Borussia Dortmund ended the 2021/22 season with a 2-1 (0-1) home win against Hertha BSC. The goals were scored by Erling Haaland and Youssoufa Moukoko, who came on as a substitute moments earlier.
Boris Rupert reports from Dortmund
The match was marked by farewells, especially to Michael Zorc and Marcel Schmelzer (detailed reports elsewhere). After a disappointing first half and a 1-0 deficit (penalty by Belfodil), 80,500 spectators in the not quite sold-out SIGNAL IDUNA PARK saw a deserved 2-1 BVB victory with goals by Haaland (68, penalty) and Moukoko (84).
BVB had lost only two of their previous 16 competitive games against Hertha BSC; in the 34 Bundesliga home games so far against the Berliners, BVB had lost only four, the most recent being on 21 December 2013. Borussia have scored at least one goal in every home game against the Berliners since 1969.
Compared to the previous week (3-1 win in Fürth), U19 player Bynoe-Gittens was available and Meunier returned to the squad after three months of injury. There were no changes to the starting outfield players, but Bürki replaced Hitz in goal.
Tactics: Borussia again preferred a basic 3-2-4-1 formation, with the wide players high up the pitch and rarely dropping back to bolster the three-man backline into a four- or five-man defence. Hertha defended in a 4-4-2 and switched to a 4-2-3-1 in the build-up. After the break, BVB emerged from the dressing room with Bynoe-Gittens replacing Can and also operated in a 4-2-3-1 system. Wolf occupied the right side of defence, Bynoe-Gittens the left wing.
The Match & Analysis:
Not much happened of note in the opening 15 minutes. BVB dominated the game, but did not manage any shots on goal. Solely interested in being compact, Hertha entered the penalty area for the first time and Belfodil was brought down with alleged contact from Zagadou. Referee Stieler first decided on a penalty, then on offside. Both scenes were then checked on the monitor, both in Cologne and by Stieler. After three minutes of studying video evidence, the referee decided on the penalty. Wolf gave Bürki a tip before the penalty, Bürki flew into the right corner, but could not reach the ball, which was shot sharply and well-placed by Belfodil in the 18th minute.
As debatable as the penalty kick was, the Black & Yellows game before and after was also slow-paced. Despite enjoying 78% possession of the ball, BVB only had their first chance to score a minute before the break when Brandt's attempt flew just wide from six metres.
Five minutes after the restart, after strong play by substitute Bynoe-Gittens, who had sped up the tempo of the game, and Brandt, who had immediately played into the penalty area Reus burst through and poked the ball past keeper Lotka, but failed to put it in the goal because of a slip. Overall, however, there was largely a lack of play in deep areas. A set piece provided the next opportunity: Guerreiro's free kick from 18 metres was blocked in the wall because a Berlin player went to the ball with his upper arm in the 64th minute. Only after the intervention of the video assistant Brand did Stieler look at the scene several times and then decided on a penalty, which Haaland converted to make it 1-1 four minutes after the original incident.
The fans were now in their element, creating an incredible atmosphere and trying to urge the team forward. It was one-way traffic, but still BVB managed to carve only a few attempts on goal. Rose reacted by making some changes, bringing on Moukoko for Witsel, and he scored with his first touch of the ball. After Bellingham's beautiful pass, the 17-year-old found the net from an acute angle to the right inner post, from where it bounced into the net to make it 2-1 in the 84th minute. Hertha now had to throw everyone forward and Belfodil hit the side netting in the second minute of added time. In a frenetic final stage of the game, there was little real football played with possession of the ball changing with every second.
The 2022/23 season starts on 5 August, with the first main round of the DFB Pokal being played the weekend before (29 July to 1 August).