Hertha Berlin got revenge on city rival Union Berlin on Friday as Bundesliga Matchday 27 kicked off with the hosts scoring three times in the 10 second-half minutes en route to a dominant 4-0 victory. Hertha lost 1-0 at Union earlier in the season thanks to a late penalty kick, but the club started off on the right foot and consistently threatened as one of its rising stars continued his fine form. Here are three takeaways from the match:
Union goalkeeper was sensational in first half
It was far from a flattering scoreline for Union, but it was much better than what it could have been. Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz was fantastic in the first half, making numerous key saves, especially at the near post. One of them even saw him make the stop and sacrifice a bit as it hit him where the sun don’t shine.
He had a few really important saves in those opening 45 minutes to keep his team in it, but then his defense let him down.
Hertha finds sharpness in attack to put it away
Hertha took a while to get into this game, but the speed in attack finally began to give Union problems. The constant press of Hertha also allowed them to spring forward on occasion, and it was 35-year-old Verdad Ibisevic who continued his fine play, scoring the winner with this fine finish in the 51st minute.
Instead of being content being up 1-0, Hertha pushed for more, and the club got its second a minute later with Dodi Lukebakio’s fine finish on the right.
That was the knockout punch as Union didn’t have a shot on goal at that point and actually didn’t record one for the entire game.
Cunha continue to rise
Mattheus Cunha appears to be worth every penny Hertha spent on him in the winter transfer window. The Brazilian, who joined from RB Leipzig, was a constant threat. He started the game on the left, was switched over to the right and had two good chances in the first half. But it was this effort in the second half at the top of the box that made it 3-0 in the 61st minute. Cunha has now scored in four straight for Hertha:
Cunha was lively, active and controlled his emotions despite a few instances where he could have failed to do so. He’s got a confidence about him and may just be a future Brazilian national team player if he continues playing like this.
As for the last goal, Dedryck Boyata made it 4-0 with a header 13 minutes from time, and Hertha has now won its two games since league play resumed and is slowly creeping into the European conversation. With this win, Hertha is five points back of a Europa League spot, and while it may be unlikely for them to catch up, it’s not impossible.
Bundesliga action continues on Saturday with some big games includingand .
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