“Collina’s heirs” are happy: Hertha loses – and praises judge Ittrich

“Collina’s heirs” are satisfied
Hertha loses – and praises judge Ittrich

By Alex Feuerherdt

In Berlin, the referee has to make several close and difficult decisions in an emotionally charged game that is very important to the hosts. But he does this job with a lot of sovereignty. Even from Hertha losing the match, there is praise afterwards.

In his so far 62 matches as a referee in the Bundesliga, Patrick Ittrich has undoubtedly led less eventful and easier matches than Saturday night at the Berlin Olympic Stadium between Hertha BSC and 1. FSV Mainz 05 (1: 2). The 43-year-old, whose main job is a police officer, had to evaluate a large number of difficult scenes in this game together with his assistants on the field and in the Cologne video center. And that in front of more than 70,000 spectators in a match that was of eminent importance, especially for the relegation-threatened hosts. An analysis of the most important decisions in chronological order.

35 minutes: Mainz ‘Anton Stach pulls from 22 yards as the score is 1-0 to his team, the ball hitting the bottom right corner of the Hertha goal from his perspective. But there was an idea to it – the misdirected ball was turned into a cross towards Leaderro Borreiro, who was waiting for it in the box. judgment joins them to Ittrich. So hit does not count.

An eagle eye assistant

Above all, the repetition behind the goal shows that the decision was correct. Barreiro was in offside position a few meters from Lotka, covered the goalkeeper’s view of the ball in a short but crucial moment and also made an elusive move away from the ball. So to put it in the language of the rules, he clearly became active and thus degraded the home team’s goalkeeper, who also reacted with a noticeable delay and had no chance of getting the ball.

From the assistant’s side view, it is difficult to assess whether the goalkeeper’s line of sight is blocked and to what extent a player’s offside movement actually affects him. Goals like Mainz are often given first and canceled only after intervention by VAR and a review on the field. But Thielert is one of the best in his field and has not only experience with 360 matches as an assistant in the first two German leagues, but also a very good sense of game situations, especially in offside. His hit rate is similarly high, even when difficult decisions have to be made.

Authorized punishment for Hertha

45 + 1 Minute: Berlin’s Marton Dardai hits the ball in front of the Mainz goal with a corner kick, several players go to the ball, the guests clarify the situation. Hertha’s captain, Dedryck Boyata, however, falls to the ground and holds his left foot with a painful face. The turmoil in front of the Mainz goal was confusing, but a review of the scene by video assistant Tobias Welz showed the cause of Boyata’s suffering: Moussa Niakhaté had put his foot on his opponent’s left heel, which is why Boyata did not. came either to the headline.

Referee Ittrich, who could not see the kick on the court, looks again at the images on the screen in the review area and then recognizes a penalty kick. Rightly so, because even though it was not a deliberate act by Niakhaté, it was a mistake that prevented Boyata from getting to the ball close to goal. Mainz coach Bo Svensson, who is protesting violently, first gets an explanation for the decision from Ittrich on the sidelines, then he is warned. This is the coach’s seventh yellow card of the season. Davie Selke converted the penalty kick to 1: 1.


Bo Svensson (right) sees the yellow card again.

(Photo: IMAGO / Matthias Koch)

52 minutes: For the second time that night, a Mainz goal was canceled. Karim Onisiwo won over Marc-Oliver Kempf in the hosts’ penalty area and shot the ball into goal, but before that he touched the ball briefly with both his left hand and right upper arm in a duel. Whether it is deliberate or not, it does not matter whether the player in question scores immediately afterwards – this is what the rules say. Referee Ittrich has a clear overview of the situation and immediately sees the handballs, which are not easy to recognize. He does not need VAR’s help to reject the goal.

Tousart is lucky, Selke is unfairly shocked

72 minutes: After a cross into Hertha’s penalty area, there is a header duel between Lucas Tousart from Berlin and Stefan Bell from Mainz. Tousart hits the opponent behind with his left arm in the face while jumping for the ball. Both players miss the ball, which Mainz ‘Jonathan Burkardt gets instead and heads into the arms of goalkeeper Lotka. Ittrich lets the game continue, Bell stays where he is and will be treated in the next break.

On the recommendation of VAR Tobias Welz, there was a review on the pitch for the second time that night, but Ittrich then stuck to his decision not to award a penalty kick to Mainz. This decision is supported by the fact that Tousart was in a natural motion to gain speed, only oriented himself towards the ball and made no swinging movements; on the other hand speaks that there was a clear hit in the face of Bell. Overall, the decision not to award a penalty kick is still sound when you weigh it.

90 + 1 Minute: Also in extra time – Mainz now leads 2-1 – the impartial are challenged again. After a short tussle with the defender, Davie Selke finally tucked the ball home. Seven minutes into the game, Patrick Ittrich seemed to suffer a certain amount of confusion and they fell to a passable level of organization. Selke used both arms to create the necessary space against Aaron in front of the header and gave Mainzer a push. The referee also signals the horrified Hertha player with gestures, so he makes his decision transparent.

Praise to the judge, even from the loser

Selke himself said in an interview with Sky after the match: “If it’s a mistake, then a center-forward scores eight fewer goals a year.” Hertha manager Fredi Bobic, who was active in the attack when he was a player, however, took Ittrich’s side. “As a striker you must not attack with both hands, you can also whistle the free kick,” he says. Ittrich himself repeats his decision in the Sky interview and points out that offenses such as bumping and holding are often clearer in real speed on the track than in slow motion on TV, which distorts the dynamics.

The decision to rate Selke’s use of the arm as illegal is correct or at least justified, even though Aaron went down more spectacularly than necessary. Because the whistle sounded before the ball went in goal, VAR was no longer allowed to intervene – but one can assume that he would not have done it anyway, because the decision was certainly not clear and obviously wrong.

Patrick Ittrich ultimately made the right decision in all difficult, game-relevant situations, which Fredi Bobic also saw, who despite the defeat had praise for the referee: “What he whistled was always right.” In addition, the referee, who belongs to the Hamburg club Mümmelmannsberger SV, once again played to his great strength: the communicative communication of decisions, including and especially the controversial ones. Even in emotional situations, he did so with sovereignty. And then Davie Selke said, despite all his rage, about the cancellation of his goal: “I really like Patrick.”

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