Union Berlin has extended the table lead with a hard-fought victory at VfB Stuttgart. The air is getting thinner and thinner for VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo.
Urs Fischer took a deep breath and gave his players a high five with relief, while the fans who had traveled with him sang euphorically: “Only the FCU will be German champions”. After a lot of hard work, Union Berlin has extended the lead in the Bundesliga and exacerbated the crisis of VfB Stuttgart, which was still without a win.
Coach Fischer’s surprise team won 1-0 (0-0) against the Swabians at the end of the ninth matchday and will go into the top duel with Borussia Dortmund next Sunday with a two-point lead over pursuers SC Freiburg.
“It was a lucky win for us. We wanted to play from a good compactness and then somehow score the goal. We managed that,” said Union’s Rani Khedira DAZN: “We didn’t see a nice game, you could tell we were tired.”
Paul Jaeckel (76th) scored for the guests, who struggled against VfB. The Swabians showed an appealing performance and held against it throughout the season. Nevertheless, the frustrated fans said goodbye to their team with loud whistles. With just five points, VfB are still second to last in the table, and for coach Pellegrino Matarazzo the air is getting thinner ahead of the basement duel with bottom of the league VfL Bochum next Saturday. Striker Serhou Guirassy, who saw yellow-red in the 83rd minute, will be missing there.
Stuttgart – Union: Mislintat can understand the frustration of the fans
“We started well, had better chances and were more dominant,” said Stuttgart’s sporting director Sven Mislintat: “Unfortunately, we then conceded a goal after a set piece. Of course, the fans are allowed to vent their frustration.”
Union made an effort at the beginning to implement Fischer’s request with high pressing, but then gave the ball to VfB early in the game. The Swabians also hardly managed to create any notable chances from the game against the defensively strong guests. Instead, they relied on set pieces – and it almost paid off.
First Dan-Axel Zagadou (14th) failed after a free-kick cross from Hiroki Ito at the strongly reacting Frederik Rönnow in the Berlin goal, almost ten minutes later Ito (25th) tried it himself from a distance – Rönnow was there again. In this phase, Union concentrated on playing quickly into the lead after winning the ball, but repeatedly failed due to the good positional play in Stuttgart.
Instead, the Swabians kept the pressure on and got their first big chance out of the game through Guirassy (34′). The striker headed in after a cross from Tiago Tomas and went just inches wide of the opposition’s goal. Only shortly before the break did Union also score their first dangerous shot through Jaeckel (45th).
After the break, the Berliners intensified their offensive efforts, but this did not detract from VfB’s game. The Swabians created more chances under the loud support of the 43,250 fans in the Stuttgart Arena, but failed to reward themselves for their fighting performance. Then Jaeckel scored for Union.
VfB Stuttgart – Union Berlin: The voices
Pellegrino Matarazzo (VfB Stuttgart coach): “We saw a very competitive game. I think we had enough chances to take the lead or at least score a goal. It was also my feeling that the first team to score would win the game unfortunately it was Union. What I really liked was the commitment of the lads, I can’t blame them for that. We only have to score a goal if we want to win the game.”
Urs Fischer (Coach Union Berlin): “Of course I’m overjoyed. I think we had a bit of a problem in the first 20 or 30 minutes. We were too hectic and imprecise when playing the ball, so we kept inviting Stuttgart to become dangerous. In the second We were also able to improve our game with the ball in the second half. We then had the necessary competitive luck, which we needed today. But I also think that we put a lot into it.”
VfB Stuttgart – Union Berlin: The data for the game
Stuttgart: Florian Müller – Mavropanos, Anton, Zagadou (67th Sosa), Ito (71st Stenzel) – Karazor (81st Pfeiffer) – Endo, Ahamada – Katompa Mvumpa (67th leader), Tomas – Guirassy. – Coach: Matarazzo
Union: Rönnow – Jaeckel, Knoche, Doekhi – Ryerson, Khedira (83 Seguin), Gießelmann – Schäfer (65 Thorsby), Haraguchi (84 Pantovic) – Becker (73 Leweling), Jordan (65 Behrens). – Coach: Fisherman
Referee: Bastian Dankert (Rostock)
Goal: 0: 1 Jaeckel (76th)