1. FC Union Berlin took the derby bragging rights with a 2-0 win over Hertha at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Christopher Trimmel secured the victory for Urs Fischer's side who are unbeaten against Hertha at home in three Bundesliga encounters.
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Knoche, Friedrich, Baumgartl; Trimmel, Gießelmann, Prömel, Haraguchi, Khedira; Awoniyi, Kruse
Hertha BSC: Schwolow; Plattenhardt, Dardai, Stark, Pekarik; Tousart (Belfodil 45), Ascacibar; Mittelstädt (Ekkelenkamp 60), Serdar, Richter; Piatek (Boateng 60)
Max Kruse returned to the starting team having sat out action since the 3-1 loss in Rotterdam in October. The Union number 10 was reunited at the top of Union's attack next to top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi who has one derby goal to his name so far. The captain Christopher Trimmel was back into the side after his international exploits with Austria in World Cup qualifying last week. Under the lights at a full house at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Urs Fischer's team started with an unplayable energy and purpose. Grischa Prömel shot wide after six minutes in the first warning sign for Alexander Schwolow and the visitors. Niko Gießelmann's pass was completely missed by Hertha defender Dardai and Taiwo Awoniyi proceeded to fire in the opener after eight minutes. It could have been two within two minutes as Prömel went beyond the forwards again; this time his shot came smashing off the crossbar. Kruse wiggled away from the blue and white jerseys in a crowded penalty box and was denied by Schwolow on 20 minutes. The home side bombarded the opposition defence with a header wide from Awoniyi on 25 minutes. The away team cracked on 30 minutes as a cleared corner kick was fired home tremedously by Trimmel from a tight angle outside the box. Dardai was in the right place to clear a header from Timo Baumgartl which was heading goalwards with three minutes left of the half. Andreas Luthe, making his 50th appearance for Union, had almost nothing to do until the whistle. Hertha's Petar Pekarik fumbled the ball over the line but after a delay of several minutes, referee Felix Byrch ruled the goal out for offside. Union finished the half with a two-goal advantage at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
As expected with the deficit, Pal Dardai's side came out with pressure to pull something back. Despite taking more of the ball, the Old Lady were unable to break the Union rearguard. After a slow start, Union picked things up and lifted the tempo in forward areas. Niko Gießelmann's powerful drive on 57 minutes was pushed away by Schwolow. The Hertha goalkeeper kept his side within some touching distance with two impressive stops inside the next minute. Kruse and Haraguchi combined almost to decisive effect, while Friedrich linked with Prömel who fired over. Haraguchi nearly scored against his former club following a great piece of individual play, but after cutting inside the shot was blocked. Gießelmann's next effort from distance on 62 minutes went over the bar. With Prömel on a yellow card, the coach switched the midfielder for Kevin Möhwald as the game started to become scrappy. Marvin Friedrich had looked threatening from corner kicks all afternoon and his header on 77 minutes was set to put Union three up but it deflected off a red shirt. A double change saw Haraguchi and Awoniyi leave the pitch on 80 minutes. Hertha substitute Belfodil shot from range but Luthe easily took control of the situation. Sheraldo Becker nearly had a brace in the final minutes after coming off the bench. He charged clear on 89 minutes but struck against the bar. After Schwolow had vacated his goal, Becker's shot was inches away from nestling in the corner. There was a small disruption after pyrotechnics landed on the field but it didn't stop the celebrations of the home support who celebrated the second derby victory over Hertha since promotion to the Bundesliga.