Hertha BSC Berlin won the relegation second leg against Hamburger SV 2-0 and remains top notch. Under their coach Felix Magath, the Berliners showed a different face than in the first leg, which they lost 1-0.

Magician Felix Magath managed to save the Bundesliga with Hertha BSC and gave his heart club Hamburger SV another year in the second division. The significantly improved Berliners won the relegation second leg in the Volksparkstadion 2-0 (1-0) on Monday evening and, after the 0-1 loss in the first leg last Thursday, avoided the momentous crash into the 2nd division. Dedryck Boyata (4th) and Marvin Plattenhardt (63rd) scored for Hertha in front of 55,000 spectators. Lucas Tousart saw yellow-red in stoppage time (90.6).

The thousands of fans created goosebumps right from the start. “Let’s go HSV” was written on a huge banner of the Hamburg supporters, who were hoping for the big promotion party – but were quickly sobered. Boyata rewarded Hertha’s offensive first minutes with a header after a corner by Plattenhardt. The relegation was open again, Magath apparently unmoved on the sidelines in a smart suit.

Boateng appeared as a real leader

“I think Hertha has a lot to lose,” said HSV coach Tim Walter just before kick-off at Sky. With the veterans Kevin-Prince Boateng and Stevan Jovetic as well as Santiago Ascacibar in the starting eleven, the Berliners initially acted much better than in the first leg, which HSV deservedly won. Boateng, who didn’t play on Thursday after an alleged dispute with Magath, repeatedly acted as the leader and guided his team-mates. After half an hour he saw yellow.

Walter coached on the sidelines with similar commitment. The HSV coach was visibly dissatisfied after conceding an early goal, and his team was slow to get back into the game. Walter had refrained from making any changes to the starting eleven. “Quiet!” shouted the coach in the 21st minute when another Hamburg attack hastily failed to reach the Berlin penalty area. A co-production by Sonny Kittel and Bakery Jatta landed on the side netting (26′).

In the HSV goal, Daniel Heuer Fernandes had to stretch quite a bit to defuse Lucas Tousart’s long-range shot (31′). Shortly before the break, Berlin had fired nine shots on goal – HSV only one. The Hamburg game was far too error-prone.

Plattenhardt hits with a fantastic flick

Hertha goalkeeper Andreas Christensen got a little more work to do at the beginning of the second half when Ludovit Reis (48′) and Moritz Heyer (49′) scored. The Hamburgers now seemed more present and came into their actually very offensive game system more often. With 67 goals, HSV was one of the most accurate teams in the 2nd division, while Hertha only managed 37 goals in 34 Bundesliga match days.

But in the middle of the good HSV phase, Plattenhardt then scored with a directly converted free kick. The ball flew over Heuer Fernandes from the right into the far corner of the Hamburg goal. Magath smiled. His team also tried to follow up immediately. Heuer Fernandes saved against Jovetic (73rd). The HSV pros fought back in the heated final phase, but the Hanseatic League didn’t get too many chances.