Such good guests are rare. The fact that Hertha BSC regularly cedes the points to the opponent in away games is frustrating enough in the relegation battle. But it gets really annoying when the Berliners don't even fight for survival in the Bundesliga, as they did in the 4-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
"I don't want to say too much now. But when you play such a strong team, we don't need to talk about what wasn't good," said midfielder Tolga Ciğerci. And captain Marvin Plattenhardt replied to the question of whether his team had been "too nice": "To a certain extent, yes. We'll have to really work our way back into it in the next few weeks in order to get the necessary points."
"Want to catapult us out of there"
You shouldn't "dress up" the performance and neither should the situation. "It's dangerous," said Plattenhardt: "The other teams win too. We want to catapult ourselves out of the back. And that's only possible together as a team."
There was no sign of that in Leverkusen on Sunday. And that despite the fact that the two home wins against Mönchengladbach (4-1) and Augsburg (2-0) should have given them self-confidence. But after their seventh away defeat in a row, Hertha suddenly only had a one-point lead over bottom-placed VfL Bochum in what was then the closest relegation battle in Bundesliga history. Actually, this is not the time for gifts and Larifari at all.
"We deserved to lose"
Plattenhardt took the fact that his team saw only one yellow card from the game - plus one for a scuffle for Jessic Ngankam - as an indication of a lack of resistance. "That's not enough," he said. Schwarz described it as "populist" to see the number of yellow cards as a sign of a lack of aggressiveness. The coach is also aware that this was missing, and he is now under real pressure again on Saturday against his heart club FSV Mainz 05 with Hertha. "That wasn't a good performance over 90 minutes plus stoppage time," he said. "We deservedly lost."
Nevertheless, Hertha still has its place in the class in its own hands. Not only does she not occupy a relegation zone as 14th, she also meets all four of her competitors for the rest of the season. On the first two of them, Hoffenheim and Schalke, but initially away. The motto of Dodi Lukebakio, who scored his tenth goal of the season with a penalty kick in Leverkusen, seems almost imploring: "Being negative is not an option."