Hertha Berlin 3 - 2 VfB Stuttgart: Kalou scores heroic brace against Kirschbaum
Salomon Kalou slots home the penalty for the all important equaliser (Picture: kicker.de)

A Salomon Kalou brace and a goal from Roy Beerens helped Hertha Berlin to three points in the capital despite a lion-hearted display from Thorsten Kirschbaum 

The away side, from South-West Germany, continued their run of not winning in their last 14 away matches. However, the visitors were off to a flying start in the capital this evening as former-Borussia Dortmund player, Moritz Leinter gave Stuttgart the lead after just five minutes, the midfielder on the end of a cross from Florian Klein.

However, it did not take Hertha Berlin long to get their equaliser as summer signing from LilleKalou, stepped up to take a penalty, sending the home support into frenzy. The 29-year old then added to his equaliser midway through the second-half, netting his third of the season.

Two goals in the final 15 minutes saw Beerens score his first goal for the club, whilst substitute, Sandro Wagner, netted in the wrong end, resulting in a nervy final few minutes from Jos Luhukay and the home support.

Luhukay made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 against FC Augsburg. In came Nico Schulz, Anis Ben-Hatira and Valentin Stocker in place of Marcel N'Djeng, Ronny and Genki Haraguchi. For the away side, Armin Veh made two changes to the side that won against Hannover 96. Vedad Ibisevic and Filip Kostic started ahead of Daniel Didavi and Timo Werner.

From the first whistle, it's clear what Veh wanted his players to do and, they did just that attacking straight from the off. Leitner gave them the lead after just five minutes - Ibisevic with a flick to send in Klein, down the right flank. The German then squared the ball to Leitner who showed composure to fire past Thomas Kraft.

Hertha Berlin nearly hit back straight away to the delight of the home fans however, Fabian Lustenberger's header didn't trouble Thorsten Kirschbaum who starts in place of Sven Ulreich. The next 15 minutes were all Hertha's as Ben-Hatira almost got on the end of a cross from Stocker. Kirschbaum then denied Hertha again, getting down low to save a shot from Kalou, and it looked as though it would take something special to get past the Stuttgart goalkeeper.

Persistence paid off however for Die Alte Dame as Carlos Gruezo brought down Stocker inside the penalty area and, Deniz Aytekin instantly pointed to the spot without complaints from the Stuttgart defence. Up stepped Kalou to take the penalty, sending Kirschbaum the wrong way to keep the momentum going.

Following the lead-up to half-time, the match turned scrappy in the middle of the park, both teams battling it out in midfield, giving away needless costless-kicks.

Either side had the chance to go in to half-time leading. Ibisevic almost got his head on the ball following a delightful costless-kick floated in from right-flank before Kirschbaum them pulled off another reaction save to deny Hajime Hosogai who hit the ball on the volley however, the referee had already blown his whistle.

Stuttgart were straight on the attack yet again from the restart. Substitute Werner saw his effort spectacularly saved by Kraft who got his hands up in time to keep Hertha from going behind yet again.

However it was Luhukay's men who were the first to find the back of the net and, it was that man Kalou again to score his third goal of the season, in as many games. The Ivorian linked up with Stocker yet again, before the striker bundles his way through the Stuttgart defence, cutting inside and firing past Kirschbaum.

It was all over for Stuttgart with 15 minutes left to play. Ben-Hatira capped off his wonderful performance to assist new signing, Beerens. The Dutch international showed great anticipation to get on the end of Ben-Hatira's cross, securing all three points for Hertha.

An own goal from Wagner meant the home fans were biting their nails with just seven minutes of the match left after the striker headed the ball in to his own net.

The result now means that Hertha climb up to 12th in the table before a trip to Schalke in matchday 8. Whilst Stuttgart are safe at the minute in 15th, they could end up bottom of the Bundesliga come Sunday night if results don't go their way.

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