Salomon Kalou’s hat-trick guided Hertha Berlin to a 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday with last year’s 4th placed club’s miserable start to the season continuing.
The first goal came in the 18th minute. Elvedi’s weak clearance was intercepted by Pekarik who passed the ball to Weiser on the right. Weiser ran then played in a beautiful chipped ball from the edge of the area which Kalou met with a diving header from outside the six-yard box. The ball then bounced into the bottom right corner leaving Sommer helpless, Kalou’s first goal of the season in his third appearance.
More was to come from the Ivorian as he scored a second in bizarre circumstances. The ball fell to Monchengladbach’s defender Elvedi; with an easy clearance in sight he instead proceeded to fire the ball off fellow defender Vestergaard. This had disastrous consequences as the ball then bounced into the path of Kalou who had a clear sight at goal. He chested the ball down and poked the ball past Sommer with his left foot. Elvedi handed a gift to Kalou, one which was graciously accepted.
Just when you’d think things couldn’t get any worse for Monchengladbach, prior to half-time, they went down to 10 men . Christoph Kramer received his first red card in the Bundesliga after his clumsy lunge on Lustenberger just as Hertha were attempting a quick break-away earned him a second yellow card. Desperation shining through as Kramer chopped down the Swiss international. Hertha looked comfortable going into the break with a two-goal lead and an extra man.
Hertha secured the victory late in the match as Kalou got himself his hat-trick goal. Ibišević and Weiser’s one-two put the latter into an excellent position. Weiser then played a through-ball which went straight through the middle of Monchengladbach’s Vestergaard and Elvedi. Meanwhile, Kalou timed his run impeccably in sync with the ball through and then beat Sommer one-on-one for the third time with a powerful right-footed strike which nestled into the bottom left corner. A marvellous team goal capped off a marvellous performance from Hertha.
Hertha’s fantastic run of form continues. Last year they were pipped to a Champions League spot by the very team they just beat 3-0, the very team that hammered them on both occasions when they met last season. The Champions League must be the prime goal this season for the team from the German capital. Kalou featured as the star in Hertha’s victory but one mustn’t discount the performance of Mitchell Weiser who blended excellently with Kalou to provide two assists.
Ultimately it was poor defending that really lost Monchengladbach the game although they didn’t look especially good attacking but that may have been neutered by the sending off before half-time. You could point the finger at 20-year-old centre-back Nico Elvedi who was at fault for the second goal and gave the ball the way in the lead up to the first, a game to forget for the young Swiss defender. The defence had practically gave up by the time the third goal came around as Vestergaard stopped in his tracks as soon as the through-ball to Kalou was played.
Hertha now lie fourth in the table, four points behind leaders Bayern. They are only behind third-placed Hoffenheim on goals for as the two teams’ goal difference is the same. Things don’t look so rosy for Monchengladbach on the other hand. They are in the bottom half of the table in 11th and are 12 points off the top.
Feature Image Credit: Frankinho