Veteran Ibisevic shines as Hertha Berlin end winless streak
Veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic helped break Hertha Berlin’s five-game winless streak with a hand in all three goals in their 3-1 victory at the Bundesliga’s bottom side Nuremberg on Sunday.
Hertha recorded their first win since December 8 to climb to seventh in the Bundesliga table as Ibisevic, 34, who is out of contract in June, showed his experience with a commanding performance in icy conditions.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international gave Hertha the lead after he quickly exchanged passes with strike partner Davie Selke and steered his shot past Nuremberg goalkeeper Christian Mathenia after 15 minutes for his seventh league goal this season.
The hosts drew level just before the break when midfielder Hanno Behrens stabbed home a long-range shot from Eduard Loewen from the edge of the box which bobbled past several defenders.
However, Ibisevic made sure of the three points by steering a cross from the right into the path of Ondrej Duda, who restored Hertha’s lead five minutes after the break.
Duda netted his second goal on 70 minutes when Ibisevic let a pass from Selkie fall to the Slovakia midfielder who crashed home his ninth goal of the season.
Ibisevic squandered a great chance to claim his second goal and the visitors’ fourth ten minutes from time when Duda’s pass found him alone in the area, but the veteran striker mistimed his shot as the chance went begging.
It was an untypical miss by Ibisevic, who has scored 44 goals in 121 games for Hertha since joining from Stuttgart in 2015, and says he has no plans to retire.
“It would be too soon to end my career,” Ibisevic, who is hoping for a contract extension, told Thursday’s edition of magazine Kicker.
“The Bundesliga is my favourite league and I want to measure myself against the best.
“I feel well here and I can imagine staying in Berlin.”
On Saturday, leaders Borussia Dortmund stayed six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table with a 1-0 win at RB leipzig, thanks to Axel Witsel’s first-half winner, in a commanding away performance without captain and playmaker Marco Reus.