After the disappointment in the Europa League, Union Berlin is still on course for the Champions League in the Bundesliga. The iron initially shook off fellow competitor Frankfurt.
In a duel between the teams that failed in international business during the week, 1. FC Union Berlin underpinned its claim to the Champions League places in the Bundesliga.
After the 2-0 (0-0) against Eintracht Frankfurt, the Berliners climbed to third place with 48 points and distanced their pursuer from Hesse, who was in sixth place and still has 40 points. In front of 22,012 spectators in the An der Alten Försterei stadium, Rani Khedira and substitute Kevin Behrens (75th) scored the goals for the Irons in the 53rd minute.
Union coach Urs Fischer completed the announced rotation with five players and ordered Paul Seguin, Janik Haberer, Niko Gießelmann, Timo Baumgartl and Jordan Siebatcheu into the starting line-up. Furthermore, Fischer, like his Frankfurt colleague Oliver Glasner, had to do without the regular captain. As in the 3-0 defeat at Royale Union Saint Gilloise in the Europa League, Berlin’s Christopher Trimmel was absent due to illness, while Frankfurt’s Sebastian Rode was suspended. Randal Kolo Muani, who missed the 3-0 defeat in Naples in the Champions League due to a red card suspension, was available again.
Union with better chances
After the strenuous last few English weeks, both teams initially acted on the back burner, so that there was no real flow of play. It was usually only dangerous in front of the goal after standard situations. Top striker Kolo Muani missed the first real chance in the 16th minute after a free kick. Union had two chances through Sheraldo Becker (13′) and Haberer (21′), but both missed the goal.
The pace picked up as the first half progressed and both teams created several chances. Union goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow, who has been in good form for weeks, thwarted a possible deficit when he saved in the 34th minute before Daichi Kamada was freed, and Kolo Muani headed over the goal five minutes later. On the other hand, Siebatcheu narrowly missed a Becker cross in the 37th minute, Seguin failed after 40 minutes at national goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, Rafael Borré shortly before the break at Rönnow and again Kolo Muani after a corner with a head on the post.
After the change of sides, the home side were able to use their first opportunity to take the lead. Khedira used a corner from Gießelmann to take the lead from around five meters out of the crowd (53′). Union then acted much more agile, while Frankfurt had to nibble on the backlog. Becker completed a counterattack after 68 minutes, but was just offside when receiving the ball. Frankfurt tried individual actions through the energetic Kolo Muani and substitute Lucas Alario, but both got stuck in defence. Behrens, on the other hand, made the decision with a shot through Trapp’s legs fifteen minutes before the end.
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