Darmstadt 98 0-4 Hertha BSC: Ibisevic brace sees off hosts with ease

Vedad IbisevicMarvin Plattenhardt, and Salomon Kalou all found the back of the net in Hertha BSC's dominating 0-4 showing over Darmstadt at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor to keep pace with Borussia Mönchengladbach for a spot in next season's Champions League. 

This was complete and utter domination from Pál Dárdai's side as they controlled possession throughout the majority of the 90 minutes and peppered Christian Mathenia's goal, shooting a total of nine times with five of those hitting the target. They even completed nearly 300 more passess than their opponent's with most of them coming in their attacking half of the pitch.

Darmstadt thought they had the ball in the back of the net after only six minutes of play, but the assistant referee had his flag in the air early even though former Herth man, Sandro Wagner put his shot in behind Rune Jarstein.

Hertha get off to roaring start

It took all but 12 minutes for Hertha to score after a couple of passes picked apart Darmstadt's defense. Kalou played a ball out to the right hand side of the pitch in towards Mitchell Weiser. He then drove a low cross in towards the feet of Ibisevic who placed his effort perfectly into the bottom left corner.

In the 26th minute, there was a second goal scored and it came through Plattenhardt. The right-back stood over a free kick, curled his effort perfectly, finding the top right corner just out of the reach of Mathenia.  

For the second time in the first half, the hosts had a goal called back for offside. This time, however, Aytac Sulu was ahead of Hertha's back line by quite a wide margin.

Halftime: Darmstadt 0-2 Hertha BSC

Hertha delivered two crucial blows in the opening 45 minutes of the match and Darmstadt supporters will have felt even more down after two of their own shots found the back of the net but both were ruled out for being offside.

Off a corner kick, five minutes into the second half, John Anthony Brooks' initial header flew across the six yard box where Ibisevic found himself alone and slammed the ball into the empty net with a vicious left-footed strike.

Kalou goal seals the points

The fourth and final goal came in the 77th minute through Salomon Kalou who now has seven goals for the season in 15 appearances. Kalou controlled the initial pass with his chest before making a darting run into the danger zone. Then, from a very tight angle, he is able to slip his shot past Mathenia, securing all three points in the proccess.

With two more matches remaining in the calendar year, confidence has to be flying high around training and the locker room. First, they have a third round DFB Pokal meeting with 2. Bundesliga side Nürnberg where a whole host of changes to the starting eleven should be expected. Then to cap off a stellar first half of the campaign, the capital club will host Mainz 05 while Darmstadt take on leaders Bayern Munich in the Pokal before traveling to Gladbach to round up 2015.