Hertha down lacklustre Cologne
Hertha Berlin ended Cologne's recent revival with an emphatic 3-0 win at the Olympiastadion tonight. Youngster Pierre-Michel Lasogga was on target twice with Raffael netting the third goal as the home team wrapped up the win inside the first half.
Lukas Podolski, who had earned rave reviews for his recent performances, did not manage a single effort on goal as Stale Solbakken's off-colour side succumbed to defeat.
Berlin had the ball in the back of the net after 12 minutes, but Raffael's strike was ruled out because Levan Kobiashvili had taken the ball beyond the goal-line before pulling it back.
The home side did open the scoring two minutes later, though, when Anis Ben-Hatira raced forward and squared for Lasogga to tap in from close range.
It was Lasogga's second goal of the season and number three followed ten minutes later with Ben-Hatira again the provider. His cross from the left was met by a determined Lasogga, who headed in powerfully.
Less than ten minutes passed before Raffael added the third and wrapped up the victory before the break, scoring from a remarkable volley after meeting Christoph Janker's free-kick confidently to beat Michael Rensing.
Berlin were running away with it, but Ben-Hatira was denied the goal his game would have deserved for a foul when he lobbed the ball over Rensing in the 37th minute.
Nevertheless, with three first-half goals, the game had already been decided. Raffael missed a good chance to make it four two minutes from the end when he blazed his shot over from eight yards out with just Rensing to beat, but apart from that chance, there was little action in the second half.