Manuel Veth –
Hertha vs Leipzig ended in a “goal-fest” with die Roten Bullen dominating their opponent beating the club from the capital 6-2.
- Leipzig reach Europe for a second season in a row
- Hertha with a heavy defeat at the closing of the season for a second year in a row
- Leipzig finish sixth
Hertha vs Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 (Upamecano, 2′), 1-1 (Ibisević, 4′), 1-2 (Lookman, 8′), 1-3 (Augustin, 22′), 1-4 (Werner, 49′), 1-5 (Augustin, 55′), 2-5 (Kalou, 65′), 2-6 (Bruma, 83′)
RB Leipzig needed to win to keep their European hopes alive, and it only took die Roten Bullen a few moments to get on the scoresheet. In the first minute, Leipzig won a corner, and Kevin Kampl delivered a cross that was met by Dayot Upamecano to get Leipzig ahead. But while Leipzig finally scored from a standard situation, they also remain vulnerable in their end when it comes to standards, and just two minutes later Vedad Ibisević levelled the score after a corner.
Leipzig were only shocked for a moment, however, and four minutes later Leipzig’s Ademola Lookman slalomed through Hertha’s defence beating keeper Rune Jarstein with a low drive to the near post. Leipzig kept up the pressure and were carving through Berlin’s backline at will and in the 22nd minute, Jean-Kévin Augustin scored Leipzig’s third. Receiving a ball from Lookman at the edge of the box the French forward unleashed a shot that was a bit too central, but Jarstein let the ball slip through his fingers gifting Leipzig their third goal of the evening.
From there it was a long road back for Hertha. Furthermore, it did not help that the club from the capital did not capitalise on its chances with the biggest coming in the 34th minute when Jordan Torunarigha failed to hammer the ball home from eight-yards out after Leipzig was unable to clear the ball from the area after a corner-kick. The first half was remarkable in that both sides played wide open attacking football treating the fans to a spectacular game that should have had more goals in the first interval.
More goals quickly arrived in the second half, however. With just three minutes played in the second interval Augustin won the ball in midfield, quickly broke forward and the spotted Timo Werner on the left, the German midfielder broke into the box and undisturbed by Hertha’s defence was easily able to beat Jarstein with a drive from the edge of the area. Leipzig were not done, however, in the 55th minute, Augustin broke away from Hertha’s defence and easily added his second of the game with a drive that beat Jarstein at the far post.
Hertha, however, would get one back in the 65th minute. Marvin Plattenhardt was left open on the left-flank stormed down the pitch and delivered a perfect cross that was met by Salomon Kalou inside the six-yard box and his header easily beat Gulacsi to make it 2-5.
The spectators were treated to seven goals, but neither team seemed ready to call it a day and both sides kept displaying attacking football. In the 83rd minute, Bruma treated the Leipzig fans to the most spectacular goal of the evening. Receiving the ball at the left-edge of the box the Portuguese forward made one step in and then curled the ball from 18 yards out into the far corner of Jarstein’s goal. Leipzig should have added to that tally, but in the 88th minute, Yussuf Poulsen opted to shoot the ball rather than passing it to Bruma, who was left wide open in the area. As a result, the game ended 6-2. It was a remarkable performance by Leipzig, who dominated Hertha and deservedly won their game securing a spot in Europe for the second season in a row.
Hertha vs Leipzig – Man of the Match: Jean-Kévin Augustin #29
The 20-year-old Augustin was phenomenal on Saturday afternoon. Scoring two goals and assisting on one more the striker showed off his full range of talent against Hertha. But it was not just in front of the goal that the striker was effective. Augustin completed 80% of his passes and played two more key passes that would lead to goals.
Hertha vs Leipzig – Talking Point
Leipzig had a small chance to reach the Champions League on the final matchday. Die Roten Bullen completed their job but victories by Hoffenheim, against Dortmund, and Leverkusen, against Hannover, meant that Leipzig will not be competing in the Champions League next season.
Hertha vs Leipzig – Match Stats
- RB Leipzig become the first Bundesliga side to reach Europe in their first two seasons in the top flight.
- For the second season in a row Hertha concede six goals in their final home match of the season.
- Timo Werner finishes the season with 13 goals and for a second season in a row is Leipzig’s top scorer.
Hertha vs Leipzig – Line-ups
Jarstein – Pekarik (Schieber, 58′), Torunarigha, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Lustenberger (Skjelbred, 68′), Darida – Leckie, Kalou – Ibisević, Selke (Mittelstädt, 83′)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Gulacsi – Klostermann, Upamecano, Konaté, Laimer – Kampl, Demme – Lookman (Bruma, 62′), Keïta (Ilsanker, 77′) – Werner (Poulsen, 79′), Augustin
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.