BERLIN – Hertha Berlin routed crosstown rival Union Berlin 4-0 in a Friday night contest that kicked off Matchday 27 in the Bundesliga and was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hertha picked up its second win since the resumption of play in Germany’s first division following a more than two-month, COVID-19-triggered hiatus, getting goals from four different players in a lopsided second half inside a virtually silent Olympiastadion.
Veteran Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic kicked off the scoring in the 51st minute, using his height to rise up and head home a cross from left back Marvin Plattenhardt.
Just a minute later, Hertha doubled its lead on a play in which Belgian winger Dodi Lukebakio received a pass from Ibisevic, dribbled around Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
The Bosnian also assisted on the third goal just after the one-hour mark, when Brazilian Matheus Cunha received the ball at the edge of the box and sent a blast past Gikiewicz and into the bottom corner of the goal.
The home side then piled on in the 77th minute, stretching its lead to 4-0 on a header by Belgian center back Dedryk Boyata off a corner kick sent in by Plattenhardt.
The win was the second straight impressive performance by Hertha, which went on the road to defeat Hoffenheim 3-0 last Saturday at Rhein-Neckar-Arena. Before Friday, the Berlin side had not won back-to-back games with at least a three-goal margin in 17 years, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Union, for its part, has dropped both games since the resumption of the season, having also been shut out last weekend in a 2-0 loss to league-leading Bayern Munich (58 points).
Hertha is currently in the 10th position in the Bundesliga standings with 34 points, while Union is 12th with 30 points.
Matchday 27 will continue on Saturday with five games, with third-place Borussia Mönchengladbach (52 points) hosting fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen (50 points), Freiburg receiving Werder Bremen, last-place Paderborn welcoming Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg hosting second-place Borussia Dortmund (54 points) and Bayern receiving Eintracht Frankfurt.
Three more games will be played on Sunday: Schalke versus Augsburg, Mainz taking on fourth-place Leipzig (51 points) and Cologne against Düsseldorf.