The last time Sandro Schwarz brought a side to the Red Bull Arena, it ended in a disastrous 8-0 defeat for Mainz, and it appeared this latest meeting could go the same way as Die Roten Bullen set off on a first half rampage. After a shaky start, they punished the visitors with a quickfire double with little under 30 minutes played. The first was a rapid counter attack, put away by Emil Forsberg inside the six yard box from Dominik Szoboszlai’s low cross, and the second was unknowingly touched in by David Raum - the second of two deflections on Abdou Diallo’s near post header from a corner.
This was almost to be expected against a club they had notched 15 goals past in their three previous H2Hs, as Marco Rose watched on with joy as his side further strengthened their position moments before HT. Willi Orbán was on hand to slam in a third on the rebound at the back post after André Silva skillfully controlled Raum’s pass and struck the post with his own effort.
However the difference on this occasion was that Die Alte Dame were not disheartened. Of their four consecutive draws heading into this clash, they had come from behind in three, and once again they rallied for a second half fightback in a bid to salvage their unbeaten streak. Dodi Lukebakio pulled one back from the penalty spot after Diallo handled in the box, and two minutes later Stefan Jovetić excellently picked out the bottom left corner on the half volley to move within one goal of their opponents, who were visibly stunned.
It would take some character to keep a hold of their lead against a determined Hertha, and whilst Leipzig couldn’t afford to switch off at the back, they maintained a positive outlook and tried to restore a two-goal cushion. Christopher Nkunku was denied from doing so by the offside flag, which was almost disastrous as Wilfried Kanga struck the post in injury time, allowing Die Roten Bullen to hold on for all three points.