2016/2017 German Bundesliga
  • Marvin Plattenhardt (53')
  • Salomon Kalou (66')

Hertha Berlin 2-0 SV Darmstadt 98

Hertha Berlin moved up to third in the Bundesliga on Wednesday night with a 2-0 win over Darmstadt, who end 2016 four points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Marvin Plattenhardt and Salomon Kalou scored the goals for Pal Dardai's men, who bounced back from defeat to Leipzig at the weekend by inflicting a ninth straight loss on Darmstadt.
After a poignant remembrance for the victims of the Christmas market tragedy in the German capital, impeccably observed by fans holding candles and lights, the game commenced in the Olympiastadion with Hertha immediately taking charge.
For all their possession and attacking intentions, however, the Old Lady struggled to find a way through a well-drilled Darmstadt defence.
Indeed the first big chance of the game came at the other end of the field, where Jan Rosenthal's volley took a deflection off Plattenhardt and ended up in Rune Jarstein's arms.
Kalou took aim at Michael Esser's goal soon afterwards, but he was also unable to break the deadlock in the first half.
Hertha went in front in the 53rd minute when Plattenhardt curled in a direct free-kick which found its way into the top right-hand corner of Esser's goal.
The hosts' second arrived 13 minutes later with Plattenhardt again standing over a free-kick, although this time he curled in a cross for Kalou, whose free header beat Esser.
Vedad Ibisevic and Alexander Esswein both missed chances to give Hertha an even more convincing lead, but a third goal was not necessary to seal their return to winning ways and the top three.