Bundesliga, Olympiastadion – Hertha Berlin 4 (V. Ibiševic 51', D. Lukebakio 52', M. Cunha 61', D. Boyata 77') Union Berlin 0
Four second-half goals from Hertha saw the hosts thrash Union Berlin 4-0 in the Berlin Derby, as Bruno Labbadia maintained his 100 per cent record as manager.
Labbadia - who is Hertha's fifth manager in a year - made a perfect start with a 3-0 victory over Hoffenheim last weekend, but he had to endure a stale first period which ended goalless with chances few and far between.
Within seven minutes of the restart, however, Hertha had taken control of the contest with a quick-fire double, veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic breaking the deadlock with a bullet header and the 36-year-old turned provider less than a minute later for ex-Watford winger Dodi Lukebakio's cool finish.
The game's standout player Matheus Cunha scored in his fourth Bundesliga game in a row and his sixth since his arrival in January with a lovely side-footed finish just past the hour-mark and with 13 minutes to play the rout was complete when former Man City and Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata headed in from Marvin Plattenhardt's corner delivery.
The victory moves Hertha up to 10th position, five points behind sixth-placed Wolfsburg, who play Dortmund on Saturday, while Union remain 12th.
TALKING POINT - Can free-scoring Hertha steal a Europa League place?
A top six place looked out of the question before the resumption of the Bundesliga, but after two convincing victories in which they have scored seven goals without reply, Wolfsburg and Co are now looking nervously over their shoulders. Under Labbadia, they look like a side reborn and it appears the hiatus has been to their benefit. In contrast, Union are struggling for motivation and energy without their raucous support and their once formidable defence is looking increasingly vulnerable. They are not yet safe.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Matheus Cunha (Hertha Berlin)
In the dazzling Cunha, Hertha have one of the most in-form and dangerous attackers in the league. The Brazilian was once again in top form, constantly popping up in pockets of space and his direct running caused Union all kinds of problems.
51' - GOAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! Hertha Berlin 1-0 Union Berlin (Ibisevic): We have LIFT OFF! And it's worth the wait as Ibisevic almost bursts the net with a bullet header from Hubner's delicious left-wing cross. This time Gikiewicz had no chance.
52' - GOAL! Hertha Berlin 2-0 Union Berlin (Lukebakio): Hertha double their lead straight from kick-off! The visitors lose the ball immediately, Ibisevic turns his marker quickly in midfield and lifts the ball over a static defence. Lukebakio rounds the onrushing Gikiewicz and slots home into an empty net.
61' - GOAL! Hertha Berlin 3-0 Union Berlin (Cunha): This is turning into a rout! Cunha, who has been the standout player tonight, gets the goal his performance his deserves, side-footing the ball past the helpless goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area after being teed up by Ibisevic.
77' - GOAL! Hertha Berlin 4-0 Union Berlin (Boyata): Plattenhardt's delicious curling corner delivery finds Boyata who steals in at the far post to head Hertha four in front. Really disappointing from Union, who are usually so defensively sound.
Hertha have won a home match in the Bundesliga by at least a four-goal margin for the first time since August 2013.
Bruno Labbadia has won his second match as a manager of Hertha - with six points and seven goals without conceding this is the best Bundesliga start of any manager in the history of the club.
Dedryck Boyata has scored all four of his Bundesliga goals with a header from a corner.
Matheus Cunha scored for the fourth consecutive game for the first time in his career. The last time a Hertha Berlin player achieved this was Davie Selke in May 2018.