Kalou’s hat-trick leads Hertha to victory

Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou scored a sensational hat-trick as his side cruised to a 3-1 win over Hannover 96 on Friday. 

Hertha took the attack to Hannover early on in the match as Vladimir Darida and Genki Haraguchi both had a chance to put their side in front, but failed to do so. 

Darida had another opportunity to score midway through the first half, but his attempt on goal went straight to the goalkeeper. 

With the pressure constantly building and Hannover having been put on the back foot on numerous occasions, Hertha went 1-0 up in the 33rd minute when Kalou latched on to Haraguchi’s through ball and found the back of the net from close range. 

Hertha defender Marvin Plattenhardt nearly doubled his side’s lead on the stroke of half-time as his free kick flew just over the crossbar. 

Heading into the second half, Hannover had an opportunity to bring themselves level, but midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake rushed his shot and ended up slicing it over the crossbar. 

Just a few minutes later, Hertha were 2-0 ahead after Kalou beat Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler before tapping the ball into the open net. 

However, Hannover refused to go down without a fight and tried to bring themselves back into contention. They were finally rewarded in the 71st minute when Kiyotake converted a penalty after Plattenhardt brought down Uffe Bech.

But, Hertha put the game beyond doubt 16 minutes later as Kalou completed his hat-trick when he scored a penalty after Marcelo was judged to have shoved Mitchell Weiser. 

Hertha’s victory sees them move up to fourth on the Bundesliga standings, while Hannover sit in 14th.