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Hertha BSC v Borussia Dortmund Live Commentary, 11/03/2017

FT
2 - 1
BSC
BVB
S. Kalou (11)
M. Plattenhardt (71)
P. Aubameyang (55)
Olympiastadion Berlin

Commentary

Full time at Olympiastadion Berlin. Hertha Berlin move within three points of Dormund in the Bundesliga following a 2-1 victory, with Plattenhardt scoring the winner following a stunning free-kick right into the top corner from 18 yards. A great game of football, but Tuchel's men come out second best on this occasion. Thanks for joining us, see you next time.
S. Allagui
G. Haraguchi
Hertha BSC
90' + 4' A timewasting change from Hertha now as Sami Allagui comes on for Haraguchi.
C. Pulisic
Yellow Card
Borussia Dortmund
90' + 3' Pulisic is booked now.
90' + 2' FOUR minutes of added time have been allocated by the referee which comes as a bit of a bonus for Dortmund who will be glad of the extra moments to try and grab a goal. Time definitely running out, though.
M. Weiser
Yellow Card
Hertha BSC
90' Confirmation of the booking for Weiser.
O. Dembélé
Yellow Card
Borussia Dortmund
90' Dembele and Weiser both go into the book following a melee in the middle of the pitch. The latter, in particular, is embarrassing with his four or five rolls around on the deck following a miniscule touch from the Dortmund substitute.
88' Two minutes of normal time remaining here so Dortmund really need to up the tempo in these closing stages. They are enjoying the majority of possession, but they will need to pull of something special to gain this equaliser, you would feel.
86' Brooks has been a towering figure at the back for Hertha so far, with a variety of blocks and tackles continuing to frustrate Dormund. On this occasion, the big defender intercepts a Bartra shot to the right of goal after the Spaniard latched on to a brilliant, penetrating pass from Dembele.
Mikel Merino
A. Schürrle
Borussia Dortmund
84' Last throw of the dice from Tuchel as he makes his third and final change. Schurrle makes way for Mikel Merino.
83' INCHES WIDE FROM SCHURRLE! The former Chelsea and Wolfsburg winger initially does really well to generate space for himself on the edge of the area, but the strike on goal with his right foot is curled just the wrong side of the post. Unlucky in the end.
M. Mittelstädt
S. Kalou
Hertha BSC
81' A real blow for Hertha now as Kalou won't be able to continue after picking up a knock. Thankfully, the Ivorian manages to leave the pitch of his own accord, but will be replaced up top by Maximilian Mittelstadt nonetheless.
Marc Bartra
Yellow Card
Borussia Dortmund
80' Bartra is the latest player to see yellow.
78' Dortmund are getting more and more stretched defensively now as they throw plenty of men forward to try and get back on level terms. The visitors haven't looked solid at the back even when they controlled proceedings, so Hertha may just take advantage of the developing space.
C. Pulisic
E. Durm
Borussia Dortmund
76' The second sees Erik Durm leave the action to be replaced by Christian Pulisic.
O. Dembélé
G. Castro
Borussia Dortmund
76' A double change from Tuchel. The first sees Castro make way for Dembele.
75' Fifteen minutes to go in this pulsating Bundesliga clash and at the moment, Hertha seem poised to move within three poitnts of Dortmund in the table. They have not defeated the team in yellow and black since 2014, so claiming all three points here would certainly state their intent for the rest of the season!
73' Plaudits have to be given to Hertha boss, Pal Dardai. He made a change and introduced Weiser to run at this tiring Dortmund defence, and it worked like a charm as it was the substitute's speedy dribble which ultimately lead to the free-kick and the second goal.
M. Plattenhardt
Goal
Hertha BSC
71' GOOOOAAAAAAALLL FOR HERTHA! The hosts reclaim the lead! From the Ginter foul, Plattenhardt is tasked with the resulting set-piece and certainly does not waste the opportunity as he fires a stinging strike high into the top right corner! Two-one! What a finish!
M. Ginter
Yellow Card
Borussia Dortmund
70' Ginter is done for pace from Weiser and is forced to give away the free-kick RIGHT on the edge of the box. He also sees yellow for his trouble.
69' JUST WIDE FROM AUBAMEYANG! Dortmund probe for an opening inside the opposition box and after a small melee, the ball falls perfectly to the striker who manages to just dink an attempt into the far corner whilst under plenty of pressure. It goes the wrong side of the post as Hertha survive.
67' After a rash foul from Bartra, Hertha get the free-kick in a really useful position around 25 yards out. Plattenhardt then pops a lovely cross to the back post for his team-mate to bullet a header at goal, but fortunately for Dortmund it goes straight down the throat of the goalkeeper, Burki.
M. Weiser
V. Ibišević
Hertha BSC
66' First change of the match from Hertha sees Ibisevic make way for Mitchell Weiser.
65' Castro stands over a corner down the right and steps up to swing a speculative cross into the box. Brooks clears with a commanding header only for possession to go straight to the feet of Durm, but the subsequent strike on goal from the Dortmund midfielder is dragged disappointingly and harmlessly wide.
63' Ibisevic has been a thorn in the side of the Dortmund defence all afternoon and this time attempts to bulldoze his way through the middle past a couple of challenges. Bartra and and Ginter eventually combine to shrug the opposition centre-forward off the ball before ushering possession back to Burki.
S. Langkamp
Yellow Card
Hertha BSC
61' First booking of the match now and it is a deserved one for Langkamp as he scythes down Castro in a needless area in the middle of the pitch. The Hertha man has a yellow card to go alongside his stitches.
59' Dortmund are looking more confident out there now, with that goal from Aubameyang buoying the visitors. With the way they are playing currently, you would fancy Tuchel's men to be the favourites to go on and win this, but the need to cut out the complacency at the back in order to do so.
57' Castro wins the ball back superbly in midfield and exchanges a one-two with a team-mate before bursting through one-on-one with the goalkeeper. However, the finish is desperately poor from the former Leverkusen man as he drags a finish at least five yards the wrong side of the post. He can't believe it!
S. Kagawa
Assist
Borussia Dortmund
55' Lovely assist from Kagawa. He was always going to be the one to unlock the Hertha defence.
P. Aubameyang
Goal
Borussia Dortmund
55' GOOOOAAAAAAALLLL FOR DORTMUND! The visitors are back in it! A scramble of sorts sees Hertha fail to clear with the ball faling to Kagawa, who displays composure to stab a pass a few yards to the left. Aubameyang collects before lashing an emphatic left-footed finish into the top corner! One-one! GAME ON.
54' Kalou has been the best player on the pitch today and gives Dortmund problems once again here. This time, the former Chelsea man leaves Ginter on the ground not once but TWICE with a couple of lovely bits of skill near the byline before lifting a neat cross inside, but Haraguchi's attempt is deflected behind for the corner.
52' Whenever Dortmund are in possession, boos and jeers rain down from the stands inside the Olympiastadion as the Hertha fans attempt to put the opposition players off. A superb atmosphere here today, but that running track around the pitch does mean things aren't as intimidating as they could be.
50' A huge miss from Hertha! The home side are going to end up regretting these missed chances and the latest party guilty of profligacy is Skjellbred who uses the wrong foot to try and stab an attempt towards the corner which ends up going wide. He should have just put his left foot through that!
48' Much like the first half, Dortmund have started the period bright and are looking to grab the equaliser as soon as possible. Aubameyang very nearly gets on the scoresheet, but just can't stretch out a leg long enough to divert a shot on target following the looped cross from Schurrle.
46' We are back under way at Olympiastadion Berlin!
Half-time in Berlin. Hertha are on course to move within three points of Dortmund in the table as they lead Tuchel's men 1-0 at the break following a goal from Kalou, via a mistake from Ginter. A really cracking match, and we have another 45 minutes to go.
45' Two minutes of added time have been allocated by the referee. Meanwhile, Kalou passes up a huge opportunity for Hertha as he fails to divert a shot on target at the back post whilst desperately stretching.
43' It is all-Dortmund in the minutes before the break as they enjoy a period of sustained possession with Hertha patiently sitting back inside their own half. Again, Tuchel's men don't look to have a plethora of ideas going forward, however.
41' Schurrle breaks away down the left flank and collects the ball near the byline before cutting inside on his favoured right foot. He then teases a cross to the back post which looks destined to find the head of a team-mate, but Jarstein does really well to come off his line and palm away the danger.
39' Surprisingly, even with Aubameyang firing in the goals all season, that chance just a moment ago was his first real sight of the target so far in this game at the Olympiastadion. Plaudits should go to the Hertha defence, but the Gabonese isn't firing on all cylinders it has to be said.
37' Dortmund need to get the ball to Kagawa here as he looks to be the best bet to open this sturdy Hertha defence. This time he threads a gorgeous pass into space for Aubameyang, but the subsequent shot on goal from the striker is bravely blocked behind for a corner by Brooks.
35' Tuchel is cutting a pretty frustrated figure in the dugout at the moment as some of the players he has brought in for the rotated starting XI haven't delivered yet. Three games in six days for Die Borussen, so there simply has to be cause to give some people a rest. Dembele for example, settles for a pleace on the bench.
33' In recent years Hertha have usually been on the periphery on the European places in the Bundesliga, but there does appear to be an extra swagger and confidence about them this season. Indeed, they have the best home record in the entire German top-flight so far this campaign!
31' Kagawa comes deep to receive possession this time and cleverly turns his marker before stabbing a pass in behind the full-back for the onrushing Guerreiro, but the Portuguese was just ahead of play as Hertha get the offside call. Dortmund just turning up the heat a bit, but with that is coming some added solidity from the hosts.
29' This has been a cracking battle so far, and without jinxing things too much, it seems unlikely we will only see the one goal this afternoon. Neither side are defending particularly well which means there are plenty of chances going around!
27' Outstanding work from Kagawa as he somehow gets out of a situation in which he has three Hertha players around him inside the centre circle. The Japan international then pops a lovely ball out wide for Castro to try and pick out Aubameyang, but the delivery doesn't have the quality required to find his team-mate.
25' Dortmund get the corner which Guerreiro sends long towards the far post. Castro picks up possession on the opposite wing and sends in another cross, but who is there to clear for Hertha shortly after sprinting back into play? Langkamp.
23' Hertha continue to play with 10 men as Langkamp receives treatment, and for the moment Stark has just moved into a deeper position next to Brooks in defence. Dortmund are attempting to take advantage, but the hosts looking solid for the most part while the big defender gets looked after.
21' A small break in play at the moment as Langkamp is currently down injured after a nasty clash of heads with Weigl. There was no intent from either player, but the Hertha man comes out of the situation the worst and he may just need to get patched up by the medical staff is there has been blood drawn.
19' Kalou is causing plenty of problems for Dortmund on this left flank but this time does himself no favours as he attempts to con the referee with a dive for a penalty kick. The challenge from Bartra barely had any connection, and the official correctly decides not to point to the spot.
17' Guerreiro clears off the line! Burki attempts to come for a corner but ends up fumbling possession, which allows Kalou to latch on to the loose ball to pull off the snap shot on goal. Luckily for Dortmund, the left wing-back is perfectly positioned to smash the ball away and spare the blushes of his team-mate between the sticks.
15' FABULOUS SAVE FROM BURKI! Kalou is involved in the action positively again for the home side as he takes on the defender before cutting inside to whip a superb strike ominously towards the top corner. It looks in all the way, but the Dortmund stopper somehow gets across goal to tip over!
13' It does look like Dortmund are deploying a three-man defence here today which means Guerreiro is playing slightly further forward. On this occasion, the Portuguese eats up the space with a speedy run before having a crack at goal, but the attempt cannons off the defender to go behind for a Dortmund corner.
V. Ibišević
Assist
Hertha BSC
11' Superb work from Ibisevic for the assist, but he was given a huge hand himself by Ginter!
S. Kalou
Goal
Hertha BSC
11' GOOOOOAAAAAALLLL! GOOOAAAALLL FOR HERTHA! Ginter takes an awful touch whilst on the ball at the back and Ibisevic pounces to win possession and burst forward into the box after a lovely bit of skill. The centre-forward unselfishly picks out Kalou at the back post, who easily slots home with composure! One-nil!
8' We see the first real glimpse of Kalou as an attacking threat as the former Chelsea man picks up possession whilst hugging the touchline. He runs to the byline then cleverly cuts inside for Plattenhardt to send a looping cross to the back post, but Burki is proactive in his goalkeeping and plucks the ball out of the air.
6' Haraguchi picks up the ball down the right wing and nods past the challenge of his marker before bursting through the middle with a marauding run. Superb build-up play, but the attack comes to a halt as the subsequent strike on goal is fired the wrong side of the left-hand post. Good play from the Hertha man!
4' Another chance for Dortmund! The visitors have started this match well and should arguably be two goals up already, with the latest attempt coming via a Ginter header from a corner-kick. Luckily for Hertha, the header goes north of the crossbar rather than on target.
2' OH WHAT A MISS FROM SCHURRLE! The first chance of the match comes to the World Cup winner who has all the time in the world to pick out a strike towards the bottom corner, but he only succeeds in firing a strike well wide of the right-hand post!
1' We are under way in the German capital!
As expected, the atmosphere inside the Olympiastadion Berlin is bouncing for this fixture!
Dortmund subs: Weidenfeller, Dembele, Mor, Pulisic, Merino, Piszczek, Passlack.
Dortmund (3-4-2-1): Burki; Ginter, Bartra, Schmelzer; Castro, Kagawa, Weigl, Guerreiro; Durm, Schurrle; Aubameyang.
Hertha subs: Kraft, Allagui, Stocker, Allan, Weiser, Mittelstadt, Kade.
Hertha (4-2-3-1): Jarstein; Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt; Stark, Skjelbred; Haraguchi, Darida, Kalou; Ibisevic.
TEAM NEWS...
The two teams featuring today had contrasting fortunes in their respective last league fixtures. Hertha disappointingly lost 1-0 away at Hamburg, while Dortmund secured a comprehensive 6-2 home win against Bayer Leverkusen – a result which ultimately cost Roger Schmidt his job.
Hertha and Dortmund have already faced each other twice this campaign. In the reverse fixture back in October, the match ended 1-1 at the Westfalenstadion, as did the subsequent match between the two which was a DFB-Pokal clash last month which ultimately saw Tuchel's charges narrowly progress in the tournament via penalties.
Hertha, meanwhile, have European aspirations of their own this season and can actually move within three points of Die Borussen in third should they claim the victory this afternoon. They take on a Dortmund side who are coming off a superb 4-0 home win against Benfica to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
At this stage of the campaign, Dortmund's challenge for the title is all but over as they are 13 points behind Bayern Munich in the top spot and indeed six points behind RB Leipzig in second. Thomas Tuchel's side may actually be more focused on what is going on behind them at this point as Hoffenheim are currently just two points behind in fourth.
Good afternoon football fans! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the German Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund from the Olympiastadion Berlin.