1: 3 against Union: Hertha BSC reminds of bad times

Dhe new season was exactly 31 seconds old when Hertha BSC already felt like the old one. A drive from the left sent Rani Khedira straight on target, but his shot was blocked at the last moment. Less than two minutes later, an attempt by Julian Ryerson was followed by the same – repelled in dire need. Although Hertha’s defense had many new legs, they proved to be just as unstable as those of their predecessors from the previous season.

In May, Hertha BSC almost got relegated, they could only save themselves in relegation, and there are quite a few who predict a similarly problematic season for the club. The results of the preparation, the cup-out at the second division club Eintracht Braunschweig and now the failed start in the Bundesliga point in this direction. Hertha was hopelessly inferior in the Berlin city derby and lost 1:3 at 1. FC Union.

“Congratulations to the deserved winner Union. I believe that in many areas they were better, more grippy, more bilious, even more disgusting. We lacked in uncompromising duels and deserved to lose,” said Hertha’s new coach Sandro Schwarz.

A lot is new at Hertha: the coach, the president, several players. The upheaval is in full swing, the former captain Dedryck Boyata was absent for a short time against Union. “It was a sporting decision,” said Schwarz. But it’s no big secret that the Belgian is up for sale. He is likely to leave the club, as Santiago Ascacibar and several others have already done.

It was a class difference

The team will need time to find each other. “It wasn’t all bad, we lost a game, even if it hurts,” said Dodi Lukebakio. The city derby at Union was the most unfavorable start imaginable, even if Hertha always talked about “anticipation” beforehand, while those responsible at the opponent’s were openly at odds with the start. They thought it was too early.

As always, there was a lot of restructuring work on the squad in the East Berliners in the summer, but the newcomers there are coming into a functioning structure, the basic structure was retained. Only three newcomers made it into the starting lineup, the rest are among those who qualified for the Europa League last season. They had beaten Hertha three times in 2021/22, but no victory was as clear and provided with such superiority as this Saturday. There was no less than a class difference between Union and Hertha.

It started in the back teams. Union was safe in the proven 3-5-2 system, Diogo Leite, on loan from FC Porto, fitted easily into the back three. Hertha’s back four with the newcomers Filip Uremovic and Jonjoe Kenny, on the other hand, was just as shaky as the previous model. After Union’s lightning start, Hertha was able to balance things out for a good while, but then the pressure from the hosts increased steadily. A shot by Ryerson made Oliver Christensen stretch and a shot by Genki Haraguchi was blocked shortly afterwards.


Jordan Siebatcheu gave Union Berlin the lead.
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Image: EPA

Union leadership was in the air and then fell. Sheraldo Becker crossed from the left right at Jordan Siebatcheu’s head, who scored to make it 1-0 (31st). Siebatcheu is one of the newcomers, having joined 1. FC Union from Young Boys Bern as Switzerland’s top scorer to replace Taiwo Awoniyi, who has moved to Nottingham Forest. The USA international, who grew up in France, is an executor, strong and assertive, but also has a good feeling in his feet. Shortly after his goal he freed Ryerson in an exemplary manner, but the Norwegian missed the great chance to make it 2-0.

Hertha staggered into the break, only to finally go knocked out after the break. A simple one-two between Becker and Janik Haberer was enough to overturn Hertha’s defence. Becker tipped the ball into the goal to make it 2-0 (50′). Four minutes later, Robin Knoche increased the lead from a corner to make it 3-0. The goal was initially not counted because of an alleged offside position, but was then given according to the television pictures.




After an hour, Union led 3-0 after goals and 16-2 after shots on goal. Even the most exuberant of Union fans would hardly have thought such a one-sided derby possible. They celebrated themselves, their team and the successful start to the season as exuberantly as usual. Hertha’s consolation goal by Lukebakio shortly before the end (85th) could hardly spoil their mood.

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