Dortmund Loss At Hertha Leaves Bayern Nine Points Clear

Hertha Berlin’s German midfielder Marco Richter (C) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal with his team mates during the German first division Bundesliga football match Hertha Berlin vs Borussia Dortmund in Berlin on December 18, 2021. AFP


Marco Richter scored twice as hosts Hertha Berlin earned a shock 3-2 win over second-placed Borussia Dortmund Saturday to leave Bayern Munich nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Julian Brandt gave Dortmund a first-half lead, but Hertha roared back with three unanswered goals at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium as Ishak Belfodil equalised before Richter scored twice.

Dortmund substitute striker Steffen Tigges pulled one back shortly after replacing Brandt, but the visitors head into the winter break having won just once in their last four league games.

“We gave the game away,” admitted Dortmund goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.

“We did nothing in the 20 minutes after half-time and only after were we back in it.”

Bayern thrashed Wolfsburg 4-0 on Friday and will start the new year as overwhelming favourites for a 10th straight Bundesliga title.

Just four days after losing 4-0 at mid-table Mainz, Hertha bossed Dortmund and crucially kept Erling Haaland quiet after the Norwegian had scored four goals in a 5-2 romp in the same fixture last season.

Haaland barely had one shot on goal and showed his frustration at Dortmund’s poor display as Hertha fought hard from the first whistle.

Forward Myziane Maolida tapped an early shot past Hitz, but the goal was disallowed with Belfodil marginally offside.

Dortmund took the lead when Haaland spotted a run by Brandt, who chipped in with half an hour gone.

It stayed 1-0 at the break, but Hertha stamped their authority with two goals within six minutes.

Belfodil beat Axel Witsel and tucked his shot under Hitz to claim his first Bundesliga goal for three years.

Moments later Brandt lost possession and Maolida laid it off to his right for Richter to hammer in.

He then grabbed his second after getting in behind the defence following Brandt’s loose pass before Tigges gave Dortmund late hope.

Eintracht win again

Earlier, Eintracht Frankfurt continued their rise up the table with a sixth win in seven games as Danish forward Jesper Lindstrom scored for the third match in succession to seal a 1-0 victory over Mainz.

Frankfurt broke into the top five, having started last weekend 12th, as Lindstrom added to goals he scored in wins against Moenchengladbach and Leverkusen over the past week.

When Rafael Borre snuck in behind the defence, the Colombia striker chipped the on-rushing goalkeeper straight into the path of Lindstrom who tapped in the winner on 35 minutes.

The clubs passed each other in the table as Mainz dropped to eighth.

Union Berlin went sixth – level with Frankfurt on 27 points – thanks to former Germany striker Max Kruse, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Bochum two days after getting married.

Fourth-placed Hoffenheim snatched a 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach after defender Kevin Akpoguma tapped in a last-gasp equaliser.

Gladbach, who had lost their four previous league games, took a first-half lead when Swiss striker Breel Embolo scored from close range.

Domenico Tedesco suffered his first loss in three games as coach of RB Leipzig, who lost 2-0 at home to 10-man Arminia Bielefeld.

After forward Janni Serra put the visitors 1-0 up, Bielefeld substitute Fabian Klos was shown a red card for fouling Leipzig defender Willi Orban soon after coming on.

Despite being a man down, Bielefeld clinched the win when Japan midfielder Masaya Okugawa hit the bottom corner with 15 minutes left.

Greuther Fuerth are now 11 points adrift at the foot of the table after their goalless draw at home to Augsburg.


Hertha Berlin Dismiss Jans Lehmann For Racist Comment

File Photo of Former Arsenal Goalkeeper Jans Lehmann


Former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been dismissed from the supervisory board of Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin after making a jibe about a TV pundit’s race via WhatsApp, it was confirmed Wednesday.

Lehmann had sat on the Hertha Berlin supervisory board as an adviser to the club’s major shareholder Lars Windhorst, boss of Tennor Holding.

“We have terminated the consultancy contract with Jens Lehmann. This also ends his activity on the supervisory board of Hertha Berlin,” a Tennor Holding spokesman told AFP subsidiary SID.

The 51-year-old, a member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ in the 2003–04 season, was shown the door by Hertha after inadvertently sending a WhatsApp message to former Germany defender Dennis Aogo, whose father is Nigerian.

The 34-year-old Aogo appeared as a pundit during the Champions League semi-finals for Sky on Tuesday and in the WhatsApp message sent to Aogo, Lehmann asked “Is Dennis actually your token black guy?”

Aogo took a screen shot of the message and posted to his 81,000 followers on Instagram with the caption “WOW, are you serious? @jenslehmannofficial The message was probably not meant for me!!!”

Lehmann attempted to explain his comment on Wednesday via Twitter.

“In a private message from my mobile phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis,” Lehmann wrote on his Twitter account.

“As a former international, he is very knowledgeable and has a great presence and brings ratings to Sky.”

Lehmann did not say who his original message was intended for.

Lehmann succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann on Hertha’s supervisory board in early May last year.

Hertha Berlin president Werner Gegenbauer welcomed the club’s decision.

“Hertha Berlin distances itself from any form of racism. We therefore welcome the step taken by Tennor Holding,” he said.


Hertha Berlin In Isolation As Coach, Two Others Test Positive For COVID-19

Hertha Berlin’s Hungarian head coach Pal Dardai arrives for an interview prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hertha BSC Berlin and Borussia Moenchengladbach in Berlin on April 10, 2021.
Soeren Stache / AFP / POOL


Hertha Berlin’s Hungarian coach Pal Dardai, assistant coach Admir Hamzagic and Belgium striker Dodi Lukebakio have tested positive for Covid-19 and the team has been ordered into isolation, the Bundesliga club said Thursday.

Hertha says the trio, who are symptom-free, are quarantined at home.

The rest of the squad and staff have been ordered to isolate together until April 28, and are allowed to leave their common quarters only for training and matches.

The period covers Hertha’s away Bundesliga match at Mainz on Sunday, the home game against Freiburg next Wednesday, and the visit to bottom side Schalke on April 24.

“We will accept this challenging situation as a team and do everything together to be successful in the upcoming matches,” said sport director Arne Friedrich, who is training the team in place of Dardai.


Hertha Berlin Suspend Ex-Chelsea Star Kalou For Breaching COVID-19 Rules


The German club, Hertha Berlin, have suspended Ivory Coast star, Salomon Kalou, for disobeying COVID-19 social distancing rules.

The former Chelsea star shook hands with his teammates and had appeared to have made light of the COVID-19 pandemic after he posted a “Corona song” live on his Facebook account.

Kalou flouted the rules when teams in the German top two divisions went for COVID-19 tests as plans get on the way for the resumption of the Bundesliga.
The player filmed himself disrupting a teammate’s test and streamed it live on the social media platform.

Hertha in a statement, have, however, described the act as “absolutely unacceptable” and noted that it does not reflect the club’s stand especially in the face of a pandemic.

“Salomon Kalou was tempted by his negative test results to greet the other players in the dressing room, sometimes with a handshake, contrary to the clear announcements made by health authorities,” the club said in a statement on its website.

“With his ‘Corona Song’, Kalou gave the impression that he is not aware of the extent of the ongoing pandemic.

“With this video taken inside the team’s dressing room, Kalou broke clear internal rules and displayed a behaviour, which is neither appropriate for this current situation, nor reflective of the code of conduct of Hertha BSC.”

According to the statement, the “club has, therefore, made the decision to suspend the player in question from training and matches with immediate effect.”

Also speaking, the General Manager, Michael Preetz said Kalou’s behaviour is a great damage to the club and has “created the impression that individual players are not taking the issue of coronavirus seriously, in a time of great discussion on the resumption of football and the role of the professional game.”

Petr Cech Named Czech Republic Player Of The Year

Petr CechArsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech, has been named Czech player of the year for the eighth time.

The award was announced on Monday after votes by coaches, players and club officials. Football federation officials and journalists also participated in the poll.

Sparta Prague striker David Lafata, finished second while Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida came third.

The 33-year-old Arsenal player has been capped 118 times since making his international debut in 2002.

Cech joined Arsenal from Premier League champions Chelsea last June after making over 400 appearances in 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech has helped Czech Republic qualify for Euro 2016 in France where they play Spain, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.

However, a calf muscle injury he sustained earlier in March has ruled him out of the forthcoming international matches against Scotland and Sweden.

National team coach Pavel Vrba was voted best coach for the sixth straight year.

Europa League: Dortmund Prepare Ahead Of Porto Clash

Dortmund German side, Borussia Dortmund, hopes to defend a 2-nil lead at Porto as the two sides fight for a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Coach Thomas Tuchel expressed hope that since the team dominated the first match in Germany, they would try to do the same in Thursday’s match.

Dortmund beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-nil in the Bundesliga away match on Sunday and presently second in the table behind Bayern Munich, but 15 points ahead of Hertha Berlin in third.

Meanwhile, Coach Louis Van Gaal insists Manchester United must learn to ignore their critics.

The Dutchman observed that their performances might have been affected by the intense scrutiny the team had been under throughout the campaign.