10-men Leipzig hold Hertha in Bundesliga

10-men Leipzig hold Hertha in Bundesliga
Players of Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig fight for the ball during their match.
Berlin, May 28 (IANS) | Publish Date: 5/28/2020 9:16:51 AM IST

Hertha Berlin failed to make the most of their numerical advantage as ten-men Leipzig secured a point on home soil in the 28th round of Bundesliga.

The visitors from the capital grabbed a fairy-tale start into the Wednesday clash as they needed only nine minutes to break the deadlock after Marvin Plattenhardt’s corner found Marko Grujic, who poked home the opener from a central position inside the box, reports Xinhua news agency.

Leipzig got into the gear as the match progressed and restored parity also following a corner as Lukas Klostermann nodded home Christopher Nkunku’s corner with 24 minutes into the first half.

For the remainder of the first-half chances were at a premium, as only Vedad Ibisevic had a promising effort on target in the 41st minute.

Both sides staged a lively opening into the second half but neither Hertha’s Maximilian Mittelstadt nor Leipzig’s Timo Werner was able to grab the lead.

Leipzig’s momentum got stopped at the hour mark though as Marcel Halstenberg received his marching orders after booking his second yellow card following a foul play to Matheus Cunha.

However, Hertha could not capitalize on their numerical advantage as goalkeeper Rune Jarstein fumbled a harmless shot from Patrik Schick into his own goal moments later.

Both sides traded attacks but substitute Ademola Lookman brought down Cunha inside the box and caused a foul play penalty.

Hertha’s substitute Krzysztof Piatek stepped up and kept his nerves to wrap up a two-all draw on the road.

“We did not play well today. We lost too many balls in the midfield and failed to overcome their defense. Luckily we took the lead with ten-men but in the hand we have to live with the share of the spoils,” Leipzig’s custodian Peter Gulacsi said.

“My team played well. They responded very well after we conceded the 2-1. I am satisfied with the point but I hoped for more,” Hertha’s head coach Bruno Labbadia said.

With the stalemate, Hertha Berlin climb on the 10th position meanwhile Leipzig stay on the third place of the Bundesliga standings.

Fortuna boost survival hopes with 2-1 win over Schalke

Fortuna Duesseldorf boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga as goals from Rouwen Hennings and Kenan Karaman helped them come from behind to beat Schalke 04 2-1 at home in a scrappy contest on Wednesday.

The result left Fortuna 16th, the relegation playoff spot, on 27 points from 28 games, one behind Mainz who stayed in the safety zone with a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin. Schalke, who extended their winless league run to 10 matches, stayed ninth on 37 points. The match was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the first half only produced a long-range effort at either end as both sides applied a cautious approach.

The contest finally sprung to life when Weston McKennie fired Schalke into a 53rd-minute lead with a diving header from a superb Bastian Oczipka cross.

Yet their joy was short-lived as Hennings nodded in a 63rd-minute equaliser, which stood after a quick VAR check, having beaten his markers to the ball after visiting keeper Markus Schubert parried a ferocious Kevin Stoeger free kick.

More sloppy defending allowed the hosts to complete their comeback five minutes later, as Karaman headed the ball in from one metre after Erik Thommy’s cross was nodded into his stride.

Schalke threw men forward in the closing stages but created almost nothing as the home team’s packed defence dealt with their aimless long balls easily, while also looking dangerous on the break.

Fortuna should have netted a third in stoppage time after Schubert was left stranded having misjudged a long clearance, but substitute Steven Skrzybski saw his weak shot cleared off the line.


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