Erik Durm scored his first Borussia Dortmund goal as Jurgen Klopp’s side dispatched Hertha Berlin 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday to rise to seventh in the Bundesliga.
Neven Subotic’s second league goal of the campaign put the hosts ahead inside 10 minutes, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan squandering the chance for a second soon afterwards.
Hertha – just three points clear of the relegation play-off position at kick-off – enjoyed the majority of possession as the first half wore on, but were unable to threaten Dortmund, who extended their lead through Durm’s strike two minutes after the interval.
Though the visitors pressed late on, they were unable to trouble Dortmund, who held firm to avenge their 1-0 loss to Pal Dardai’s side earlier in the season.
Hertha, without a win in five, remain in 13th, while Dortmund sit just two points behind sixth-placed Schalke as their hunt for UEFA Europa League qualification continues.
Dortmund made an ideal start when Subotic put them in front in the ninth minute – slack marking from Hertha allowing the defender to head home unchallenged from Mkhitaryan’s corner.
Mkhitaryan should have grabbed a second, the in-form playmaker shrugging off John Brooks on the edge of the box before firing a low effort just wide of the left-hand upright.
The Armenian almost turned provider again prior to the half-hour mark as he played in top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the striker was unable to better Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft.
Hertha finally managed a foray into Dortmund territory with six minutes of the first half remaining – Nico Schulz surging into the box before feeding Valentin Stocker – but the Switzerland international blazed high over the crossbar.
Dortmund began the second half in blistering fashion, going further ahead in the 47th minute when Mkhitaryan worked it wide to Durm on the edge of the area.
The full-back cut inside onto his left, curling an effort towards goal that Kraft could only parry into the bottom-left corner.
Dortmund’s domination continued, and they would have been out of sight had Aubameyang managed to capitalise on Kraft’s sloppy pass, but the keeper recovered well to block the Gabon striker’s low shot.
Kevin Kampl, replacing the injured Jakub Blaszczykowski, was the next to test Hertha’s flagging back-line, carving through the midfield before finding Mkhitaryan, whose effort was blocked by Marvin Plattenhardt.
Kraft had to be alert to twice keep out Dortmund from grabbing a third in the closing stages, denying Shinji Kagawa before preventing Kampl tucking away the rebound.
And though Stocker almost snatched a consolation as stoppage time approached, Dortmund kept their cool to extend their unbeaten Bundesliga run to four matches.
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