After four defeats in a row, Hertha BSC once again sends a signal from the edge of the sporting abyss: The capital city beat Borussia Mönchengladbach thanks to a dream goal by the son of ex-coach Pal Dardai. His successor Sandro Schwarz can breathe a sigh of relief.
Birthday boy Marton Dardai scored a dream goal for Hertha BSC to their first win of the new year. The central defender scored the important 2-1 lead (52nd minute) with a powerful long-range shot in the 4-1 (1-1) win at home against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday and gave himself a present on his 21st birthday four defeats in a row Hertha pushed VfB Stuttgart from relegation place 16.
Before Dardai's shot on Sunday, which was also cheered on by his father and ex-Hertha coach Pal Dardai in the stands, Jessic Ngankam equalized the visitors' lead through Nico Elvedi (17th) after half an hour. Substitutes Derry Scherhant (90.1) and Dodi Lukebakio (90.7/penalty) made the final score in a hectic final phase in front of 40,973 spectators in the Olympic Stadium.
Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz had switched to a back three against the team from the Lower Rhine, with which he had had good experiences in the second half in the 3-0 defeat in Frankfurt. Dardai formed the defense together with Filip Uremovic and Marc Oliver Kempf. New signing Tolga Cigerci also made his debut in the starting XI, with Ngankam gaining confidence up front. Berlin's top scorer Lukebakio first took a seat on the bench.
Gladbach coach Daniel Farke made two changes compared to the goalless draw against Schalke 04 last week. Hannes Wolf and ex-Berliner Luca Netz played for the suspended Julian Weigl and the sick defender Ramy Bensebaini. And it was the former young star from Berlin who initiated the early lead for his current club. His corner in the 17th minute flew right on Elvedi's head, who put the ball in the far post unstoppable for Hertha goalkeeper Oliver Christensen. Elvedi's opponent Suat Serdar cut an unfortunate figure. Two minutes later, Jonas Hofmann almost followed suit, but Kempf stopped the shot at the abandoned Berlin goal. In addition, Hofmann had been offside with a toe.
But the hosts were also able to take their first chance right away. Cigerci cleared Marco Richter with a hoe, who passed the ball to Ngankam, who had run free. The attacker only had to push the ball over the line from a short distance. It was only Hertha's second goal this year.
The equalizer roused the previously cautious Hertha players from their lethargy. As a result, the hosts fought for a playful advantage and came up with further opportunities. Florian Niederlechner missed the greatest chance in stoppage time when the second winter newcomer headed wide of the goal from around seven meters.
Dardai did better after the change of sides. The birthday boy hammered a pass from Cigerci in the 52nd minute from a good 25 meters under the Gladbach goal, also delighting father Pal. The Berliners, who had quickly lost their willingness to play in the last few games, remained the more active team and kept their opponents well in check. But in the end the guests threw everything forward and increased the pressure - but Hertha countered ice cold.