Pal Dardai opted for four alterations following the win over Schalke during the week. Peter Pekarik, Marvin Plattenhardt, Vladimir Darida and Lucas Tousart were replaced Lukas Klünter, Jordan Torunarigha, Santiago Ascacibar and Marton Dardai.
Friedhelm Funkel made four changes to the line-up which started the defeat to SC Freiburg last weekend. Benno Schmitz, Ismail Jakobs, Elvis Rexhbecaj and Dominick Drexler replaced Kingsley Ehizibue, Jannes Horn, Jonas Hector and Marius Wolf.
The game was tight and tense from the very start, with every tackle hotly contested as both sides tried to get the upper hand. Elvis Rexhbecaj had the best two chances for FC in the opening stages. The midfielder shot wide from the edge of the area after 15 minutes, before bringing the best out of Alexander Schwolow with a close-range volley.
Hertha started to cause problems as the half went on and FC had to rely on Timo Horn to make two big saves. He made a superb stop to deny Nemanja Radonjic as the Serb burst through on goal. Horn was in action once more with his feet to keep out Jessic Ngankam after a driving run. That was how it remained until the break, with the only moment of note a fifth yellow card for Ellyes Skhiri.
Hertha made a change at half-time as Marvin Plattenhardt replaced Jordan Torunarigha. FC came out the better side following the break, as Sebastiaan Bornauw headed on at the near post for Ellyes Skhiri. He flicked over the crossbar from two yards out. Friedhelm Funkel responded with a double change 15 minutes into the second period, with Marius Wolf and Jannes Horn coming off the bench.
The second-half saw little in the way of chances for either side. The game ended goal-less as the battle for relegation will go to a final day. FC take on Schalke 04 at the RheinEnergieSTADION on Saturday afternoon at 15:30 CEST.
Hertha BSC (3-4-3): Schwolow – Boyata, Alderete, Dardai (Stark 66’) – Klünter, Ascacibar, Dilrosun (Michelbrink 66’), Torunarigha (Plattenhardt 46’) – Leckie, Ngankam (Winkler 90+1’), Radonjic (Zeefuik 79’).
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Schmitz (Ehizibue 87’), Bornauw, Czichos, Jakobs – Skhiri, Rexhbecaj (Özcan 71’) – Kainz (Wolf 60’), Duda, Drexler (J. Horn 60’) – Andersson (Thielmann 71’).
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach).
Booked: Boyata (17’), Skhiri (24’), Torunarigha (35’), Jakobs (57’).
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