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1. FC Union Berlin vs 1. FC Nürnberg

German 2. Bundesliga, 20. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Nürnberg

German 2. Bundesliga, 20. Matchday

Fri., 26. January 2018, 18:30 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
0 : 1
21.734

Barren continues as Nürnberg grab away win

Match report

Union Berlin went down to 1.FC Nürnberg at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei with Ewerton’s 11th-minute header enough to separate the sides.

Andre Hofschneider’s men were cut down to nine before the end with Toni Leistner and Philipp Hosiner dismissed, while Edgar Salli was shown a red card for the visitors.

Similar to the game before in Kiel, Union surrendered the momentum to the visitors, the league’s out-and-out strongest side away from home. A corner kick from Enrico Valentini found Ewerton in the centre of the box and he headed past Daniel Mesenhöler without any problems. An almost identical chance fell to Leistner at the other end, but instead of scoring, he headed high and wayward.

With the lead in the bag, Nürnberg were happy to sit deep and compact, making the most of a 3-5-2 formation to maximise defensive stability. Union enjoyed a good phase of possession but ultimately couldn’t find the breakthrough despite a handful of shooting opportunities for Akaki Gogia.

Union almost levelled at the end of the half with Sebastian Polter turning on a sixpence at the edge of the area before his shot was blocked. The visitors, looking good value for a promotion run this term, led at the interval.

The second half won’t be remembered so much for chances or excellent football, but for the involvement of referee Patrick Ittrich. The Hamburg-based official showed two yellow cards in quick succession for Leistner, who was subsequently dismissed with seven minutes left. One from the end, Hosiner and Salli clashed on the touchline before Ittrich rightly showed both a straight red card.

“Congratulations to Nürnberg, who deserved the win in the end. We had a lot of opportunities in the first half but we aren’t even getting the simple chances right at the moment, which doesn’t make the situation any easier. In the second half, we tried everything, but Nürnberg did well and didn’t afford us many chances. Nevertheless, the team showed great commitment and we need to keep working to get out of the rut,” said the Union boss post-match.

Hofschneider’s side have a lengthy break mid-season of 10 days before their next league encounter on Monday February 5. The side from Köpenick will head to the Alm in Bielefeld to take on another promotion hopeful from Ostwestfalen. Kick-off is scheduled for 20:30.

Hofschneider's Union welcome on-the-road kings Nürnberg

Match preview

Andre Hofschneider’s Union Berlin are out to end a frustrating run of results in the second division when Nürnberg come to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Friday.

The first home game against the Franconians should set the tone for an exciting second half of the season still to come.

After a spell in Spain for warm weather training, Union Berlin returned to league duties in midweek, drawing 2-2 against Holstein Kiel. Victory on home soil would at least give Hofschneider’s side an extra dose of momentum going into the second chunk of the campaign.

It will be the second game in the space of a few days for the Köpenick club, but Union coach isn’t concerned in the slightest about a crammed schedule. “They are fully-trained professionals who should be able to play every three or four days. In this case, it’s the same situation because Nürnberg also played on Tuesday,” responded Hofschneider.

“Our style of play is designed to score goals and create chances,” explained Hofschneider when asked his playing style going forward. “I’d rather win 4-2 than 1-0, I’ll admit that. If we attack, the enemy has to follow our lead. We’ve got a good attacking team that our opponents has to deal with first.”

Meanwhile, Michael Köllner’s side have the opportunity to move to the summit of the league – at least temporarily – with a victory at the Alte Försterei. Nürnberg lost 2-1 at home to Jahn Regensburg last week, but there will be little concern before the trip to Berlin given have the best away form and chance conversion rate in the league.

Köllner described Friday’s meeting under the lights as a “trend-setting encounter” for both clubs. “This will be a hard game,” he added in the pre-match press conference. “Only top athletes can process such setbacks and bounce back like this. We know it’s gonna take some effort,” Köllner said.

Nürnberg, who earned a 2-2 draw from the season’s previous encounter, should be able to call upon centre-back Ewerton, but his status remains unclear. Defender Ondrej Petrak is out after sustaining injury in the defeat to Jahn Regensburg. “We’ll need to wait for the final training session to decide,” added the Nürnberg coach.

There are still some tickets remaining at the box office for Friday’s clash at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. The gates will be open for the first home match of 2018 from 17:00 local time.

AFTV Videos

Daniel Mesenhöler

Daniel Mesenhöler

was Player of the Day for the last time against Nürnberg

Daniel Mesenhöler

was Player of the Day against Nürnberg

MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs 1. FC Nürnberg

1 Yellow Cards 1
1 Yellow-Red Cards 0
1 Red Cards 1

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