FC Union Berlin 2-1 SV Werder Bremen: Aaronson stars as Bremen are spangled in the Capital

Brenden Aaronson brought the game to life in a man-of-the-match performance that lifts Union Berlin nine points clear of Bundesliga relegation and within two points of visitors, Werder Bremen.

Story of the match

Werder Bremen traveled to Union Berlin with both sides desperate for a win after consecutive defeats.

Both sides sit comfortably in mid-table, five points apart and clear of FC Köln in 16th but looking to find some form going into the home stretch of the Bundesliga season.

Union Head coach, Nenad Bjelica made three changes to the side that lost to Stuttgart last weekend.

Andras Schafer (suspended), Josip Juranovic and Kevin Volland were replaced by Leeds United loanee, Brendan Aaronson, Mikel Kaufmann and Lucas Tousart.

Ole Werner also made three changes to the visitors as Olivier demand, Milos Veljkovic and Nick Woltemade came in for Nicklas Stark (ankle), Schmid (suspended) and Felix Agu.

Indicative of their mid-table mediocrity, there was little to separate the sides in the first half.

There were brief openings for Union forward, Mikkel Kaufmann and Bremen striker, Woltemade but neither side were able to take maximise their even share of possession.

Marvin Ducksch summed up a tight first half by sending a first time shot into the forest behind the Waldseite late into the half.

Fortunately, the fans were able to entertain themselves as entertainment on the pitch was lacking.

A tifo of Köpenick before the game supplied fans with material for paper aeroplanes and they duly tried their best to reach the pitch from behind the goal.

On the pitch, Brenden Aaronson tried his best to spark the game to life.

After the disappointment of being dropped by the USA national team this week for the first time since his first call-up, Aaronson played like a man with a point to prove.

In the 45th minute, a corner fell to the American attacking midfielder on the edge of the box. Staying composed, Aaronson fired a dipping volley towards the top corner but Zetterer pulled off an athletic dive to tip the ball over.

Aaronson continued to be the highlight of the game in the second half and his performance paid quickly paid dividends.

After a brief delay to allow pyro and firework smoke to clear from the away end, Aaronson lifted the stadium to fever pitch.

A determined run down the left and cut inside culminated in Yorbe Vertessen firing Union ahead in the 50th minute.

Two minutes later, Vertessen and Aaronson switched roles to send the home fans delirious once more.

Another dribble through the heart of the Bremen midfield and defence finished in a smart one-two with Vertessen that left Aaronson with time to calmly slot the ball past a helpless Zetterer.

Aaronson has had a tough time since arriving on loan from Leeds United but the squad showed their appreciation by mobbing the young American in the celebrations.

After quiet first half, the game came alive.

Ten minutes later, Werder Bremen were on the scoresheet.

Mitchell Weiser got ahead of Frederik Rönnow from a corner to head into an empty net and gave Bremen hope.

In the 67th minute, Lucas Tousart had a golden chance to finish the game for Union.

With Aaronson to his left, Tousart delayed and delayed, allowing Zetterer to close the gap and let a wonderful opportunity go begging.

Union Berlin had one final chance in added time but a loose Laidouni pass was too heavy for substitute Kevin Volland to capitalise on.

However, Union Berlin had done enough against a lacklustre Bremen side who stayed tenth but were now winless in four Bundesliga games.

Moment of the Match

For 77 minutes, Aaronson brought the game to life.

After a torrid season and weak that saw the young Leeds United loanee lose his international spot for USA, Aaronson was the only spark of a stale first half.

Aaronson has often been critiqued for his style over substance performances and in the first half, there were flashes of brilliance but with no end product.

His volley in added time nearly busted the myth.

His performance in the second half was an emphatic riposte to critiques.

In the 52nd minute, Aaronson showed no signs of doubt as he took his chance with aplomb.

In an undefined midfield role, the American switched sides at will and at every opportunity, took the chance to run at the Bremen defence.

The visitors were reluctant to close him down and eventually, Aaronson’s style turned into substance with a wonderful goal assisted by Vertessen.

Aaronson has his doubters but today, there was no doubt.

He was the best player on the pitch.

GGFN | Oscar O’Mara

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