Union Berlin’s miserable form continued with a 4-2 defeat at the Westfalensatdion against Borussia Dortmund. A compelling first half saw the hosts race into an early lead with a Niclas Füllkrug goal before Robin Gosen’s header levelled the tie after ten minutes. However, all mayhem would then break loose. A disallowed goal for either side left a sense of confusion filtering through the Westfalenstadion. However, the bewilderment would only continue as Mats Hummels was judged to have fouled Sheraldo Becker, which allowed Leonardo Bonucci to give Die Eisernen the lead at the break.
Nevertheless, the second half would see Union crumble under the pressure. Goals from Nico Schlotterbeck, Julian Brandt and Julian Ryerson saw Dortmund reclaim the lead. A far less dramatic second half saw Dortmund take control of a game that sent them second in the Bundesliga table – even if it is for a matter of hours. As for Union, their worrying form has left them 13th in the league with a lot of work to do.
Borussia Dortmund’s unknown winning formula
Inconsistencies have plagued Borussia Dortmund so far this season – and in truth over the last decade – but they have found different ways in which to walk away with three points. Finding their feet again after a difficult start of the season, where Sébastien Haller revealed how missing out on the Miesterschale had affected them, Dortmund look to be back on the hunt for silverware.
Nevertheless, how they plan on doing so is completely unknown. Figuring out a coherent game plan for Die Schwarzgelben has been the envy of many while understanding their best starting XI has been the envy of head coach Edin Terzić. Regardless, BvB have been able to find a winning formula.
After struggling to adapt to the chaotic nature of the first half, Dortmund would race out of the blocks after the interval. The substitution of Julian Brandt rejuvenated Terzić’s side as they began taking the game to Union, who could not handle the improved tempo set by the hosts. Three goals without reply left Die Eisernen looking lost at sea, and while Dortmund may appear unconvincing, they are seemingly unstoppable.
Union Berlin’s effectiveness is running out
Since promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019, it has been smooth sailing for Union Berlin, as Die Eisernen have improved their league position every season. However, while continuing to do so after a remarkable fourth-place finish last campaign would have been a monumental task, the drop-off in form this season has certainly been unexpected.
A current run of six straight defeats in all competitions that has seen a total return of three goals in that time sees Union sit in last place in their Champions League group. While coming into matchday seven, they were staring up the Bundesliga table from 11th place. To make matters worse, after a disappointing second half against Borussia Dortmund, nothing looks like changing.
Despite a positive first-half display that saw Union resemble their devastating best, when the pressure was applied to them after the interval, they would crumble at the Westfalenstadion. They lost the defensive compactness that had frustrated Dortmund during the opening exchanges and then struggled to make the most of their fleeting voyages forward. Having failed to keep a clean sheet in the Bundesliga this season, Urs Fischer has to act quickly if Union are to salvage their campaign.
Marco Reus saves the day yet again
After years of Jude Bellingham, Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho running the show for Borussia Dortmund, the days of Marco Reus stealing the headlines are back. With important goals in the last three matchdays, Dortmund’s former captain is fantastic once again.
However, while Reus would fail to add to his goalscoring tally, the 34-year-old would turn provider to help guide Die Schwarzgelben to a hard-fought three points. To begin proceedings, a magnificent Reus corner landed perfectly on the head of Niclas Füllkrug, who was able to tap in from Frederik Rønnow’s initial save to open the scoring for Dortmund.
Then with the game level at 2-2, Reus slipped Julian Brandt through on goal and the Dortmund midfielder simply could not miss. Over recent weeks it is clear to see that without Reus Dortmund appear a shell of themselves. Surely will not be long until the 34-year-old gets his wish of renewing his contract.
GGFN | Will Shopland