Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(2 - 0)
Union Berlin
Hertha BSC
T. Awoniyi (8), C. Trimmel (30)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Union claim bragging rights with superb derby performance

In their fifth Bundesliga meeting, it was Union Berlin who put on a superb display to claim all three points over their city rivals in a contest that lived up to its billing.

A goal apiece for Taiwo Awoniyi and Christopher Trimmel proved enough to clinch victory in what was a gripping encounter.
With the last three derby matches taking place behind closed doors, it was a spectacular sight to witness a sea of red scarves greet the players as they headed out to do battle in the German capital.

With such a tremendous noise reverberating around the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, it seemed as though the Hertha players were up against much more than just the 11 Union players.

The hosts channelled the vociferous home support positively, as they took the lead in the ninth minute. A mistake from Márton Dárdai allowed Awoniyi to race through on goal, and the forward kept his composure to coolly slot home, which only increased the decibel levels further.

Urs Fischer's side had the bit between their teeth following Awoniyi’s eighth league goal of the season, and they aimed to capitalise on their dominance by grabbing a second. However, Alexander Schwolow was not prepared to concede a second just yet, with the Hertha keeper saving well to deny Max Kruse.

The Old Lady were struggling to cope with the swathes of Union attacks, with the home side continuing to bombard their opponents' box with a barrage of crosses. In the 30th minute, the Union fans were celebrating once again, when the ball broke to Trimmel on the edge of the box, who fired the ball clinically into the bottom corner.

Hertha finally threatened in the final ten minutes of the first period, when Peter Pekarik’s effort flashed across the face of the goal. In first-half stoppage time, The visitors thought they had found the net after Pekarik headed home. However, after a VAR review, the goal was ruled out for an offside in the build-up, which ensured Union took a two-goal lead into the break.

After a disastrous first period, Hertha boss Pál Dárdai introduced Ishak Belfodil at half-time in a bid to mastermind an unlikely comeback. Despite Hertha showing more intent, the hosts continued to threaten, and the visitors had Schwolow to thank for the deficit remaining at two. The Hertha number one had to be at full stretch to push Kruse's powerful strike around the post.

As the game drifted into the final ten minutes, Belfodil tried his luck from distance, but his tame effort was comfortably gathered by Andreas Luthe.

With the home fans serenading their side in the final moments, Union went close to finding a third. Sheraldo Becker struck the bar with a ferocious strike before he sent an ambitious long-range effort wide.

A third goal did not arrive, but those in red inside the Stadion An der Alten Försterei did not care, as they celebrated a superb victory over their rivals.

Urs Fischer could not have asked for more with his side winning comfortably, while also claiming their fourth clean sheet of the Bundesliga season in the process.

As a result of their fourth home victory of the league season, Union end the day in fifth position - just a point adrift of the top four. Meanwhile, Hertha are still yet to win at the home of Die Eisernen in the Bundesliga, and the result leaves Pál Dárdai's side just three points above the relegation playoff place.

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