After a three week break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hertha Berlin’s safety in the Bundesliga appeared to be in jeopardy. But after one of the best possible weeks they could have hoped for upon their return, securing a stunning 3-0 win and two tightly contested draws, they appear to be safe. These three performances have pulled Hertha out of the relegation zone into 14th place, with a game in hand still to play mid-week against the already relegated Schalke.
It all started with a fantastic defensive performance against FSV Mainz 05, securing a 1-1 draw against one of the league’s in form teams. Pal Dardai then adapted his system against 9th place Freiburg in their second match of the week, playing 4-3-3. The formational change paid off to a great extent, and Hertha secured a stunning 3-0 win. This past weekend they extended their unbeaten run and hung onto a 0-0 draw against fellow relegation contenders Arminia Bielefeld, putting up another excellent defensive performance. Alexander Schwolow made six saves in the match, capping off a fantastic week for him and his team.
Given their desperate COVID situation and the media attention surrounding the sacking of board member Jens Lehmann, both matches could easily have gone astray this week, but Hertha showed great resilience to go unbeaten in all three. In Pal Dardai, Hertha have a manager completely capable of steadying the ship. After taking over from Bruno Labbadia in January, Dardai has succeeded in turning the club’s fortunes around, recording four points in a week, and extending their unbeaten run to five games.
If Pal Dardai and his team can succeed in winning away to Schalke on Wednesday, they will surely be safe for another season and can begin their preparations for 2021-22.