Contrasting starts to the season from each side pointed towards a comfortable evening for Die Fohlen, however the visitors made it clear early on that they had come to have a real go. It was Die Alte Dame who had the first opportunity when an underweighted header was intercepted by Dodi Lukebakio, who sprinted through on goal before slicing his effort wide from inside the area.
Mönchengladbach manager Daniel Farke had bemoaned his side’s lack of options in attack during the build-up to the game, but the hosts were giving themselves enough chances to take the lead. Alassane Pléa was lively on the flank throughout, and saw his shot deflected onto the post as they pushed for the opening goal. Sandro Schwarz’s side looked energetic and were a threat going forward, as they played their part in a highly entertaining first half. Chidera Ejuke then had his shot pushed away by Yann Sommer as Hertha continued to create opportunities.
However, despite their positive approach, the visitors found themselves behind when Farke’s side were awarded a penalty after Maximilian Mittelstädt handled the ball inside the area. Pléa duly converted from the spot for his first goal of the season to make it 1-0.
Hertha Berlin’s hopes of getting back into the game looked to have taken a blow with just over 20 minutes remaining, when they conceded a second penalty of the night for handball by Filip Uremović. The defender was shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders, but Oliver Christensen saved Jonas Hofmann’s spot kick to set up a grandstand finish at Borussia-Park.
Each team had opportunities to find the net in the closing stages, but it was Pléa’s earlier penalty which proved to be the difference. Die Fohlen’s strong start to the season means they lead the standings, having played a game more, while Hertha Berlin drop down to 15th.