FC Erzgebirge Aue vs 1. FC Union Berlin
German 2. Bundesliga, 9. Matchday
Aue vs 1. FC Union
German 2. Bundesliga, 9. Matchday
Union Berlin claim three points at home of Aue
Goals from Marcel Hartel and Sebastian Polter ensured Jens Keller’s side returned to the capital with a good performance and three valuable points. After a difficult first half, Hartel stepped up on 55 minutes before Polter added to his hat-trick on Monday with the match-winning effort inside the final 20 minutes.
It came as little surprise that Keller’s side remained unchanged from Monday’s win. This clash, however, was more even with both teams tactically cancelling each other out. Union wanted to improve on the defensive front, while Hannes Drew’s team afforded no opportunities in the defensive transition.
Union keeper Jakob Busk was alert to a batch of Aue efforts in the first part of the opening 45 minutes. The second part belonged to Union with more security and time in possession. Steven Skrzybski missed a decent chance after 19 minutes, with Polter and Hartel combining cleverly around the box.
But Aue’s recent form under Drews has shown they pack a punch on the break. Pascal Köpke’s raw acceleration was threatening, with Busk forced to deny the striker from a tight angle. The home side continued to up the tempo after the interval and were only thwarted by the impressive Danish keeper.
Union struck first blood, 10 minutes after the restart. Polter dominated in an unusual wide position and put the ball on a plate for Hartel to follow up and break the deadlock. The second came around 15 minutes later when Kristian Pedersen joined the attack from the left flank, crossing directly into the path of Polter who finished with the streak of a player in great form.
It wasn’t a classic performance from Union, with Aue continuing to create chances into the last 20 minutes. A cross from Nazarov found Sören Betram who was unmarked before heading past Busk. Keller’s men were on the back-foot from then until the final whistle, but saw it out with some impressive, last-ditch defending.
“We’re happy to have taken 3 points today,” said Keller. “The first half was tactically very good: we had a clear command of situations without creating many opportunities. We lacked the final pass. In the second half, two great moves put us in the lead. Then we let ourselves down by allowing Aue back into the game. After that we did well physically to get the points."
Opportunity for Union Berlin to build upon Kaiserslautern victory
Union Berlin are on a high after the 5-0 hammering of 1.FC Kaiserslautern at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Monday.
The win on Monday ended a run of five games in the 2.Bundesliga without a victory.
“With the way we went into the Kaiserslautern game, we made them feel insecure. They went in highly motivated after the coaching change, but we showed from the first minute that there was nothing to be gained from us, Victories do each team good, they give them self-confidence. After five games without a win, the three points and performance was particularly good. We haven’t scored enough points so far, so the success on Monday was great for mentality,” said the Union coach.
The focused turned to the opening game rather than Monday. “We’ll have to be prepared for this,” started Keller. “It doesn't matter whether they have two home games in a row. We will do a few things different tactically, because Aue shapes up differently to Kaiserslautern. No game is 1:1 transferable. We want to focus on our qualities and I have always said that it will be difficult to score against us. The prerequisite, however, is that we deliver 100 percent.”
This summer has been a transition period for Erzgebirge Aue following the departure of coach Domenico Tedesco to Bundesliga side Schalke. Both Thomas Letsch and Robin Lenk had spells in the dugout, before Hannes Drews was confirmed permanent successor to Tedesco. Since the 35-year-old’s appointment, Aue have won three of four matches and sits in a respectable seventh place.
“Aue have played a couple of good games despite some defeats. They are extremely compact and very well organised. They have players up front who know exactly where the goal is. It’s going to be a tough game, and we have to be prepared for it. We’ve won there many times before, and we’re confident of doing that on Saturday,” said Keller, who has a clean bill of health in his squad with Kenny Redondo and Christoph Schösswendtner back in training this week.
With the stadium undergoing extensive reconstruction, there are no more tickets available for travelling Union supporters. Gates at the Sparkassen-Erzgebirgsstadion are open from 11am, with kick-off at 1pm on Saturday September 30.