So it was going to be either Hertha BSC Berlin or FC Köln which survived yesterdays – both mainstays of the German Bundesliga for the past ½ century – and the one to definitively drop-out became Koln.
On the 34th Bundesliga match-day Hertha needed to win at home to Hoffenheim and they had to hope that Koln would get a good thrashing at home to Bayern München. Nothing else would do – no combination of goal-difference or ties or any other team doing anything else would help – so it was clear what needed to be done and somehow to their credit they did it!
Otto Rehhagel’s Hertha escaped being instantly relegated and being either one of the 2 bottom teams in the Bundesliga which would have meant an instant downward move to the next division.
Although mid-table Hoffenheim had nothing to play for on this final day of the season, their manager Markus Babbel did have a score to settle with his former club – who dismissed him just months ago. He had successfully guided Hertha back to the Bundesliga last season, but was fired in December in rather murky circumstances.
Was he fired? Did he leave on question of personal proffesional football differences with the sports director or was there something else more personal? There are many juicy rumours but no-one wants to talk and in the end who cares – but the Hertha fans will certainly not forget.
He seemed to have mixed feelings after the game and did greet ‘his’ former players warmly at the end of the game – however he probably correctly avoided Michael Preetz, the general sports director of Hertha, – who rightly or wrongly – is being blamed for the terrible season the club has had.
The Hertha Team which played well yesterday against Hoffenheim were: Goalie Kraft – Lell, Hubnik, Janker, Bastians – Niemeyer, Kobiashvili – Ebert, Raffael, Ramos – Lasogga. We add above the picture of Raffael Caetano de Araújo, who scored in the 93rd minute for Hertha, and who more than any one player deserves praise for his consistency and goal-scoring prowess this season.
Meanwhile the opponent for Hertha was decided in a scrappy 2-2 draw for Fortuna Düsseldorf with Duisburg which on the last day of German 2nd division was enough to earn a chance at promotion.
Fortuna Düsseldorf will face Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin over two legs.
See previous OTA-Berlin blog articles about Hertha Berlin – http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/category/berlin/sport/hertha-berlin-sport/
This blog is brought to you by …..OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog’ is part of OTA-Berlin ‘……the intelligent Apartment-Alternative to Hotels in Berlin’. The views of the article are those of the writer Mr Filip v d Plas and not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin.
Berlin and Germany watch as Hertha hang on ………will play relegation 2-game play-off against Fortuna Düsseldorf to stay in the Bundesliga – by Filip van der Plas from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
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