1. There was not much to complain about in the strong first half of the FC Union, but some approaches to improvement were seen. The success rate was significantly lower by their own standards compared to the previous year, and the risk of scoring from midfield was lower. In the first second round match at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, the Berlin team was very successful in both problem areas.
After a weak performance so far, Crisca Bromel, who was the central midfielder in the trade, equalized just before the break and took a commendable lead shortly after. Both goals came after set pieces. Leverkusen equalized shortly before the end and Bastian Osipka attacked the post only in stoppage time, starting the second half of the Union season with a 2: 2 (1: 1).
Unlike some other Bundesliga clubs, employee problems within the union have so far been limited by size. Along with Sheraldo Becker and Pawel Wszolek, two players are currently in isolation, although the Pole has not played a role in terms of the game and is considered a candidate for change. Top scorer Taiwo Avoni is preparing for the African Cup of Nations with the Nigerian national team in Cameroon.
However, in terms of quality, this represents a significant loss for Berliners, as with Becker and Avoni, the two preferred buyers for Max Cruise’s inspiration are not above. Kevin Behrens should now take on this role. In addition, Niko Gießelmann and Genki Haraguchi moved into the starting line-up compared to their 1-0 win over Bochum before the winter break.
Leverkusen had to do without some important players, but handled it better in the early stages. The hosts dominated, had a lot of possessions and obvious speed advantages on the side. In the first quarter of an hour, the Union had major problems with that, especially when Leverkusen played deep.
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Marvin Friedrich Patrick Schick was disturbed in the fourth minute when the game ended. Shortly afterwards, the ball could not be pressed enough after Moussa Diapi crossed by the Czech striker, and Andreas Louth jumped to his chest. Within a minute, Union goalkeeper Florian Wirtz blocked the shot, which was followed by a corner kick by Jonathan Dahl, who was not surprisingly upset. At the time, eleven minutes had elapsed, but for good reason Fischer looked very concerned on the bench.
While Leverkusen could rarely make this massive move toward the goal after a strong starting point, coach Gerardo Zion’s team excelled in all respects – however, it was not so difficult due to a lack of ideas in Berlin. Union searched for the long ball where Cruz and Behrens were completely in the air. In addition, Gießelmann initially had to be replaced due to a muscle injury in his back thigh; Osipka came to him.
Leverkusen’s opening goal in the final stages of the first half did not really suggest itself, but it totally deserved it. Kerem Demirbe took a free kick from his own half, Schick locked the ball, and Paulinho ran towards Lot after a one-two with Diaby. The goalkeeper intervened, but was powerless against Shik’s edge. However, Leverkusen goalkeeper Lucas Hrotecki felt similarly shortly before the break whistle.
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After a corner, Christopher Trimmel made an ambush shot in his 250th match for Union, with Hrotecki holding his hands as Breit and Behrens headed the ball head-on.
The equalizer was very flattering, but it gave the game an impossible turn. It was also related to the Leverkusen team maintaining a consistent sleepiness after the break. So Cruz came to an end in the penalty area and was in the right place to push the ball over the line when Bromel was five meters ahead of the goal.
It took almost a quarter of an hour for the hosts to appear insecure and return to normal. The Leverkusen team created a few chances, but Loth fought hard several times. The Union did not continue to use large spaces for the counterattack and suffered a slight mishap with a cross shot from the cross. So the game was open – Kareem Bellarabi was able to equalize Jonathan Tah after excellent preparation. (Teaspoon)
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