Hertha see off Mainz
Last Updated: September 28, 2013 5:07pm
Sami Allagui of Berlin celebrates following his goal
Hertha Berlin came from behind to beat Mainz 3-1 at the Olympiastadion and move up to fifth in the Bundesliga table.
Nicolai Muller gave Mainz a seventh-minute lead, but their former striker Sami Allagui came back to haunt them with two goals to turn the game on its head.
Anis Ben-Hatira then completed the win for Berlin, who bounced back from a rare home defeat to Stuttgart to turn their home into a fortress again.
Muller made his presence felt within seconds, earning one of the quickest yellow cards of the season for a foul on Hajime Hosogai before making an impact for a more positive reason in the seventh minute.
He scored his sixth goal of the season when he got free from Hosogai with legal means to meet Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting's cross from the left and bundle the ball in from close range.
Mainz's three-game winning start to the season was built around the Mullers with Nicolai's namesake Heinz keeping things tight in goal, and he did just that to prevent Ronny from levelling in the 11th minute.
Inspired by the lively Ben-Hatira, Hertha searched for a route back into the game, but found Muller in fine form between them and the goal.
The home team coach Jos Luhukay responded by bringing Allagui on for Tolga Cigerci at half time, and he needed just three minutes to do what his team-mates had failed to manage in the first 45 minutes.
Ben-Hatira picked up possession in midfield and set up Adrian Ramos, who dribbled his way round Muller before squaring for Allagui to tap the ball in from close range.
A draw appeared to be on the cards as both sides slowed the pace down, but Allagui was not going to settle for that as he punished his former club with his fifth goal of the season.
He dribbled past Park Joo-ho before beating Muller with a shot which the Mainz goalkeeper probably should have dealt with better.
He could do nothing to prevent Ben-Hatira from making it three, though, as the Berlin playmaker scored from 25 yards out to complete Berlin's win in style.