City championship goes to Köpenick: Union effortlessly against harmless Hertha!
By Johannes Kohlstedt
Berlin – Berlin is red and white! Of the 1. FC Union Berlin has the city derby against Hertha BSC won 2-0 (2-0). The iron build the lead over their local rivals to seven points and can call themselves city champions for the time being.
Taiwo Awoniyi had put Union in the lead early on in the Alte Försterei, which was sold out for the first time (8th minute). Christopher Trimmel increased it to 2: 0 (30th).
Hertha coach Pal Dardai swapped two positions after the 1-1 draw against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Hungarian Lucas Tousart and Derby hero Krzysztof Piatek took to the field for the injured Vladimir Darida and Stevan Jovetic, who tested positive again.
His counterpart, FCU coach Urs Fischer, also only made two changes after the 2-2 draw at 1. FC Köln. For the first time, the Swiss could rely on Max Kruse again. Trimmel also returned to the starting line-up. Julian Ryerson and Sheraldo Becker initially only sat on the bench.
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Even without Ultras, the 22,012 spectators created a great atmosphere from the start. After just eight minutes it got really loud.
Awoniyi benefited from a catastrophic stick mistake from Marton Dardai. The Nigerian had a clear run and didn’t let his chance be taken from Alexander Schwolow – 1-0 (8th).
Union left the ball to the guests, but they couldn’t do much with it. It was the expected fighting game, so that most of the action took place in midfield.
The line-up of 1. FC Union Berlin
The starting eleven from Hertha BSC
Taiwo Awoniyi and Christopher Trimmel put Union Berlin in the lead
The home side remained the more dangerous team. After a cross from Awoniyi, Hertha’s backers paused again. But Kruse’s attempt from the turn was just able to defuse Schwolow. Just two minutes later, Trimmel’s flank almost landed in the goal, but missed the box by a few centimeters.
The hosts had an easy game. Hertha had possession of the ball, but was still without a goal of their own. The iron increased the pressure against guests who were too passive in this phase and rewarded themselves.
Trimmel took full risk, took a corner from the right edge of the box and chased it past friends and foe into the far corner. The offside Grischa Pröml went actively to the ball, but the VAR had no objection – 2-0 (30th).
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And Hertha? The blue-whites couldn’t think of anything else against the compact defending home team. It was only after 37 minutes that the old lady shot on goal for the first time.
It took the energetic support of Andreas Luthe for the Charlottenburgers to suddenly shorten the game out of the blue. Luthe tripped over his own man just before half-time and didn’t get the ball right. Pekarik headed the ball over the line (45th).
Hertha BSC at the front too harmless, Union leaves the decision
This time, however, the VAR spoke up. Piatek had just been sidelined. The subsequent hit did not count. A maximally unhappy first half from the point of view of the guests.
They were quite willing to turn things around after the break, but even with two strikers on the field (Ishak Belfodil for Tousart) the old lady found it difficult to get in front of the goal.
The Köpenickers did not have to do more than necessary, lurked for switching moments and were closer to the 3-0 than Hertha the connection goal. First Schwolow prevented the impact against Kruse (58th), then Pröml and Genki Haraguchi (63rd) left the decision.
It stayed the same: Hertha had more possession of the ball, but acted too unimaginatively in the game forward. They found no means of cracking the iron defensive bulwark.
So the hosts had no trouble winning the city derby. A well-deserved victory that could have been even higher.
Hertha will face FC Augsburg on Saturday (15.30 / Sky) Further. Union has to join a day later Eintracht Frankfurt (3.30 p.m. / DAZN) ran.
Cover photo: Andreas Gora / dpa