News : Derby at Union: Dardai is “negatively surprised” by his team – sport
Local derby, well and good. This is certainly of particular importance for the fans, Hertha sports director Arne Friedrich had said before the game against Union Berlin. For the team, however, it is “primarily about winning the game.” Three points are needed so that Hertha BSC can get away from the lower ranks “as quickly as possible”. That sounded thirsty for action. And Pal Dardai also reported a good feeling. “But the whole matter of feeling,” said the Hertha coach, “that can also be deceiving.” In the end, it was this little addition that made him right.
Union and Hertha BSC separated 1: 1 in the Berlin city derby. All the determination – fizzled out. In fact, Hertha was still well served, but the coach was pretty pissed off. Dardai immediately rumbled that he was “negatively surprised” by his team. Much of what they set out to do playfully he only saw from Union. The first half was still okay, at least after his team had made up for a deficit. “You can totally forget about the second half.”
At least there was still one point – also because the Unionern, as their coach Urs Fischer analyzed afterwards, did not come up with the right solutions at the crucial moments. Hertha BSC remains threatened with relegation, Union continues to float somewhere between safe relegation and European Cup dreams.
The game began, almost as if it had been staged, in a varied three-minute cycle. At the kick-off, Union fans lit a fireworks battery behind their stands on the forest side of the stadium at the Alte Försterei, the flares of which could hardly be seen in daylight, but their crackling could be heard all the more clearly. The spectacle lasted exactly three minutes, a sausage stall caught fire, and stewards came with fire extinguishers.
Another three minutes later the first chance to score: Max Kruse pulled his left foot from a good 20 meters, a shot that Alexander Schwolow had to make long and flat for. After exactly nine minutes, Robert Andrich had more success. The Unioner midfielder, clearly motivated down to the very short hair and beard tips, pulled from a position similar to Kruse before, but this time the ball hit the goal. Andrich could only vaguely remember afterwards: “I don’t even know if I’ll hit him well,” he reported after the game, “in any case, he goes very well.”
Andrich of all people. Born in Potsdam, he played for the Hertha juniors for 12 years, but failed to break into the professional team. In 2015 he left the club and joined Union in 2019. In the first leg, Andrich was similarly cranked, but less skillful: after 23 minutes, he was holding his leg across like a railroad barrier, but at an inadmissible height: expulsion. Hertha won 3-1 despite a 1-0 lead by the Unioners.
Now, in the second leg, another three minutes passed before Union could have extended their lead. Julian Ryerson hit the bar first, and Petar Musa put the margin over it. The Croat in the Union storm is waiting for his first Bundesliga goal.
Hertha then needed more than three minutes to get back on their feet, but created first opportunities. The Union Wall steered a free kick by Matheus Cunha past the goal, and shortly afterwards Jordan Torunarigha hit the crossbar with his head. Dodi Lukebakio then scored the equalizer after 34 minutes from a penalty kick, after Guendouzi had determined and successfully sought the necessary physical contact with Union defender Marvin Friedrich for a penalty kick. 1: 1 at the break – but the rest you could have given yourself.
Union was much more determined after the change. The iron were now higher, pushed the Herthaners in their half, but did not create any real chances. The game was dominated by a lot of fighting, screams of pain from falling footballers cut up the cool evening air, followed by demonstratively angry protests on the sidelines. Only the right flow of play did not want to arise on either side. “Tough game”, said Union player Julian Ryerson afterwards dryly: “difficult game”.
In the 79th minute, Dardai brought on Sami Khedira for the first time after an injury break. That was more of a sign to stabilize the defensive. There was no longer any sign of the unconditional will to get three points. Shortly thereafter, Urs Fischer switched on Joel Pohjanpalo, a center forward. Union wanted more victory, but didn’t get a chance. There could have been more, said goal scorer Andrich after the game. “Overall, one point is not enough for us in my opinion.” However, less too little than for Hertha BSC.