The eventful Bundesliga weekend came to a close on Sunday evening as Hertha BSC hosted Schalke 04. After lack of action it was Hertha that showed their quality to send Schalke home empty handed once more.
Hertha have started the campaign in fine fashion having picked up two victories in their opening two matches, a 2-0 win against Ingolstadt and a 2-1 victory over newly-promoted Freiburg. They went into Sunday’s game in high spirits and confident of another three points, which was needed if they were to move up from fifth into joint first along with Bayern Munich.
Schalke have made changes over the summer and so far this campaign things have struggled to get going, after two matches the club find themselves second from bottom thanks to two losses against Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern.
The only fresh injury concern for either side coming into the game was for the home side as Anthony Brooks suffered an injury earlier in the week.
Slow start Sunday for Hertha and Schalke
The game failed to kick itself into life throughout the first half as both team’s struggled to create their chances and the battles around the pitch were equally fought out between both team’s.
The final ball lacked on a number of occasion’s and the first showing of this came in the third minute, Breel-Donald Embolo broke down the left side as Schalke looked to counter and a poor through ball forward towards Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was easily cut out.
Schalke came forward down the left once more moments later as Rahman Baba managed to get the better of Peter Pekarík, his cross from the byline however saw Sebastian Langkamp cut out the danger and put the ball out for a corner.
Hertha were having more of the ball in the first half and were able to sustain the most pressure, however they were failing to create the chances needed to take the lead. Their guests Schalke were more purposeful when in possession and they came close to an opener after the hour mark, Eric Choupo-Moting managed to beat Pekarík out on the left and after cutting inside his effort took a deflection and narrowly flew past the post.
Hertha find their feet to take the lead
Schalke managed to create the first bit of action of the second half six minutes in, Benjamin Stambouli found space outside the area and his effort from thirty yards deflected off Fabian Lustenberger and forced Rune Jarstein into flicking the ball over his bar.
On the hour mark Genki Haraguchi took it into his own hands to try and break the deadlock and he came close to doing so. The Japanese midfielder drived down the left and came rushing inside before trying his luck which flew well wide.
This proved to be a warning for Schalke as moments later the home side grabbed the lead. Vedad Ibišević played the ball out to the right and despite having got to the ball first Stambouli had a nightmare as he gifted the ball to Pekarík, the full back charged towards the area before cutting the ball back to Mitchell Weiser and he excellently finished across goal and into the top left corner for his first goal of the season.
Ten minutes after taking the lead Hertha doubled it, Per Ciljan Skjelbred won the ball off Nabil Bentaleb and Weiser was alert to quickly chip a glorious ball over the top to substitute Valentin Stocker and at the first time of asking the Swiss forward direct his effort past Ralf Fährmann.
After the second Schalke were able to apply some pressure on the Hertha defence, however they continued to fail to cause them any problems. The game didn’t provide much else in the game as Hertha looked to see out the game, they came close to a third as Weiser played the ball through to Julian Schieber and unfortunately for him Naldo did well to block him off and shield the ball out of play.
That was the last of the action and the three points head to Hertha who maintain their 100% start to the campaign meaning it’s their best ever start to a campaign and they move up to joint first with Bayern. Up next for the capital club they travel to Munich to face Bayern on Wednesday as English week heads to Germany.
Schalke continue their disappointing start and they need to turn things around quickly before a European finish escapes their grasp. On Wednesday they have another tough task as in-form Köln come for a visit to the Veltins-Arena.