Union Berlin’s first defeat: nobody catches Muani


The final whistle had just sounded when Theoson-Jordan Siebatcheu had already made his peace with the first setback of the Bundesliga season. The goalscorer from Union Berlin, largely ineffective in the Frankfurt city forest, went a few steps further to Kevin Trapp to the goalkeeper from Eintracht Frankfurt to give credit for some famous saves.

The league leaders from Köpenick had met their champions in many respects on the eighth match day, which is why head coach Urs Fischer congratulated his colleague Oliver Glasner after the solid 0: 2 (0: 2): “Congratulations on a well-deserved victory. Ten minutes if we were good, then it became less. Frankfurt got the basics on the pitch that actually distinguish us.” The Champions League participant was “more alert, faster, sharper”, “over 90 minutes it was just not enough for us”.

And so it was hardly surprising that the hitherto rebellious club in the capital lost for the first time after 14 Bundesliga games across the season. Naturally, Fischer didn’t care much that the slip-up by Borussia Dortmund (2:3 in Cologne) did not result in the loss of the lead in the table. You know your opinion on this subject, the 56-year-old said with a smug grin: “It’s a snapshot.” Another conclusion seemed to be more important to the pragmatist from Valais than looking at the tableau: “If we don’t move to the absolute limit, it will be difficult for us.” That’s why you have to “accept and analyze” the result.

Researching the cause should not be particularly difficult for the football coach, who extended his contract during the week. The guests had little to oppose the force, the will and the panache of unity. “We weren’t as active and brave as usual,” explained Rani Khedira, who recognized a number of mistakes in his team in the Frankfurt deep runs. “That broke our necks,” said the midfield clearer, but commented on the first defeat: “It was to be expected at some point: that’s what it’s for Bundesliga too strong.”

Above all, the Köpenickers, who had been so defensively strong up to now, found no way of catching Frankfurt’s French center forward Randal Kolo Muani, who with a gala performance emphatically underlined why Didier Deschamps had invited him to the French national team for the first time. Muani initiated the 1-0 lead through Mario Götze, shaking off Timo Baumgartl and Diogo Leite with an energetic run, keeping track of things and setting up the midfielder in an exemplary manner (12′).

Muani, whose style is reminiscent of the Frankfurt storm legend Anthony Yeboah, revealed amazing gaps and unusual coordination difficulties in the Union defensive. Should there be the first sense of achievement for the Berliners on Thursday in the Europa League at Malmö FF, the iron must quickly restore the old order.

Frankfurt’s best player is sent off

The blatant disorientation in the fine solo run by Jesper Lindström, who made it 2-0 (42nd), was best seen. The indisposed defenders Paul Jaeckel and Baumgartl went to their knees in the Dane’s slalom without physical contact. Fischer also missed a determined defensive attitude: “We don’t look good there and help.” Defense chief Robin Knoche, who was absent for private reasons, was sorely missed on the Berlin side.

“I still don’t have the timing after my long break,” said Baumgartl, who has just recovered from testicular cancer. You can train as much as you like, “but in the game it’s a little different.” He would currently put his performance at “90 percent”, said the 26-year-old. That just didn’t seem enough for an opponent of Muani caliber.

The fact that Frankfurt’s best player saw the yellow-red card for two fouls (70th) did not endanger the home win three days before the Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur, because the Glasner team was consistently convincing when working against the ball this time . And in the last instance there was also the in-form goalkeeper Trapp, who earned the praise, especially with his spectacular flying performances against Tim Skarke (79th and 90th + 4), which first got him from the stands and then on the lawn reached.



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