Relegation question postponed until final day: Hertha BSC and the desire for drama – sport

Like many normal people, Hertha BSC has also used the corona pandemic to spruce up its own home a bit. Photo walls now adorn the path to the pitch in the Olympic Stadium dressing room, and important goals from the recent past can be seen on a continuous loop on two TV screens just before the stairs leading inside.

Captain Dedryck Boyata scored an important goal against FC Schalke in the fight against relegation. Davie Selke scores against Leipzig, Krzysztof Piatek in the win over 1. FC Union and Suat Serdar in spectacular fashion against Liverpool.

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Saturday night and the home game against FSV Mainz 05 would have been a good opportunity for the current Hertha vintage to also make history. But apart from a penalty which Davie Selke converted to make it 1-1 for his side, Hertha had nothing to celebrate. Not on Saturday and not on Sunday either. Because Bayern only played 2-2 against Stuttgart, the Berliners had to tremble to stay in the Bundesliga until the last day.

A victory for Munich against VfB would have completed Hertha’s relegation. Just like a victory for Berlin against Mainz the night before. But instead of taking care of things themselves, Hertha suffered a depressing 2-1 (1-1) defeat in the nearly sold-out Olympic Stadium. “It’s football. You can’t choose,” said Hertha midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. “It happened the way we didn’t want it to.”

However, this is exactly what many expected. Why easy so complicated is another option? The fact that Hertha has a penchant for dramatic turns was already visible the previous week, when the team was leading 1-0 against Arminia Bielefeld, spoiling the huge chance to make it 2-0 shortly before the end – and conceded the equalizer in addition. weather. Bayern’s draw also fit perfectly into the picture.

Hertha are due to travel to Dortmund on the last match day

The only good thing for Hertha is that the team still has it in their hands on the last matchday: Hertha would be saved with a win or a draw at Borussia Dortmund – no matter VfB’s home game against 1. FC Köln comes to an end.

“We put a lot of effort into getting ourselves into this situation,” said Davie Selke, who even clapped for a brief moment in added time in the game against Mainz for the supposed equalizer. But the hit didn’t count as Selke had knocked his opponent back a little too obviously, who then flew through the air a little too obviously. It was just as much part of the overall picture as the shot at the post by U-19 player Luca Wollschläger who had just been substituted moments earlier.

It’s probably scenes like this that confirm Hertha coach Felix Magath in his basic skepticism, fuel his pessimism and make him expect the worst. Magath, the seer at Schenckendorffplatz, spoke unsolicited about relegation after the loss to Mainz, and after being explicitly asked about it, he replied: “As a professional, what I consider myself to be, I prepare for the worst-case scenario.”

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That also includes not necessarily assuming Hertha will triumph waving flags at Dortmund. “I have no idea how you judge football now,” Magath replied when asked if he didn’t trust his team against BVB. “We are playing second in the table, we are fifteenth in the table. I would say second place wins more games than they lose at home against 15th place.

One could consider this skepticism as exaggerated, even a little affected. On the other hand, if anyone likes dramatic turns, it’s probably Hertha BSC. On Saturday, everything was ready for a conciliatory end to a season that was once again far too hectic. The defeat at Bielefeld the previous night had made the situation even worse. Hertha can no longer descend directly. “I was convinced that we could play a better game thanks to a better and less powerful situation,” said Magath.

Hertha seemed inhibited, not inspired

But his team did not seem inspired by the prospect of a save against Mainz, but rather inhibited. “We weren’t in the game, we weren’t fresh in our heads,” Boateng said. “He lacked a lot of what distinguished us in recent weeks: liveliness, calm on the ball, intelligence.”

After a strong start with great zeal, Hertha let the opponent work their way through the game unhindered. “We behaved more and more passively and let Mainz play along,” complained Magath. “The team has kind of reduced the effort and tried to play more. But we’re not that far there yet. In this regard, we have chosen the wrong method.” On Saturday evening, Felix Magath was asked on what consequences he would draw from realizing that the team couldn’t cope with the drop in pressure. “That she needs more pressure,” he replied.

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