Union Berlin: The goal of “Europe” is getting closer – sport
1. FC Union Berlin remains the free verse in the top flight of the Bundesliga – the club that doesn’t want to rhyme with Champions League, but keeps the dream that in the end it can somehow be regulated metrically. After a 2-0 (0-0) win on Sunday against the reigning Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt In any case, Union decided on the 25th matchday in a place that promises participation in the next premier class. The declared goal of “Europe” after the secured goal for the season is getting closer and closer. Nine games before the end, Union has a solid lead in seventh place – and now eight points behind Eintracht (6th). Union has also been unbeaten in 17 league home games across the seasons.
During the week, both Union and Frankfurt had to accept international disappointments. The Köpenicker were eliminated against their namesake Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League (0: 3 after 3: 3 in the first leg); Eintracht lost the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 at SSC Naples (0:3). For the people of Frankfurt, there was not only the PR debacle because of the fan riots at the foot of Vesuvius. But also reports on distortions in the management landscape, including between manager Markus Krösche and trainer Oliver Glasner.
The implied denied the rumors of simmering conflict. “The club made me an offer to (prematurely) extend my contract. He wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work out between Markus and me. If I extend it, then Markus is one reason for it because we have the same version with Eintracht “Glasner stressed.
The heart rate of the Berliners was obviously too high
In Berlin, the SBU coach initially saw a Union team that seemed much more present and agile than in the disappointing Europa League appearance in Belgium. The Unioners also showed their little feet in the attack third, for example through Sheraldo Becker or Janik Haberer. But Eintracht was in no way inferior to the Berliners in terms of ambition and superior to them in terms of imagination. Djibril Sow, Daichi Kamada and Mario Götze hid the ball in midfield and in this way not only ensured dominance, but also ensured that the guests inevitably had formidable chances – through Randal Kolo Muani, who cleared the ball from a free kick five meters just wide of the goal (16th); by Kamada, who found his champion twice in Union goalkeeper Rönnow (34th/44th); again by Muani (39th) – and by the final hero of Seville, Rafa Borré (43rd).
The longer the first half lasted, the more it seemed as if Union had more difficulties with the walking routes than the stadium visitors, who had to complete a rail replacement bus rally before they reached the Alte Försterei due to renovation work by the Berlin transport company. However, it was still 0-0 at half-time.
After the break, the plot seemed to largely continue. Union was not able to prevent the mistakes in the build-up game that those responsible recently openly criticized. The pulse rate was obviously too high for the Berliners to play clear passes because of the intensive pressing of the Frankfurt team. But there are still corner kicks. And they are known to be fond of Union.
After a cross from left-back Niko Gießelmann, the ball flew over the crests of Union and Frankfurt into the six-yard box – at the feet of Rani Khedira, who shot into the net from four yards to make it 1-0 (53′).
Surprisingly, the goal exposed Frankfurt as fragile. Then Kolo Muani had another chance. But then Union was in its element as a robust and consistently defending team. A goal by Sheraldo Becker was called off for offside, then substitute Kevin Behrens struck. After a long shot from goalkeeper Rönnow, he beat two Frankfurters – and shot the ball from a tight angle through goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s legs to make it 2-0 (75′).
Eintracht was still struggling to score, but in the end coach Glasner drew a bitter conclusion at Dazn: “They punished our mistakes and showed once again how to win without creating a goal chance.” The Austrian was thoroughly angry: “We have to be honest,” Glasner continued, “it doesn’t help to always palaver and palaver. The fact is that we always lose games in the same way. You can also do 0: 0 but we can’t do it. The first goal is a free corner kick. The second, I’m sorry, it has nothing to do with football. (…) in the end we screw it up at the back.” The coach’s mood hadn’t improved in the press conference either: “I’m careful because everything I say today can and will be used against me,” he says there, “so today it’s better to keep my mouth shut .” Glasner subsequently answered questions in an unusually monosyllabic manner.
The Unioners, on the other hand, had, as coach Fischer frankly admitted, “the necessary luck”. They just seem to have found too much enjoyment in European travel not to let the prospect of excursions pass them by.