0:4 to Bayer Leverkusen
Union Berlin lose their ninth Bundesliga match in a row and are bottom of the table
After the impressive Champions League success against SSC Napoli, Union Berlin was also hoping to secure at least one point in the Bundesliga. In the end there was nothing to be gained by league leaders Leverkusen.
- Union in last place in the table for the first time since the first day of the 2019/20 season
- Two goals conceded from corner kicks (poorly defended).
- Defense coach Bonucci had to come off injured in the first half
The weekly draw at SSC Napoli gave Union Berlin some hope. The streak of twelve consecutive failures has been stopped. In the Bundesliga, however, the Berliners still have to wait to be successful. The team led by Urs Fischer finished 0-4 (0-1) at Bayer Leverkusen after goals from Alejandro Grimaldo (23rd minute), Odilon Kossounou (56th), Jonathan Tah (73rd) and Nathan Tella (83rd). Following the defeat, Union slipped to bottom of the table also due to a worse goal difference than 1. FC Cologne.
All it takes is one mistake
The match started as expected with a lot of possession for Leverkusen and the Unioners pushed deep into their own half. What was not to be expected, however, was that the Union initially allowed almost nothing. Apart from an uncontested but equally inaccurate shot from Victor Boniface (11th minute) and a chance for Florian Wirtz (12th) – who, due to a misplaced pass from Frederik Rönnow, was just prevented from finishing on goal by the then be careful Goalkeeper Unions: scoring opportunities were scarce.
The Berliners defended carefully, Jérôme Roussillon in particular was very careful against the fast defender of Leverkusen winger Jeremy Frimpong. When they had the ball, the Unioners certainly found playful solutions from their own third goal. From midfield onwards, however, there is a lack of advanced ideas and people. And in the 23rd minute the situation was more precise, when Leverkusen’s left winger, Alejandro Grimaldo, scored a dream goal from the left edge of the penalty area to give the team a 1-0 lead, although this is was aided by a needless loss of the team. ball from Union’s Alex Kral as he advanced into his own penalty area.
Shortly afterwards things got even worse for Union when defense chief Leonardo Bonucci had to leave the pitch injured (24th). Robin Knoche came into play for him. Three minutes later, Leverkusen’s Frimpong was denied by Rönnow from a few meters away from a tight angle. In the 44th minute Wirtz forces Rönnow into a (mandatory) save after a good personal move and a powerful shot from a central position.
A corner that shouldn’t have existed
At the start of the second half, Union pushed the ball much further forward, entering dangerous spaces more often after winning the ball. However, there were no clear opportunities. In the 57th minute the blow came from Berlin’s point of view: after a corner kick that shouldn’t have happened, Leverkusen central defender Odilon Kossounou headed the ball into the far post to make it 2-0. A minute later, Roussillon headed the already beaten Rönnow off the line to prevent Frimpong from conceding another possible goal.
The Union’s resistance now seems to be broken, Leverkusen seems to dictate the match as they please. The next goal came from a corner and was once again poorly defended from Berlin’s point of view. Rönnow and Jaeckel pass the ball as a duo, Jonathan Tah, positioned at the far post, thanks him and converts from the turn to make it 3-0. Ten minutes later it was a Union banner in the opponent’s penalty area that made it 0-4. After Leverkusen’s lightning-fast counterattack, it was Nathan Tella, recently replaced, who gave Rönnow no chance to defend from a full eight meters and secured the final score.
Rumors about the game
Urs Fischer (Berlin Union): “I’m disappointed with how it went. I think we didn’t do a bad defensive job in the first half. But when we conceded a goal, as in many other actions: unnecessary losses of the ball, too much frenzy, no continuation of the match. And then it will be incredibly difficult against a strong team like Leverkusen. (…) We are in a battle for relegation. (…) I think today we took another two steps backwards. (…) It’s a marathon until the end. ( …) I remain combative.”
Christopher Trimmel (Berlin Union): “We couldn’t have done more today. Leverkusen were simply too strong a class for us, in all aspects. It’s bitter, of course, that you then concede two free kicks against such a playful team, because it’s the best way to defend something like that. (. ..) We had little access. (…) We have to finally start getting results. (…) I think he is now well received in the team we play with to remain the League.”
Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen): “We are particularly pleased to have been successful today according to the standards.”
The game in the live ticker
Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, November 12, 2023, 3.30 pm