Hertha Berlin battle past 10-man Bayer Leverkusen
John Brooks scored the winner as Hertha Berlin moved up to fourth with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the capital. Sebastian Boenisch’s early red card proved to be crucial as Hertha battled to all three points to leave Leverkusen in eighth.
Hertha needed just seven minutes to find the breakthrough as a clever passing move ended with Vedad Ibisevic playing through Vladimir Darida, who held his nerve to pick out the bottom corner. A disastrous start for Leverkusen was made even worse when they were reduced to 10 men after Boenisch was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Yanni Regasel.
Despite their early struggles, Leverkusen responded impressively to get back on level terms thanks to Javier Hernandez, who timed his run to perfection to collect Admir Mehmedi’s through-ball before slotting in his seventh league goal of the season.
Hertha dominated possession for much of the first half, but they continued to look vulnerable as Hernandez linked up with Mehmedi again before letting the hosts off the hook by shooting wide. The second half followed a similar pattern and it was Hertha who claimed the lead on the hour mark when poor marking allowed Brooks to power home his header after meeting a corner.
Leverkusen remained a threat when attacking at pace, but the 10 men tired as the game progressed after losing Boenisch so early in the contest. Hernandez threatened to snatch a point for the visitors in stoppage time when his effort drifted just wide after Hertha had struggled to clear the danger from a free kick.
It would be the last chance to fall to Leverkusen as Hertha held on for the win which continues their impressive campaign.