Although Urs Fischer and his team after the highest Bundesliga victory in the club’s history and a short jump to the top of the table almost casually talking about a “nice shot”, a Schalke player a few meters away complimented them in the championship fight. “They don’t have the quality of Bayern Munich,” Maya Yoshida said of him 1. FC union. “But they stick to their structure very tightly and play well. Just like Leicester City a few years ago.
in 2016 a team with Berlin’s Robert Huth, future world champion N’Golo Kanté and goalscorer Jamie Vardy unexpectedly managed to win the English Championship – with a huge advantage over the big clubs of Manchester, London and Liverpool, who were used to success. . It was a modern football fairy tale that really shouldn’t be possible in the billion euro business of the Premier League and for which there is still no logical explanation.
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It also played a part in Berlin’s success in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday. At least with this clarity. “The score was really too high in the end,” said Fischer, and no matter what the Berliner said after the 6-1 scoreline, everyone was cheering for the incredible efficiency. It’s not that the Union played badly. Participant of the European Cup was mostly safe, countered dangerously, had better grip than Schalke in important situations. But it certainly wasn’t the attacking feast that six goals deserved. This was confirmed by statistics.
Internet platform understat.com calculates 1.07 expected goals for Union. Simply put, based on the quality of their chances, the Berliners should have scored a little more than one goal. This disparity between statistics and actual yields is remarkable and speaks to two factors: a great deal of callousness and a great deal of luck. Like Sherald Becker’s first goal that went in an unjustified direction, or Janik Haberer’s shot on Sunday.
“It’s a beautiful painting, you can frame it like a photo”
So it was only fitting that the Berliners did not immediately burst into jubilation despite the historic result – even in the second division and the GDR Oberliga, the union had never won higher. “6-1 always sounds good, but it’s important for us to classify the result correctly,” said Haberer, and his coach immediately found several points of criticism. Especially in the first half, his team behaved “sleepy, sometimes nervous” after a good start.
A mix of compactness, shifty play and efficiency was enough against an opponent as limited in play and mentally unstable as Schalke, but Fischer is well aware that this will not always work. This is especially true next Saturday, when the great FC Bayern will be honored at An der Alten Försterei. For the ultimate game. Between the table leader and his chaser with the same number of points. “Nice painting, can be framed as a photo. But I’m interested after the 34th match day,” said Fischer, as usual sober.
Still, they would never describe themselves as Bayern’s rivals at Köpenick. Fischer completed his banking apprenticeship as a young professional, the numbers are closer to Swiss than fairy tales à la Leicester. Ten points after four games means Union first: just 30 points away from relegation. Newbies quickly picked up on this formal terminology. “It’s very important for us to pick up points in normal weeks and build a cushion. It’s going to be a tough few weeks,” midfielder Haberer said.
With the game against Bayern, the Berliners begin a huge test under adverse conditions. Apart from the international break at the end of September, the Union play three-day cycles for two and a half months. 18 games in 70 days. Trip to Braga, Brussels, Malmö. It’s hard to imagine the team continuing to pick as consistently as it has now. The Berliners have pushed and pushed the limits of the imaginable with impressive regularity over the last four years.
Especially since the Union is even wider this season than in the past…