“We’re going to Berlin to win,” Oliver Glasner had claimed bullishly at his pre-match press conference, and his words proved prophetic at the Olympiastadion, as the Wolves – propelled by goals from Wout Weghorst, Josip Brekalo and Jerome Roussillon – put in an impressive counter-attacking display to return home with a priceless and well deserved victory under their belts.
Glasner kept faith with the same XI that started the opening-day victory over 1. FC Köln, again favouring Xaver Schlager ahead of Yannick Gerhardt, who remained on the bench for the second match in a row. Brekalo and Renato Steffen, who had both looked lively in cameo appearances last week, also had to settle for a spot among the substitutes, as did summer signings Kevin Mbabu and Lukas Nmecha.
In a breathless opening quarter of an hour in Berlin, VfL suffered a penalty scare in the very first minute, but the potential Hertha spot-kick was ruled out by VAR. Just a few minutes later, it was the away side who were awarded a penalty – a valid one, this time – after Felix Klaus was fouled in the box. Weghorst duly slotted home to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
Hertha then enjoyed a period of sustained pressure, as they looked to find a way back into the match, with Salomon Kalou in particular proving a handful for John Brooks and Co. at the back. Koen Casteels saved well from a powerful Marko Grujic effort, but the visitors weathered the storm and began to look dangerous on the break, Joao Victor and Roussillon making several incisive runs down the flanks.
The Green-Whites began the second half brightly, hunting for a second goal that would put the match to bed. Victor tried his luck from distance a couple of times, before The Old Lady, roared on by their raucous support, set about trying to conjure up an equaliser. However, despite enjoying significantly more possession, the home team – a viable opportunity fashioned by substitute Davie Selke aside – struggled to unpick the lock formed by the three-man Wolfsburg rearguard of Brooks, Josuha Guilavogui and Robin Knoche, who all performed solidly throughout.
As the encounter drew to a close, it was the sizeable away following who began to make themselves heard, and the Wolves provided them with something extra to shout about in the last eight minutes. First Brekalo, fresh off the bench, scored a dazzling goal, dribbling his way past his opposite number and showing great composure to firmly place the ball into the net from outside the box for 2-0. Then, in injury time, Roussillon put the cherry on the cake, smashing the ball past Rune Jarstein to seal a stunning success for VfL.
Hertha BSC: Jarstein – Klünter, Stark, Rekik, Mittelstädt – Grujic, Darida (Selke 61’), Lukebakio, Duda (Löwen 75’), Kalou (Redan 70’) – Ibisevic (c)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Knoche, Guilavogui (c), Brooks – William, Arnold, Schlager (Gerhardt 83’), Roussillon – Klaus (Mehmedi 63’), Weghorst, Joao Victor (Brekalo 77’)
Goals: Weghorst (9’), Brekalo (82’), Roussillon (90’)
Yellow cards: - / Duda
Referee: Guido Winkmann (Kerken)