Magath steers Hertha Berlin to crucial win

24 April 2022, Berlin: Soccer: Bundesliga, Hertha BSC - VfB Stuttgart, Matchday 31, Olympiastadion. VfB Stuttgart's Waldemar Anton fights Berlin's Davie Selke (r) for the ball.

An early goal from Davie Selke and late clincher from Ishak Belfodil have given Hertha Berlin a massive boost in their bid for Bundesliga survival with a 2-0 win over relegation rivals VfB Stuttgart.

Emergency Hertha coach Felix Magath, the three-time Bundesliga-winning manager, was on the bench for his 500th league game and Selke's fine volley in just four minutes on Sunday gave him extra reason to celebrate.

Belfodil then converted from close-rage deep into injury-time to seal the win.

Hertha remain 15th but increased the points gap to Stuttgart in the relegation playoff place to four with three games remaining in the season.

"The heart is relieved," Selke told broadcasters DAZN. "The atmosphere was unbelievable today."

Augsburg also claimed a crucial 2-0 victory at Bochum and though they are still 14th, their seven-point gap to Stuttgart all but assures safety.

Promoted Bochum, one place and one point better off, will also believe they can plan for next season with top-flight status despite missing the chance to confirm matters.

Hertha made a furious start and Marvin Plattenhardt's fine cross from the left was converted by Selke only for the offside flag to go up.

A video review deemed the goal legal, however, and Stuttgart never really recovered.

The visitors rallied in the second period but made only half chances and Hertha, despite their nerves, held on with young keeper Marcel Lotka, deputising for the injured Alexander Schwolow, rarely troubled.

Belfodil met a cross from Maximilian Mittelstadt with almost the last kick to score neatly at the back post.

At Bochum, Andre Hahn opened the scoring for Augsburg in 15 minutes after Maxim Leitsch was short with a back header.

Michael Gregoritsch then doubled the lead from the spot before halftime following Danilo Soares' foul on Daniel Caligiuri.

Bottom side Greuther Furth are relegated already while second-last Arminia Bielefeld are two points behind Stuttgart - but host Hertha next weekend.

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