Bun­desliga: Hertha blow away Union to claim Ber­lin derby re­venge

A ram­pant sec­ond half dis­play saw Hertha Ber­lin put city ri­vals Union to the sword and con­tinue their strong restart. Hertha's front three — Vedad Ibi­se­vic, Cunha and Dodi Luke­bakio — all scored in a 4-0 win.

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A ram­pant sec­ond half dis­play saw Hertha Ber­lin put city ri­vals Union to the sword and con­tinue their strong restart. Hertha's front three — Vedad Ibi­se­vic, Cunha and Dodi Luke­bakio — all scored in a 4-0 win.

Hertha Ber­lin 4 - 0 Union Ber­lin, Olympias­ta­dion, Ber­lin

(Ibi­se­vic 51', Luke­bakio 52', Cunha 61', Boy­ata 77')

Three goals from three for­wards in 10 dev­as­tat­ing sec­ond half min­utes helped Hertha to take derby re­venge over neigh­bors Union Ber­lin.

The home side’s at­tack­ing tri­dent of Cunha, Vedad Ibi­se­vic and Dodi Luke­bakio showed most of the few glim­mers of qual­ity in a for­get­table first half, be­fore ap­ply­ing the killer blows early in the sec­ond.

It was vet­eran Bos­nian striker Ibi­se­vic who broke the dead­lock with a pow­er­ful header from Marvin Plat­ten­hardt’s pin­point left wing cross. Sec­onds later, he was in­volved again, con­trol­ling a clear­ance with his chest be­fore play­ing in Luke­bakio to round the keeper and roll home.

Cunha didn’t have to wait long to get in the act. He danced through the Union de­fense on the hour mark be­fore lash­ing home a low drive when the ball was re­turned to him on the edge of the box by Ibi­se­vic. Dedryck Boy­ata boomed home a header from Plat­ten­hardt’s cor­ner late on as Union un­rav­elled.

The vis­i­tors threat­ened spo­rad­i­cally from set pieces but looked bereft of ideas in open play. They fall four points be­hind their ri­vals hav­ing lost lost both their matches since the restart in di­rect con­trast to Hertha. Labad­dia can now start look­ing up the ta­ble while his coun­ter­part Urs Fis­cher still has work to do.

+++ As it hap­pened +++

FULL TIME: Two wins, seven goals, none con­ceded since the Bun­desliga re­turn from Hertha, who kicked on af­ter a slow start. Their front three were the real dif­fer­ence tonight. Our match re­port will be along here any minute.

90' - A late cor­ner for the home side but Unio deal with Plat­ten­hardt's de­liv­ery this time round.

88' - Hetha just knock­ing it around now, no sense of ur­gency from ei­ther side re­ally.

85' - Labad­dia still urg­ing his men on but Fis­cher just wants this to end.

82' - Hertha have made their fi­nal change and you still sense there's an­other here if they want it.

77' - GOAL! Hertha Ber­lin 4 - 0 Union Ber­lin (Boy­ata)

Put a fork in Union, they're done. Plat­ten­hardt whips in a cor­ner, Boy­ata pow­ers a header home. Sim­ple as that. That's two in two weeks con­ceded from cor­ners for Union. Not like them, and po­ten­tially a wor­ry­ing sign.

75' - Changes for Hertha now. Pi­atek and Dil­ro­sun on for Ibi­se­vic and Luke­abkio. Their work is done and bring­ing those two on il­lus­trates Hertha's abun­dance of re­sources when com­pared to their op­po­nents.

72' - Polter, who scored the win­ner in the re­verse fix­ture re­places An­der­s­son and Kroos is on for An­drich.

68' - An­drich takes aim from 30 yards but it flies well over the bar.

66' - Union are re­ally strug­gling here. Cunha jinks his way through the area again and pulls back for Plat­ten­hardt, whose shot is blocked be­hind for a cor­ner, which come to noth­ing. Mit­tel­städt now re­places Cunha, which is a shame. He's been the stand­out player tonight.

63' - Malli on for Bül­ter and Ry­er­son on too, for Re­ichel. Five subs al­lowed at the mo­ment re­mem­ber. Union have a cor­ner but it's eas­ily cleared.

61' - GOAL! Hertha Ber­lin 2 - 0 Union Ber­lin (Cunha)

Game, set and match. Cunha teases Union's de­fense be­fore lift­ing in a cross. It's half cleared be­fore be­ing laid back to the Brazil­ian who drives a low shot to the keeper's left. They've all got one now.

60' - A break in play as Gru­jic re­ceives some treat­ment. A chance for Union to re­group per­haps?

57' - Urs Fis­cher knows his side need to show more am­bi­tion and throws on Ujah for Ing­vart­sen.

55' - Hertha's for­wards have threat­ened all game and have put their side in a com­mand­ing po­si­tion. Union have barely touched the ball since the first went in.

52' - GOAL! Hertha Ber­lin 2 - 0 Union Ber­lin (Luke­bakio)

Gone in 70 sec­onds? Ibi­se­vic in­volved again. The big Bos­nian takes it down on the chest, is al­lowed to turn and pokes through to Luke­bakio via a flick off the de­fender. This time he rounds the keeperon his left side and rolls home.

51' - GOAL! Hertha Ber­lin 1 - 0 Union Ber­lin (Ibi­se­vic)

Text­book tar­get man goal, lovely. Plat­ten­hardt skips down the left and curls a beau­ti­ful cross on to the head on Ibi­se­vic, who pow­ers home from five yards.

50' - Union have an­other cor­ner. Trim­mel's ball is tempt­ing but some­how missed by ev­ery­one and rolls out of play on the other side of the pitch.

48' - Chances!

Cunha and Luke­bakio com­bine once again. The Brazil­ian slips it through to Luke­abkio who fires at Gikiewicz but was off­side. At the other end, Boy­ata makes a vi­tal block to deny Bül­ter a shot from eight yards out. A bet­ter start to this half.

46' - Union get us un­der­way in the sec­ond half.

HALF TIME: A de­cent end to the half from Union but it's been pretty thin gruel for those watch­ing around the world. Luke­bakio and Cunha have shown flashes for Hertha but the vis­i­tors look com­fort­able enough and have that set piece threat.

43' - Chance!

Great ball in from Trim­mel, whippy and quick. But Gru­jic leaps to make an ex­cel­lent clear­ing header. Luke­bakio is then booked for a foul as Union tried to re­cy­cle the ball and An­drich's free­kick lands on the roof of the net.

43' - A rare foray for­ward for Union brings a throw in deep on the left. An­der­s­son is the tar­get but it's nod­ded out for a cor­ner. Late chance for Union?

41' - Our so­cial me­dia man­ager tonight is en­joy­ing this one as much as me it seems.

38' -Chance!

Cunha and Luke­bakio still look the men most likely and ex­change passes neatly on the edge of the fi­nal third. But then the for­mer hits the deck un­der min­i­mal chal­lenge and the lat­ter slices a cross­field ball out of play. Sec­ond later, Cunha's up and ol­lect­ing a ball on the right. He stands up his man and gets off a de­cent snap­shot, but it's easy enough for the keeper.

36' - Trim­mel, the Bun­desliga's big­gest set piece threat, clips a straight free­kick in to the box and straight out of play. Sums it up a bit at the mo­ment.

34' - It's a de­cent, whipped ball in by Plat­ten­hardt but Friedrich's up with a big, boom­ing header to avert any dan­ger.

3' - Ing­vart­sen is off the pitch be­ing treated for a blooy lip af­ter a clash with Darida and Hertha win a free­kick in a de­cent po­si­tion on the left.

31' - Hertha's three for­wards look dan­ger­ous but their mid­field is strug­gling to pro­vide them any real ser­vice. Labad­dia may need to con­sider the bal­ance of his side, they're strug­gling to move be­tween the phases with any flu­ency.

27' -Chance!

Great stuff from Hertha. Luke­bakio wins it in mid­field and feeds Ibi­siveic af­ter a one-two. His low cross is ar­rowed at Cunha who tries a back­heeled flick. Gikiewicz does well to scram­ble it round the post. The best mo­ment of the half so far.

25' - Union, as al­ways, very dis­ci­plined and happy to soak up the pres­sure but An­der­s­son is look­ing very iso­lated up top in open play. Still, they'll be happy enough with this.

21' - Hertha pop it about nicely enough but again they're im­pa­tient and Gru­jic has a pop from 30 yards. It's miles over.

20' - Jarstein re­leases Luke­bakio down the right again, this time with a throw. But the for­ward runs it straight out of play. Still, he looks the big­gest threat.

18' - Then, sud­denly, we have the best chance of the game and it's proper route one stuff. Jarstein's goal kick is flicked on by Ibi­se­vic to Luke­bakio who drives in to­wards goal from the right but hits the on­rush­ing Gikiewicz with his shot from 15 yards. Has to lift that, surely?

17' - Trim­mel's cross from the right is de­flected and al­most wor­ries Jarstein but goes out for a cor­ner. Trim­mel whips in a dan­ger­ous ball, as he so of­ten does but the home side scram­ble clear.

15' - Gru­jic lumps up an aim­less ball to Cunha, who has no chance of mak­ing any­thing of it. The hosts strug­gling a bit for in­spi­ra­tion.

12' - Pretty slow start here. Hertha dom­i­nat­ing the ball but strug­gling to pen­e­trate just yet.

9' - Hertha try to counter but Parensen brings down Darida with a pretty agri­cul­tural chal­lenge. He's the first man in the book.

8' - The home side start­ing to dic­tate the tempo now. Each shout, and each strike of the ball is echo­ing around the enor­mous bowl that Hertha call home.

5'- Cunha finds a pocket of space in the in­side left chan­nel and de­cides to chance his arm from 30 yards. It drib­bles in to Gikiewicz's arms.

4'- Luke­bakio bursts down the right side of the box and looks to pull back to Ibi­se­vic, but it's just be­hind the vet­eran striker.

3' - A phys­i­cal start from Hertha, with two fouls in the first two min­utes. But Union, so strong from set pieces, can't make much of the free kicks.

1' - The play­ers' masks have been re­moved, the ball has been dis­in­fected and we've had a minute's si­lence for those who have fallen to coro­n­avirus. It's time.

Bruno's new broom

A huge pre-sea­son in­vest­ment, the chaotic 76-day reign of Jür­gen Klins­mann and a string of kamikazee dis­plays sent Hertha run­ning in to the arms of Bun­desliga fire­fighter Bruno Labad­dia just be­fore the league's hia­tus.

The 54-year-old has al­ready saved Stuttgart, Ham­burg and Wolfs­burg from the drop and the or­gan­i­sa­tional dis­ci­pline he's renowned for was ev­i­dent in Hertha's im­pres­sive win over Hof­fen­heim last Satur­day. Back it up with an­other vic­tory tonight and Labad­dia can prob­a­bly add an­other to his late sea­son saviour list.

A foot­ball cap­i­tal? Con­sid­er­ing its size, lo­ca­tion and sta­tus, Ber­lin's foot­balling his­tory is fairly un­re­mark­able. This video pro­vides some ex­pla­na­tion as to why that is.

A derby with a dif­fer­ence

It's rel­a­tively rare there's a full house in Hertha's cav­ernous Olympias­ta­dion, but tonight would nor­mally have been one of those oc­ca­sions. With no fans al­lowed in any sta­di­ums for the rest of this Bun­desliga sea­son, at least, our man on the scene doesn't have much to look at.

The teams are in

Just one change for Hertha, with the re­turn­ing Darida re­plac­ing Mit­tel­städt in mid­field. The home side's skip­per Ibi­se­vic, a wily old fox with a rash streak, will lead the line sup­ported by ex­cit­ing young tal­ents Cunha and Luke­bakio. Cunha and Ibi­se­vic both scored in the 3-0 win over Hof­fen­heim last Satur­day.

The vis­i­tors re­call top scorer An­der­s­son af­ter he was benched for their drab loss to Bay­ern, while for­mer Dort­mund cen­ter

back Subotic drops to the bench af­ter a poor show­ing.

Sec­ond East- West Ber­lin derby

The first- ever Bun­desliga derby be­tween Union, the newly pro­moted team from the for­mer East Ber­lin, and Hertha, the team from the for­mer West Ber­lin, came on Match­day 10 last Novem­ber, and is re­mem­bered more for what hap­pened off the pitch than for the foot­ball.

There were py­rotech­nics aplenty from both sets of fans and at one point ref­eree DenizAytek­in sus­pended play for sev­eral min­utes af­ter rock­ets were fired onto the pitch and one fired from the Hertha end landed near the Union bench.

The foot­ball was largely for­get­table but, for the record, Se­bas­tian Polter con­verted a last-minute penalty to se­cure Union all three points in their home ground, the Sta­dion an derAl­tenFörster­ei.

There's no chance of any prob­lems with rock­ets be­ing fired onto the pitch in the re­turn fix­ture, though. Likeall Bun­desliga matches these days, it will be played be­hind closed doors un­der the DFL's (Ger­man Foot­ball League) hy­giene plan for re­sum­ing league play­de­spite the coro­n­avirus out­break.

De­spite strong crit­i­cism from the or­ga­nized fans about re­sum­ing play with­out them, al­most all of the 75,000 grey seats in Ber­lin's Olympic Sta­dium will re­main empty. "This whole spec­ta­cle has noth­ing to do with the foot­ball which we love and sup­port," tweeted the Hertha fan group Förderkrei­sOstkurve, not­ing that foot­ball had "moved away from its roots."

Lower-key build-up

So while the first East-West Ber­lin derby had been ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated in the cap­i­tal for weeks, even months af­ter Union won pro­mo­tion to the Bun­desliga for the first time, with the fans ex­cluded from the sta­dium, the build-up for this one has been un­der­stand­ably more lowkey.

"The con­di­tions are dif­fer­ent, so it's a dif­fer­ent derby," said new Hertha coach Bruno Lab­ba­dia, who will be look­ing to make it a per­fect six points from his first two matches in charge af­ter hav­ing won in his de­but for the club in Hof­fen­heim last week­end.

"Of course, it's not the derby we'd all wished for. What counts now is fo­cus­ing on what we can in­flu­ence and rise to the oc­ca­sion," he added.

Neigh­bors in terms of prox­im­ity, stand­ings

It hasn't been an easy sea­son for Hertha, as ev­i­denced by the fact that Lab­ba­dia is the fourth coach to take the reins this sea­son and their po­si­tion in 11th place in the stand­ings. With Union in 12th,one point be­hind, this match will be about more than brag­ging rights.

While nei­ther looks to be in dan­ger of rel­e­ga­tion at the mo­ment, as Lab­ba­dia put it, the three points could be "very use­ful" in en­sur­ing that Hertha, who will have to do with­out the in­jured Karim Rekik and Mar­ius Wolf, will have noth­ing to do with the drop.

De­spite be­ing at home, and the much more es­tab­lished side in the top flight, Lab­ba­dia is re­fus­ing to re­gard his team as the fa­vorites for Fri­day night's clash.

"Union are do­ing very well, play­ing a strong sea­son," said the 54-year-old, who also praised his coun­ter­part at Union, Urs Fis­cher.

"He has done a great job. They are very well or­ga­nized. It will be an in­tense game; you don't get many chances."

Fis­cher also found words of praise for the work of his coun­ter­part.

"I be­lieve that Bruno has a dis­tinct style. His teams are very com­pact and ag­gres­sive, but they also try to play foot­ball," said Fis­cher, who wasn't on the bench for his side's 2-0 loss to Bay­ern Mu­nich last Sun­day due to a death in the fam­ily.

Like Lab­ba­dia, Fis­cher's fo­cus is on putting more space be­tween his team and the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

"Pick­ing up six points from the derby will help enor­mously with our plans to stay in the league. It’s about stay­ing in the league, not be­ing city cham­pi­ons. Both would be nice, but our pri­or­ity is to move three points closer to the tar­get."

-- In the spot­light: Matheus Cunha

Since join­ing Hertha in Jan­uary the Brazil­ian has been af­forded the game time he was starved of at Leipzig. Cunha has scored in his last three games with his ef­fort on Match­day 26 go­ing down as Goal of the Week. -- Last time out: Hertha Ber­lin A 3-0 score­line wasn't the fairest re­flec­tion of Hertha's gritty win over Hof­fen­heim last week­end. The cap­i­tal city side proved more ef­fec­tive in front of goal to en­sure Bruno Lab­ba­dia made a win­ning startto life at the Hertha helm.

-- Last time out: Union Ber­lin Hav­ing pre­vi­ously beaten Dort­mund and Glad­bach while they sat top of the Bun­desliga, Union were un­able to re­peat the trick against Bay­ern. The new­lypro­moted side are with­out a win in three (1D 2L) head­ing into the Ber­lin derby.

-- Flash­back: Pre-Match­day 10 -- Fun fact!

Union's 1-0 win thanks to a late Se­bas­tian Polter penalty on Match­day 10 was the first Ber­lin derby in the Bun­desliga since the 1976/77 cam­paign. It was per­haps more sig­nif­i­cantly the first-ever game in Ger­many's top flight be­tween sides from the for­mer East and West of the cap­i­tal.

-- From the coach's mouth: Bruno Lab­ba­dia

"Of course it's not the derby we all wished for. What counts now is fo­cussing on what we can in­flu­ence and rise to the oc­ca­sion. We did that well in Hof­fen­heim and we want to build on that."

-- From the coach's mouth: Urs Fis­cher

"Pick­ing up six points from the derby will help enor­mously with our plans to stay in the league. It’s about stay­ing in the league, not be­ing city cham­pi­ons. Both would be nice, but our pri­or­ity is to move three points closer to the tar­get."

-- Prob­a­ble line-up: Hertha Ber­lin

Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Torunar­igha, Boy­ata, Plat­ten­hardt - Gru­jic, Sk­jel­bred - Luke­bakio, Mit­tel­städt - Cunha, Ibi­se­vic

-- Prob­a­ble line-up: Union

Ber­lin

Union: Gikiewicz - Hüb­ner, Schlot­ter­beck, Subotic - Trim­mel, Gent­ner, An­drich, Lenz - Ing­vart­sen, Bül­ter - An­der­s­son

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