Hertha Berlin SC – Match Report vs Union Berlin 22/05/20

Hertha Berlin came out 4-0 winners in the Berlin Derby. Labbadia’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 and dominated the match and although Union Berlin made it hard for them to play in the first half, Union never really got a foothold in the game. Hertha played some good football at times with combination play between the lines and runs in behind. Union sat back, staying compact and then trying to attack quickly with direct play but struggled to create any big chances.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Matheus Cunha

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 27/05/1999
  • Current club: Hertha Berlin
  • Career: Coritiba (Y), FC Sion, RB Leipzig, Hertha Berlin
  • Position: Right winger
  • Secondary position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Cunha, playing on the left wing in Hertha’s 4-2-3-1, was given the freedom to roam. He’d often move to central areas or position himself between the Union Berlin lines. He grew into the game and still could have gotten involved more. He only touched the ball once in the first 10 minutes and had the second fewest touches out of the Hertha players overall.

When he did get the ball he was dangerous and mostly unpredictable, bringing flair to the match. He is 6’0″ with a good frame but explosive and agile with a quick change of pace. A few times he had the ball in wide areas of the box and was able to beat and sell defenders with fast feet, fakes and sharp changes of direction.

He had good combination play between the lines with a few lay offs inside and a good phase of link up play with Lukebakio. Frustratingly, Cunha was fouled a lot during the game which hindered him, stopping the attacking moves he was trying to set up.

He took five shots overall getting one goal, while also creating another two chances for teammates. He liked to shoot from range, taking two weak long shots along the ground which were dragged left of the goal, it was also quite obvious when he was lining up to shoot from range. He had who shots saved, one shot being a great improvised skill shot to a low cross going just behind him. He also curled a good shot into into far bottom corner from the edge of the box to get his goal.

Cunha caused a lot of issues for Union Berlin. With strong dribbling the Brazilian was very effective in the final third and good at receiving between the lines. He didn’t press much and lacked intensity out of possession and could have been more active in getting into positions to receive at times in order to be more involved in the match. However, he is naturally a striker so it makes sense why he was less involved outside of the final third but is something to develop if Hertha are going to develop him more into a wide forward or winger.

Rating – A2

Dodi Lukebakio

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 24/09/97
  • Current club: Hertha Berlin
  • Career: Anderlecht, Toulouse (L), Charleroi (L), Watford, Fortuna Dusseldorf (L), Hertha Berlin
  • Position: Right winger
  • Secondary position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Lukebakio was a big threat for Hertha and scored their second goal from the right wing. The 6’2″ winger is an imposing figure and powerful runner who looked to make well timed runs behind the defensive line and was able to do so on several occasions, including his goal where he rounded the keeper and showed good composure to then finish. He constantly was waiting for opportunities to get in behind and was usually positioned quite narrowly.

Often in the half spaces, he wasn’t great with his back to goal. He took some heavy touches and could have been stronger when receiving the ball. He has a good top speed and can travel with the ball quickly but could have better control at times.

With the ball he didn’t do much. His passing was simple and mostly short backwards passes rather than being able to penetrate the opposition’s block and progress the ball. He wanted to stay in narrow positions and his one cross from a wide position was overhit, more comfortable playing as an inside forward and off the striker. He was dangerous on the counter and offering an option in behind but didn’t do much to create or aid the attack otherwise.

Rating – A2

Jordan Torunarigha

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 07/08/97
  • Current club: Hertha Berlin
  • Career: Chemnitzer FC (Y), Hertha Berlin
  • Position: Centre Half
  • Secondary position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing as the left centre half, Torunarigha put in a solid performance. In buildup, Torunarigha and Boyata sat very deep, trying to stretch the Union defence vertically. The Hertha buildup was slow and cycled along the back four a lot with little support from the midfield to be able to progress the ball. Torunarigha was calm on the ball, able to push into space and was comfortable passing with both feet. He mostly played simple passes to Boyata or his left back with good technique, although they could have had more speed at times. He played forward when he could with a few good long balls and broke two lines to access to the striker well too.

He was strong in the air in the midfield and showed good awareness with good scanning and adjusting his position and also worked hard to get his positioning in the buildup. He rarely had to defend deep but was an active defender in the box, and showed good reading of danger and explosiveness to read the situation and cut out a cutback in the box.

A quiet game for him defensively, the young German had a lot of touches though and was comfortable on the ball, showed good physicality with a big frame and good intelligence.

Rating – A2

Marko Grujic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 13/04/1996
  • Current club: Hertha Berlin, on loan from Liverpool
  • Career: Red Star Belgrade, Liverpool, Cardiff (L), Hertha Berlin (L)
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing in the double pivot, Grujic got a lot of the ball but failed to do much with it. He played simple passes which often lacked power, mostly sideways and was quick to clear it in loose ball situations. He lacked awareness and turned into pressure at times but did have a good first touch. He was quite right footed and didn’t tend to travel much with the ball, but did drive at the defence well in one phase of play, playing a wall pass trying to get into the box.

He didn’t drop deep to offer support to the defence in the buildup and was slow to react when space did open up. He lacked intensity in his play and didn’t offer much physicality or defensive output in midfield, getting a yellow for a professional foul. He was strong at defensive headers in the box off set pieces though.

Rating – D

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