Borussia Dortmund made consolidated their stay at the second position in the Bundesliga points table after beating Hertha Berlin 1-0 on Saturday at an empty Signal Iduna Park. Emre Can scored the only goal of the night to end Bruno Labbadia’s unbeaten run as Hertha coach.
Both the team showed a lackadaisical approach in the first half and did not resort to an offensive option for goalscoring chances to become a rare sight. The only noteworthy chance of the first half came from Achraf Hakimi, who rattled the side netting eight minutes into the game.
However, the host upped their ante in the second half and created the first promising chance in the 51st minute when Hakimi made a promising build-up for Jadon Sancho. However, the young England international missed the target from inside the box in the 51st minute.
Dortmund still failed to put on display the killer instinct and squandered another chance two minutes later. The new culprit was Julian Brandt who wasted a presentable 3-on-1 counter attack with a misplaced pass two minutes later.
Hertha almost punished the host’s wastefulness but Alexander Esswein pulled wide at the other end of the pitch with 56 minutes gone.
However, it was the home team that eventually broke the deadlock in what had until then been a boring encounter. Sancho’s 57th minute cross was laid up finely by Brandt for Can to outrage the opponent’s back of the net.
Sancho remained in the thick of things and should have added another goal to Dortmund’s lead but his shot from very close range got blocked in the closing period.
Bruno Labbadia’s men tried to respond but Dortmund protected their narrow lead to the end.
“We had a couple more chances, but I am satisfied with the 1-0 win. It is definitely a deserved win for us,” said Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre, Xinhua news agency reports.
“My team gave everything but today we lacked in luck. We have to acknowledge that Dortmund were the better team,” said Hertha’s head coach Labbadia.
With the result, second-placed Dortmund are close to sealing their UEFA Champions League berth for next season, while Hertha Berlin remain in ninth spot.
With IANS inputs