After narrowly missing out on a point under the bright lights of the Bernabeu, Union Berlin were brought back down to earth on home soil against a Champions League chasing Hoffenheim. A disappointing first-half saw Die Eisernen 2-0 down at the interval, and while the second half would prove to be better, the damage had already been done.
Union head coach Urs Fischer would remark after the game: “It’s easy to make an analysis: In the first half we had no basics, that was a non-performance. I’d rather watch the game again. Most of the time you’ll say something wrong.” A frustrated Fischer attempted to bite his tongue post match, but would comment on his annoyance regarding Hoffenheim’s second goal:
“When we concede the second goal, we lose the ball in the opponent’s penalty area and watch instead of counter-pressing. That does not work like this. We just weren’t there. You can’t waste a half like that in the Bundesliga.” Nevertheless, what would have upset Union’s beloved head coach the most would have been how the side miraculously transformed in the second half:
“In the second half, the basics were suddenly on the field: tirelessly attacking the opponent and constantly stressing them out. David (Fofana) did that very well, sometimes provoking a one-on-one, sometimes trying to outplay an opponent.” However, Die Eisernen would fail to find a route back into the game.
A usually quiet and reserved figure, Fischer’s frustration highlights how poor Union were and have been. For the first time since the 2019/20 campaign, the capital club have fallen to defeat in four straight games. A crisis? Maybe not yet, but worrying signs for the Union faithful.
GGFN | Will Shopland