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Jul 24, 2013

Hertha boss incensed by Palermo

Hertha Berlin's pre-season friendly against Palermo on Tuesday was close to being abandoned as Hertha coach Jos Luhukay became incensed by what he saw as a number of dangerous challenges on his players.

Gennaro Gattuso is out of contract this summer
Palermo boss Gattuso apologised at half-time.

Two second-half goals by Hertha new boy Alexander Baumjohann secured the club's eighth win from eight pre-season friendlies.

But Berlin papers reported on Wednesday that the game, played in Kapfenberg, Austria, had come close to being abandoned before half an hour had been played.

"Some of those tackles were not normal. I feared for the safety of my players," Luhukay said after the match.

The Dutchman rushed onto the field to protest after Serb Armin Bacinovic clattered into Hertha's Japanese midfielder Hajjime Hosogai.

Tagesspiegel reported that he shouted at Palermo coach Gennaro Gattuso: "Gattuso, what are they doing out there?"

Right from the start, Palermo put the pressure on Hertha, with heavy challenges made on Peer Kluge and Hajjime Hosogai, and took the lead through a Paulo Dyabla goal after 12 minutes.

In the second half, the game calmed down and Baumjohann scored twice. "During half-time, Gattuso apologised for the rough style of play of his team," Luhukay said.

"It was our toughest test so far, and a deserved win because of our second half. The Italians' roughness was totally exaggerated. Hosogai, Lassoga and Kluge suffered minor injuries."

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