The images with which Hertha BSC said goodbye to the international break were unusual: a jubilant unit, freed from the yoke of failure, enthused by their assistant coach Mark Fotheringham, who resembled that of the inspirational football series “Ted Lasso” and carried everyone away to make it 3-0 against Hoffenheim. Two weeks later, everything was buried again. The Berlin team now resembled the image of its head coach Felix Magath, who, to put it politely, watched the match in Leverkusen like a poker player: he endured the 2-1 draw without any emotion at all. the outside.
There’s no doubt the 68-year-old has witnessed too many Bundesliga games – over 300 as a player, 656 as a manager – to explode like an HB man on every occasion. But he must be more than a leader of apathetic people.
Especially as the apathy continued after the final whistle: “We played third in the table”, Magath began his analysis with at least two exclamation points, as if Leverkusen, notoriously faltering this season, was of an unattainable size for Hertha. Does he think he can incite his team in this way? “We didn’t offer enough fights in the first half, that shouldn’t be the case in our situation,” Magath rightly complained. After the 3-0 victory over Hoffenheim, which he could only experience at home due to a corona infection, “I thought it was clear to everyone that we had to fight and play”. But dandelion.
It wasn’t until Sunday morning that Magath showed his will to fight. Then he shouted on the training ground, in no uncertain terms to professionals and spectators: “You put yourself in this situation, it wasn’t me – you have to get out of it.”
After the break, Hertha cannot pass two half chances
After all, analyst Magath wanted to see improvement in Leverkusen, which was insufficiently hidden praise for coach Magath: “The second half was better,” the coach thought, “we looked better there- low and also embarrassed Leverkusen”. It was an idiosyncratic view as Hertha had no more than two half chances after the switch. It was only because Leverkusen failed to add the third goal that the equalizer was possible until injury time.
This was confirmed by Bayer coach Gerardo Seoane, who ‘became a bit restless from the 75th minute’ onwards as ‘the front four players didn’t try their luck – and some were too tired to work Upside down”. However, the concerns of the Swiss were unfounded. Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky’s conclusion on Sky sounded humorous (“Hertha with Magath is hard to play, players bite for the coach”), but the Berliners had apparently forgotten their dentures.
In any case, very few of the lessons learned from Harsewinkel’s training camp, which Magath raved about on Friday, stuck with him. Hertha immediately spread into the opposition penalty area and had the first chance through Mittelstädt in Bayer’s initial chaos. The only problem was that the phase was over after two minutes. And then the challenge was what Hertha is even worse than attacking this season – defending.
Moussa Diaby sets up Leverkusen’s two goals
The new technical staff can hardly reduce the spaces themselves if a team like Bayer manages to pass the balls with a little more precision and at a higher speed. Two elegant dribbles from Moussa Diaby were enough to unmask the holes in Berlin, leading to goals from Alario (33rd) and Bellarabi (40th). In this phase, the guests showed more commitment off the field than on it – the noble reserve Kevin-Prince Boateng was warned because he saw a foul in the creation of the second goal.
After all: It didn’t take threatening gestures from the players to bring Hertha back into the game. Leverkusen, known this season for neglect with a 2-0 lead, took over. After the connection goal from Darida (42nd), we wondered if Hertha had realized that Leverkusen could be better broken defensively? Would the team push hard to equalise? The answers were: no and no. The guests soon found themselves very low, as if someone had given the players the wrong intermediate result. The Berliners ran significantly more (124.6 km) than the team from Leverkusen (113.6) – but they fell far behind.
As much as the Berliners then tried to play down the events of the day – the facts told another, devastating story: injured and substituted goalkeeper Schwolow, injured and substituted defensive rascal Niklas Stark, the whole squad too good at duels, lost 1:2, only played a very big chance, slipped to 17th place – and now Union Berlin come to the derby. “We have to improve there,” Félix Magath rightly said.