Bundesliga: Union with a "dirty win" on the way to the Champions League

Urs Fischer slapped his defeated colleague on the chest with a smile, the exhausted pros of 1.

Bundesliga: Union with a "dirty win" on the way to the Champions League

Urs Fischer slapped his defeated colleague on the chest with a smile, the exhausted pros of 1. FC Union Berlin hugged each other. The Irons have overcome their small earnings crisis and underlined their ambitions to participate in the Champions League for the first time. The Unioner team, without a win three times in a row, won 1-0 (0-0) at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday evening and defended third place in the Bundesliga with 55 points.

"I know it might be a bit boring, but the focus is always on the next game," said Berlin's keeper Frederik Rönnow on the DAZN streaming service, looking at the four-point lead over fifth place and the Champions League chances the Berliner. "Today we saw the Union, which played very consistently and strongly throughout the season," said captain Rani Khedira: "Then a dirty 1-0 win here in Gladbach is also possible."

In front of 52,107 spectators in Borussia Park, Sheraldo Becker scored for the guests with a direct acceptance in the 60th minute. "That was a beautiful goal. Hats off," commented Khedira. Gladbach lost for the first time in four games and are still stuck in tenth place.

After an unusual and intense pyro show by the Gladbach fans in black, white and green, both teams initially lacked a little perspective. The Berliners, who recently conceded three defeats in a row away from home in the league, in the DFB Cup and in the Europa League, tried to be compact and have basic security and relied on fast switching games. Fischer brought on Diogo Leite for Paul Jaeckel, who was suspended after a yellow card and otherwise trusted his team, who had not been so successful recently.

Daniel Farke left Alassane Plea, who was weakened during the week due to an infection, on the bench for Gladbach, and captain Lars Stindl was supposed to set the accents for him on the offensive. But many an attack by the hosts got caught in the defensive bulwark of the guests, who defended in a five-man chain when the opponent had possession of the ball.

A remedy against the best defense in the league were long-range shots, but Manu Koné (16th) and later Stindl (27th) failed at Union keeper Rönnow. Borussia's goalscorer Marcus Thuram was also repeatedly frustrated by the compact defense of the guests.

It was always dangerous for the hosts when Berlin's faster Becker picked up the pace on the counterattack and overran the Gladbach defensive chain. In the 29th minute, Gladbach defender Ko Itakura deflected a cross from Becker dangerously, allowing goalkeeper Jonas Omlin to parry. Jerome Roussillon missed completely free-standing in the 49th minute and shot the ball wide.

But no real chances to score developed in the chaotic and frequently interrupted game on either side. In the first half alone, referee Martin Petersen gave five yellow cards.

Union was the more active team and kept posing problems for the hosts with their fast attackers. Striker Becker used one of these attacks with a direct acceptance after a nice cross from Roussillon. That was enough for the Berliners, also because Rönnow stretched when Thuram (84th), who was substituted a little later, hit a header.

Fate Borussia Mönchengladbach Fate 1. FC Union Berlin