in the back of the net.
31′ The speed Leverkusen have down this right hand side is frightening to any defence but Hertha are struggling to keep up with Moussa Diaby and Frimpong. They’ve reached the by-line on a few occasions now but without a recognised striker for Leverkusen today, they are lacking that strikers instinct to put the ball in the back of the net.
37′ This time it’s down Leverkusen’s left hand side for an opportunity as Adli gets down the left channel. But again, with the late arrival of Paulinho from the left hand side as Adli drifted wide left as well, there was no central focal point to find inside the box. The absence of the injured Patrik Schick is evident so far today.
40′ Paulinho goes down injured, it looks like he bent his knee backwards but he is back on his feet and is hobbling but is determined to continue.
41′ The German national team manager Hansi Flick is in attendance today. He’s announced his squad for next week’s internationals but no doubt he’ll want to keep a keen eye for future internationals to come.
42′ GOAL! Hertha Berlin 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen What a finish by Jovetic! This is going to be checked by VAR as it looks tight but as the ball gets headed over the top of the Leverkusen defence by Mittelstaed but Jovetic controls the ball nicely with his left foot before hitting it on the half turn and smashing it into the top left corner of the net- Hradecky had no chance.
HT Hertha Berlin 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen. Despite all of Leverkusen’s possession and few chances between the two sides so far in the first half, it was Jovetic’s exquisite finish that separates both teams at the break.
The second half is about to get underway. Let’s hope for a more eventful half this time around!
47′ Hertha fans can be seen swarming back to their seats late, possibly enjoying themselves too much after Jovetic’s late lead in the first half. They’re fortunate to have not missed much so far this half. Just the few niggly challenges in the centre of the pitch.
52′ Demirbay fashions a shot on the edge of the box on his weaker foot after some interplay down the right with Frimpong and Paulinho. Diaby was down on the ground for a moment, in what looks like his achilles was scratched.
54′ Space is beginning to open up for Leverkusen particularly in wide areas as Hertha out of possession are sitting deep and compact. With no recognised striker, you feel Leverkusen don’t really want to be crossing balls into the box.
55′ Jovetic with another chance, this time a volley similar to Robin Van Persie’s goal for Manchester United vs Aston Villa where the ball drops over the strikers shoulder. Unfortunately for Jovetic, his connection is skewed and the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
59′ Hertha are trying to thread periods of dominance here, forcing Leverkusen to go at them but the sheer pace of Leverkusen on the break is something Hertha will need to be wary of.
A double change for Leverkusen hoping this can help to change the game.
65′ An interesting free-kick routine for Leverkusen finds the unmarked Edmond Tapsoba but it ends in a corner. The following corner is wasted.
66′ The rain is starting to downpour in Berlin which will only make the conditions harder for Leverkusen to play with possession with the pitch being heavy.
68′ Claims for a penalty by Adli as Niklas Stark gets the ball. Leverkusen look desperate for any opening.
70′ Very close by Demirbay! A powerful hut on the bounce as he enters the box is saved with the fingertips by Schwolow.
71′ Leverkusen are looking more urgent now to find a goal. A long range effort again by Demirbay is parried infront of him by Schwolow but the follow up from Paulinho is offside.
76′ More pressure from Leverkusen as a Diaby one-two is blocked by a herd of Hertha Berlin defenders. Hertha have pressed and counter-pressed very well today, you’d expect that from German teams at least as they derived the term ‘Gegenpress’.
78′ Yellow card for Diaby. He’s the third Leverkusen player to enter the book.
79′ Substitution for Leverkusen. Paulinho comes off for 16 years-old Iker Bravo. That’s the youngest Bundesliga debut in their club history!
80′ A double change for Hertha Berlin. Off goes Santiago Ascacibar and Vladimir Darida and on comes Kevin-Prince Boateng and Lucas Tousart.
84′ Hertha produce some flashy possessional play as Kevin-Prince Boateng is at the heart of it. It falls back to Boateng as he hits a driving shot over the crossbar.
86′ Hertha will move up to 10th place in the Bundesliga table if they can hold onto this lead. Would be an important win for them.
86′ A flurry of substitutions in this game right now as this time it’s a double change for Leverkusen. Off goes Frimpong and Adli. Entering the field is Zidan Sertdemir and another Leverkusen 16 year old Odilon Kossounou.
88′ A double change for Hertha. Off goes Richter and Mittelstaed and on comes Dennis Jastrzembski and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp.
89′ Amiri is wrestled to the ground resulting in a free-kick from 25 yards out. Hertha to their credit have not stopped their counter-press but have conceded a free-kick in a very dangerous position for Leverkusen.
90′ Hertha Berlin 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen. IT’S IN AND IT’S ROBERT ANDRICH WITH THE EQUALISER. Demirbay whips in a free-kick and it misses everyone. It takes a kind ricochet from Tapsoba before falling to Andrich to tap home. Game on!
90′ The fourth official has give four additional minutes. Neither team look like they are satisfied with just a point. It could be an end to end last four minutes.
FT Hertha Berlin 1-1 Leverkusen. It ends level at the Olympiastadion. Hertha probably deserved more for their tenacity in the second half but neither side can be disheartened with a share of the points.
That’s all the action covered for today’s encounter between Hertha Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen. I hope you enjoyed the coverage.