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Union suffer loss at Hertha

Derby Defeat:

Fri, 22. May 2020
Union suffer loss at Hertha

1. FC Union Berlin lost the second city derby of the season 0-4 at the Olympic Stadium.

Goals from Vedad Ibisevic, Dodi Lukebakio, Matheus Cunha and Dedryck Boyata in the second half put Urs Fischer's team to the sword in front of more than 80,000 empty seats in Charlottenburg. 

Hertha Berlin: Jarstein; Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Grujic, Skjelbred (Samardzic 81); Darida (Maier 80), Cunha (Mittelstädt 56), Lukebakio (Dilrosun 56); Ibisevic (Piatek 56)

1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Friedrich, Hübner, Parensen; Reichel (Malli 63), Trimmel, Andrich (Kroos 72), Prömel; Bülter (Ryerson 63), Andersson (Polter 71), Ingvartsen (Ujah 57)

Urs Fischer was back on the training pitch this week as he prepared Union for the second Berlin Derby of the campaign. Keven Schlotterbeck's fifth yellow card in the 0-2 defeat to Bayern Munich last week earned a one-game suspension and the defender was replaced by the returning Marvin Friedrich. Christopher Lenz limped out of training on Wednesday with Ken Reichel taking over on the left, while Michael Parensen stepped in for Neven Subotic and Sebastian Andersson replaced Anthony Ujah respectively.

After a minute's silence to remember the victims of the current coronavirus pandemic, referee Harm Osmers commenced the second Bundesliga derby between Hertha and Union. Bruno Labbadia's first game in charge of Hertha was a successful 3-0 win at Hoffenheim last week, and the urgency from his players was clear. Goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz collected a long-range shot from Matheus Cunha but the general threat came from Hertha's pace on the counterattack. Dodi Lukebakio missed one-against-one with the Polish number one who also kept out a backheel from Cunha. Fischer's team grew with confidence and courage as the half developed and built upon some promising set-piece opportunities without finding the net. On 16 minutes, Friedrich threw his body at Christopher Trimmel's corner kick but Rune Jarstein was out quickly to smother the danger. Through Robert Andrich and Grischa Prömel, Union found an aggressive tempo in possession and it was the key to breaking through Hertha's defence. Prömel broke the lines and found Trimmel, the skipper's cross was met by Andersson but Jordan Torunarigha cleared at the front post. Before the half came to a close, Jarstein was made to scramble across his goal from a brilliantly-hit free kick from Andrich. 

Fischer's team returned from the tunnel and started on the front foot. Torunarigha's positioning was crucial to block Bülter from scoring after great work from Andrich, driving into the box. However, the derby bragging rights were essentially settled inside 60 seconds as Hertha opened up a two-goal advantage. Ibisevic found a yard in the box to head Labbadia's men ahead on 51 minutes before Lukebakio took the ball around Gikiewicz to slot home the second immediately after the restart. The Köpenick club changed quickly with Anthony Ujah strengthening the attack, but Hertha's dominance remained untouched. Matheus Cunha swivelled on the edge of the area on the hour mark and fired into Gikiewicz's bottom-left corner. Fischer turned to Julian Ryerson, Yunus Malli, Sebastian Polter and Felix Kroos from the substitute's bench as Union used up all five options from the bench. Union went without hitting the target and the salt was rubbed into the wounds when Boyata scored a fourth for Hertha after 77 minutes.

Two defeats in two since the return of Bundesliga football, 1. FC Union Berlin will look to take full advantage of the next outing at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. On Wednesday night, relegation rivals Mainz make the trip to the capital.