AFrustration in Europe is followed by league desire again: After beating VfL Wolfsburg, 1. FC Union Berlin is going into the international break as the leader of the Bundesliga. The Köpenickers won 2-0 (0-0) at the An der Alten Försterei stadium on Sunday afternoon and successfully defended the lead they had won the week before. The new dream duo of the Berliners struck again: First, Sheraldo Becker set up Jordan Siebatcheu’s opening goal (54th minute), then the 27-year-old scored the goal to make it 2-0 himself.
The Irons are now unbeaten in the league for 14 games across all seasons. Like last weekend against Cologne, they immediately found their way back to success after a Europa League defeat on Thursday.
Wolfsburg suffered a setback in the second game after attacker Max Kruse was sorted out after their first league win against Frankfurt. Coach Niko Kovac’s team slipped to a relegation zone. Kruse, who only moved from Berlin to Wolfsburg in the winter under a lot of attention, was not seen in the stadium in the game against his former club. “You don’t have a chance without Kruse,” sang the Union fans mockingly.
Before kick-off, there was news for the Köpenickers that caused a lot of celebration: Timo Baumgartl was back in the starting XI a little over four months after his testicular cancer became known. “It’s time to throw him in,” said Fischer at DAZN. The central defender was substituted after 62 minutes to great applause.
Fischer also brought captain Christopher Trimmel and Niko Gießelmann back into the starting eleven. Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac relied on the same team that won against Frankfurt. The native of Berlin warned before the game of Union’s intensity, and the Köpenicker showed it early on. After just 42 seconds, Janik Haberer tested VfL keeper Koen Casteels with a volley after a long ball. Shortly thereafter, Becker shot over the goal from a corner from the edge of the penalty area (4′).
Even after that, the Berliners retained control, but the offensive efforts on both sides remained too imprecise. It was tough. The Lower Saxony tried to tear gaps in the strong defensive line of the Köpenicker in the attack row with many position changes. Passes in these moments rarely arrived. Josip Brekalo’s attempt from a tight angle was the best chance for the Wolves in the first half (32′).
Union came out strong again. Shortly after the restart, Andras Schäfer staged Siebatcheu in the penalty area. His attempt went just wide of the goal on the right (47th). But then the duo struck. Becker crossed from the left wing, Siebatcheu placed his header perfectly in the corner. The third league goal for the 26-year-old, Becker’s third template. Becker then made the decision after a nice pass over the defensive line from substitute Paul Seguin.