Hertha Berlin closer to drop after big loss to Cologne
Hertha Berlin's mission to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga has just got harder with a 5-2 defeat at Cologne and with only two games remaining in the season.
The bottom club can now reach a maximum of 31 points and the relegation play-offs will be their only hope of remaining in the Bundesliga if VfB Stuttgart defeat Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
"It was a catastrophe. We deserved to lose today, we're feeling absolutely s**t," Hertha striker Florian Niederlechner told broadcasters DAZN.
Cologne broke the deadlock in the eighth minute when Davie Selke's header found the back of the net. The forward, however, had an unfortunate head collision with Hertha defender Filip Uremovic.
While Uremovic had to be subbed off right after the goal, Selke also had to leave the pitch in the 24th.
It didn't take Hertha too long to find the equaliser in the 18th thanks to Lucas Tousart and the capital club were ahead in the 33rd after Stevan Joetic placed a superb shot in the bottom corner.
But the game was again level six minutes later when Timo Hübers headed in Cologne's equaliser and the hosts were back in front just before the break with a goal from Ellyes Skhiri.
Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen made a stunning save to stop Jan Thielmann from concluding a fulminant counter-attack for Cologne, but couldn't do anything to deny Hübers brace in the 69th and Denis Huseinbasic's effort in the 81st.
"It's a huge disappointment. When you see how the game went, we left a few spaces in defence. We have to work hard so that doesn't happen in the next two games," captain Marvin Plattenhardt said.
Coach Pal Dardai, meanwhile, recognised that it was maybe "my mistake to occupy myself with the offence in the last few weeks because defensively .. it was bad today."
Cologne have moved up to 10th and are safe from relegation.
"We brought onto the pitch exactly what we can do and we really showed that today," Cologne captain Jonas Hector said.