·19 March 2023
·19 March 2023
Rani Khedira (53’) and Kevin Behrens (75’) helped Union Berlin claim a hard-fought victory over Eintracht, who handed Paxten Aaronson his Eagles debut in the capital.
Eintracht created the better opportunities before half-time but fell behind eight minutes into the second half when Khedira slotted home from close range. Sheraldo Becker had a second-half goal disallowed for offside, but a smart Behrens finish sealed the points for Union with 15 minutes remaining.
Eagles revert to back three
After fielding a back four in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second-leg defeat at Napoli, Eintracht head coach Oliver Glasner reverted to a three-man defence at the Stadion an der Alten Försterei. He also made two alterations to the XI that started in Naples, replacing Ansgar Knauff and the suspended Sebastian Rode with Hrvoje Smolcic and Randal Kolo Muani.
Dominant Eintracht kept at bay
Both these teams were beaten 3-0 in midweek, with Urs Fischer’s side losing at Union Saint-Gilloise in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday. However, there was no European hangover from either side as chances came and went at both ends of the pitch in an entertaining first half. Kolo Muani should have put Eintracht ahead from a Christopher Lenz free-kick after 16 minutes but could only steer his header wide of the near post.
Janik Haberer sent a low, long-range effort narrowly wide not long afterwards, but the Eagles carved out the better openings before the break. Daichi Kamada was denied from close range by former SGE goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow, before Kolo Muani sent Aurelio Buta’s delivery looping over the crossbar. The France international went close with yet another header on the stroke of the interval, as Eintracht ended the half in the ascendancy.
Union punish Eagles
The visitors were made to pay for their first-half profligacy in the early stages of the second period, Khedira sending a left-footed shot beyond Kevin Trapp after the Eagles had failed to clear Niko Gießelmann’s inswinging corner. Kolo Muani went close to an equaliser when he blazed over from Kamada’s pass, before Becker’s strike was disallowed for an offside in the build-up. Glasner’s team failed to heed the warning, though, as Behrens beat Trapp with a low shot to give the hosts a two-goal cushion going into the final quarter of an hour. Kolo Muani and second-half substitute Lucas Alario both had opportunities to reduce the deficit late on, but it was one of those days for the Eagles as they slipped to a second successive away defeat.
Trapp – Tuta, Smolcic, Ndicka – Buta, Kamada (Aaronson 83’), Sow, Lenz (Max 73’) – Borré (Alario 67’), Götze (Alidou 83’) – Kolo Muani
Goals 1-0 Khedira (53’) 2-0 Behrens (75’)
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