On Sunday morning, as the people of Köpenick wiped the sleep from their eyes, it might have taken a minute to internalize: indeed, it was really true. There are few things that would be perfect for Union Berlin fans, who have such a strong bond with their club that they were largely responsible for bringing it back to life when it faced disaster, and many felt that this is a club that struggles more than others with soccer’s current realities. But while fans wait to be reunited in the flesh with their team, the players of Union are moving Urs Fischer’s side started in the top four in the Bundesliga on Sunday and briefly climbed into the Champions League positions on Saturday afternoon with an impressive 2-0 win at Werder Bremen. “Yes,”Yes,”but I’m thinking about being 14 points ahead of third last place. We know what the goal is.”but I’m thinking about it. “[These are] results that arouse desires,” the Berliner Morgenpost’s Inga Böddeling wrote on Sunday. “Covetousness that you don’t want to hear at Union.” Before the game, Fischer had said that his team was “still a bit wet behind the ears” in terms of the top flight – but the signs are less and less that it is. You would have thought that Sheraldo Becker and Taiwo Awoniyi had been playing together for years in the away win at Weserstadion, as Becker put the opening goal on a fast counter-attack before the Liverpool loanee added the second before the break, taking advantage of a lapse in Werder defense focus.
Remarkably, it was the first time the two had played together in the Bundesliga, with Becker coming on to replace the injured Max Kruse as a wing replacement. Kruse is the main man and will possibly still be at Union, but Fischer can’t just call on him, as Joel Pohjanpalo and the seasoned Anthony Ujah are out with long-term wounds.
Prior to the game, soccer director Oliver Ruhnert talked in the transfer window about needing to “find a solution as quickly as possible” but the current players represent the team well. An exasperated Jean-Julien Beer wrote in the Weser-Kurier, “There are worlds between the offensive departments of Werder and Union, as it feels,” thanking them with a banner at the entrance to the Weserstadion for helping Werder’s great comeback last season, when the Berliners’ 3-0 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf propelled the side of Florian Kohfeldt into the relegation playoff. However, Union never looked like they were going to settle for a slap on the back. They doggedly defended and hardly allowed Werder to grow.
Fischer’s calls for the players to keep at it echoed across the empty stands as the home team’s shoulders bowed, and were heard. A strategy, a shared trust and a philosophy exist. Not for nothing did Fischer and his assistant Markus Hoffmann extend their contracts last month: “That’s only possible,” Fischer had said before the game, “with a unified team performance” and he meant the season, not just this game. It can be confirmed by both Bayern and Dortmund, who left Köpenick with only one point, that this is not a flash in the pan. Wolfsburg and Leverkusen are the next two guests at the Alte Försterei, and maybe we’ll see how close Union is – again – to making dreams come true. Fast GuideShow Bundesliga resultsStuttgart 0-1 Leipzig, Hertha Berlin 3-0 Schalke, Werder Bremen 0-2 Union Berlin, Hoffenheim 1-3 Freiburg, Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen, Cologne 0-1 Augsburg, Arminia Bielefeld 0-1 Mönchengl 0-1 Bielefeld 0-1 Mönchengl 0-1 Has this been helpful? Thank you for your input. Talking points-There was another weird afternoon for Bayern, conceding the first goal for the eighth consecutive Bundesliga match. And it wasn’t just against any rival, but against a bruised, chaotic Mainz, who had a major winter break with Christian Heidel’s return to the board, Martin Schmidt’s return as sporting director, and Jan Moritz Lichte’s replacement with the former Huddel,