It was a frustrating day for Thomas Tuchel and his men in the nation's capital, as Hertha Berlin held Borussia Dortmund goalless for the first time this season.
A toothless first-half for both teams saw Hertha sit deep and stifle BVB's possession game. Playing a solid and well drilled back four with plenty of midfield protection from Captain Fabian Lustenberger and Jens Hegler, Hertha surprisingly had the best chance of the first 45', when American CB John Brooks put a header just over Roman Burki's crossbar. Brooks is certainly a contender for man of the match, having a near perfect game marshaling Hertha's impressive defensive showing. Dortmund on the other hand struggled with their objective, scoring goals. Getting off to a shaky start with Julian Weigl picking up a yellow card within nine minutes, the team never really picked up its landing gear, squandering a 66% possession the rest of the half.
The second half started out to look promising for BVB. After a late entrance from the tunnel, no doubt getting some encouraging/chastising words from Tuchel, the team looked hungry, with both Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan lashing shots from the edge of the box just wide. Eventually though the team settled back into its first-half lull, while Hertha made Dortmund's heart race with some lung-busting counter attacks courtesy of right winger Salomon Kalou. Dortmund's center back duo of Captain Mat Hummels and physical juggernaut Sokratis kept these attacks from coming to fruition, but they could not help BVB break the stalemate. Even the substitutions, that last match helped turn the tide against FC Ingolstadt, had little effect, with Gonzalo Castro and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming out for American starlet Christian Pulisic and former Hertha forward Adrian Ramos.
In regards to the table this game will have little pertinence, as Hertha sit 10 points off Dortmund in third place and Dortmund still eight points off table leaders Bayern Munich with the bavarians a game in hand. Never-the-less, this game will serve to worry Dortmund supporters of a possible post-winter break hangover at the worst possible when cup ties with VfB Stuttgart and Fc Porto just around the corner.