BERLIN (AFP) – Captain Kevin-Prince Boateng rallied his Hertha Berlin teammates right after the final whistle on the Berlin Olympic Stadium lawn and swore them in rousing words until the end of the season.
But instead of going to their recently critical supporters, the professionals went to the dressing room after the vital 2-0 (1-0) relegation battle in the Bundesliga against Stuttgart. The players were still very worried about the spectators after 1:4 against Union Berlin in the first leg before, when they felt the anger of the fans.
Focus on sports
“As a team, we have decided not to go to the fans for the time being,” goalkeeper Marcel Lutka explained on the live broadcast service DAZN. “It was not good against Al Ittihad. I think the sporting thing is the most important thing now, that we get our points for the fans as well, and that we are a unit.”
Anyway, this worked against VFB Stuttgart, who was also in danger. When Felix Magath celebrated his 500th birthday as Bundesliga coach, the Berlin players took a huge step towards remaining in the league. Because of the success they increased as Table 15. Their lead over the Swabians, who are the lowest ranked, to four points.
Victory in Jubilee Magath
“The heart is relaxed. The mood was incredible today,” said goal scorer Davey Silke. The striker (4th minute) gave Hertha a lead with his first goal under Jupilar Magath in front of 54,589 spectators. Isaac Belvodel (90+3) scored his third victory under the perfection of Magath.
The Stuttgerbetter was dispatched after the defeat and had to face their angry fans. “Obviously we slept during the first half,” said VFP professional Valdemar Anton. “We have to be there from the start. Then nothing like that will happen.”
Team spirit and the use of keys
This game cannot offer football fun due to the risky situation of both teams. As last week in the 1-0 win over FC Augsburg, which was also in danger, the Berliners were impressed by the team spirit and long-missed commitment.
With another success next Saturday at the Armenia stadium in Bielefeld, which is six points behind, the Bundesliga could shine if VFB Stuttgart loses to Wolfsburg at the same time. Swabians are just two points ahead of East Westphalians in the 16th standings and should improve again in the latter part of the season.
Early celebration after the intervention of the video assistant referee
The smoke from fireworks flares at the fan block in Stuttgart had not yet cleared when Hertha started. Mark Oliver Kempf (third), who only moved from Stuttgart to Berlin in the winter, had a chance to head the ball. Selke almost got the ball. Shortly thereafter, the attacker was right when he passed Marvin Platnhardt, a Magath Assist expert. Referee Felix Brych complained about an offside situation, but the video footage was clear. The goal was awarded, and Silke and Hertha’s fans released the celebration after the VAR’s confirmation.
There was no sign of significant disharmony between the Berlin side and its core supporters during the match. And in Herta the fans will. The fight was right. Stuttgart came up with very little. Hertha goalkeeper Marcel Lutka did not have to thwart any dangerous chances to defend against the goal. Berliners were safe, but could not aggressively identify any decisive accents.
In his 500th match as Bundesliga coach, Magath was able to sit on the bench in his linen suit in the second half. His assistant Mark Furringham took up the training with great enthusiasm. Like his boss, the Scotsman then saw a braver VfB team. The Berliners survived the difficult stages and since then they have successfully fought off the equaliser. Substitute Belvodel made it clear in added time.