Hertha Berlin 4-0 Union Berlin: Bundesliga – as it happened

Rob Smyth on 22 May 2020

Full time: Hertha Berlin 4-0 Union Berlin

Peep peep! The Berlin derby ends in a thumping win for Hertha, with all four goals coming in the second half. Union could not handle the rugged Vedad Ibisevic, who scored the first goal and set up classy finishes from Dodi Lukebakio and Matheus Cunha. A late header from Dedryck Boyata turned a comfortable win into a rout.

Hertha are going places; Union will be looking over their shoulder for the next few weeks. Thanks for your company - goodnight!

The Hertha Berlin players celebrate victory.
The Hertha Berlin players celebrate victory. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/AFP/Getty Images

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90 min Two minutes of added time.

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86 min Union Berlin haven’t had a shot on target all night. If they lose their next game, at home to struggling Mainz, they could go into freefall.

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84 min Hertha have a tough run-in, with four of the last seven games against teams in the top five. But they will go into the first of those matches, away to Leipzig on Wednesday, with a bit of a strut.

81 min Dilrosun curls the free-kick over the bar.

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80 min Two more Hertha substitutions before the free-kick is taken. Arne Maier and Lazar Samardzic replace Darida and Skjelbred.

80 min The substitute Dilrosun is fouled 25 yards from goal. Union are desperate to hear the final whistle.

GOAL! Hertha Berlin 4-0 Union Berlin (Boyata 77)

It’s a rout. The excellent Plattenhardt curls a fine, dipping corner towards the far post, where Boyata eases Friedrich aside and thumps a header past Gikiewicz.

Hertha Berlin’s Dedryck Boyata heads in the fourth.
Hertha Berlin’s Dedryck Boyata heads in the fourth. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/AFP/Getty Images

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75 min More Hertha changes. The big signing Kyzysztof Piatek replaces old man Ibisevic, who scored one and made two, and Javairo Dilrosun replaces Lukebakio.

74 min Trimmel’s shot is blocked by Plattenhardt.

73 min This win moves Hertha up to 10th in the table, and on current form - two 3-0s since the Bundesliga restart - they will be eyeing a Europa League place. They are five points behind sixth-placed Wolfsburg, who play Dortmund tomorrow.

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72 min Union make their final changes: Felix Kroos and Sebastian Polter replace Andersson and Andrich.

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70 min Based on this performance it could be a long few weeks for Union Berlin. They should have enough credit in the bank to avoid a relegation battle, though that’s not guaranteed. At the moment they are seven points ahead of Dusseldorf in 16th.

69 min “Hey Rob,” says J.R. in Illinois. “Just wanted to let you know that after Lukebakio’s goal our co-announcer here on Fox in the U.S., Lutz Pfannenstiel, said, ‘He’s calm like a cucumber.’ That livened up my day.”

I don’t like criticising other journalists for things like that, it can create a little dysentery among the ranks.

67 min Grujic is booked for a tactical foul on Promel (I think).

66 min “I’m here as well as Colin! And Liz!” says Simon in Dorset. “Attempting to make a pizza and see Hertha updates. Hertha my adopted team after visiting amazing stadium on last Berlin trip. Much to dismay of German friends who are Bayern fans. I’d have a pint with Ibisevic.”

66 min The impressive Cunha is replaced by Maximilian Mittelstadt.

65 min Cunha dances into the area and picks out Plattenhardt, whose shot is blocked. Union Berlin, who defended excellently in the first half, look shattered.

63 min More changes for Union: Julian Ryerson and Yunus Malli replace Reichel and Bulter.

62 min Cunha started that move with some playground skills on the left side of the penalty area. He flicked the ball up for Lukebakio, who missed an attempted overhead kick. But the ball ran to Ibisevic, who laid it off for Cunha to run round the ball and guide it past Gikiewicz.

GOAL! Hertha Berlin 3-0 Union Berlin (Cunha 61)

Make that 3-0! Cunha, teed up on the edge of the box by Ibisevic, drills a fine low shot into the far corner. He became a father for the first time last week, and the team celebrate with a Bebeto baby.

Cunha drills in a low shot for the third!
Cunha drills in a low shot for the third! Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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60 min Union look like a team who came for a 0-0, maybe a 1-0 win, and don’t know what the hell to do now they’re 2-0 down.

60 min “You do have readers but many of us don’t believe we have anything particularly interesting to say,” says Bill Ireland. “I am curious to see how this plays out. Is it going to be easier or harder for Union to claw back in a stadium that doesn’t have fans to provide energy? I am also curious to see how players keep fitness and avoid injury after their long layoff.”

The games I’ve seen so far have faded towards the end, even with five substitutes, although that might be because one team was so far ahead.

58 min Cunha drives well wide from long range.

57 min Union make their first change, with Anthony Ujah replacing Ingvartsen.

55 min Ibisevic, who turns 36 in August, has had a whale of a time since spring break: two games, two goals and one assist.

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53 min “Finally, a little music during half time!” says Liz White. “I was getting ready to set off a flare in my living room for atmosphere.”

Ach, I missed that while getting a coffee. Was it Seven Nation Army, the exciting new release from emerging rock band the White Stripes?

GOAL! Hertha Berlin 2-0 Union Berlin (Lukebakio 52)

Two in a minute for Hertha! What a nightmare for Union. One moment they kicked off, the next they were 2-0 down. Ibisevic turned smartly on the halfway line and played a straight pass to put Lukebakio through on goal. Gikiewicz charged from his line but Lukebakio moved smoothly round him to score. That’s a really good finish.

Hertha’s Lukebakio rounds Gikiewicz before scoring the second goal.
Hertha’s Lukebakio rounds Gikiewicz before scoring the second goal. Photograph: Reuters

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GOAL! Hertha Berlin 1-0 Union Berlin (Ibisevic 51)

That’s a terrific goal! Plattenhardt, on the left, shaped a beautiful cross to the near post, where Ibisevic got across Hubner and thumped a header past the wrong-footed Gikiewicz.

Hertha Berlin’s Vedad Ibisevic thumps a header past goalkeeper Gikiewicz.
Hertha Berlin’s Vedad Ibisevic thumps a header past goalkeeper Gikiewicz. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/AFP/Getty Images

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49 min “I am here, Rob,” says Colin Flint, “but I’m only keeping a quarter of an eye on the game and MBM. I’m in the closing stages of Ted Lewis’s GBH. I’m just not sure about it. Any help from the readership?”

Colin, you are the readership.

48 min Union surge down the other end and almost nick the lead. Andrich gets to the byline in the area and cuts tbe ball back to Bulmer, whose shot is blocked by the stretching Boyata.

47 min: Another excellent save from Gikiewicz! Jeez he is good in one-on-one situations. Cunha put Lukebakio through with a nice pass, and he clipped a shot that was superbly blocked by the left hand of Gikiewicz. It wouldn’t have counted as Lukebakio was offside, though Gikiewicz didn’t know that at the time. He comes off his line so quickly.

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46 min Peep peep! Union begin the second half, kicking from left to right.

Anyone out there? Well?

Half time: Hertha Berlin 0-0 Union Berlin

Peep peep! Even the referee is bored: he allows one second of added time before blowing the whistle. Not quite Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder levels of timekeeping, but a fair comment on a forgettable start to this Berlin derby. See you in 10 minutes for the second half.

44 min The free-kick is 25 yards out, a fair way to the left of centre. Andrich strolls up to the ball and curls a lovely effort that brushes the roof of the net as Jarstein flies desperately across goal.

43 min Lukebakio is booked for a high tackle on Reichel. That looked a bit harsh.

41 min The match has picked up in the last few minutes, just in time for the half-time break.

39 min At the other end Trimmel crosses from the right towards Andersson, whose volley deflects behind. Trimmel drives the corner low away from goal, the old Sheringham/Anderton routine, but it’s intercepted by a Hertha defender. No, I don’t know which one.

39 min Cunha cuts infield from the right, then zips back outside his man and and drives a low shot that is well held by the tumbling Gikiewicz. I don’t think it would have counted, as Cunha looked offside in the build up, but Hertha will be encouraged with his increasing involvement in the game.

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35 min Yet another free-kick. It’s been a horrible, stop-start game so far, a great advert for Elna Sewing Machine New Launch on the Create & Craft channel.

34 min Plattenhardt’s excellent free-kick is headed away with impressive authority by Freidrich. For all their attacking limitations, Union are a very accomplished defensive team.

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32 min Ingvartsen is off the field, receiving treatment for a burst mooth after an accidental karate chop from Darida. They both went for a high ball, and Darida’s arm swung round to hit Ingvartsen in the face.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-HERTHA-UNION-BERLINUnion Berlin’s Marcus Ingvartsen receives treatment.
FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-HERTHA-UNION-BERLIN
Union Berlin’s Marcus Ingvartsen receives treatment.
Photograph: Stuart Franklin/AFP/Getty Images

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31 min I’m starting to get the impression Union might be happy with a 0-0 draw.

30 min See 25 min.

29 min Ibisevic, who has been putting himself about, is penalised for a late tackle on Hubner.

28 min The resulting corner is headed well wide by Grujic, leaping near the penalty spot. He couldn’t get over the ball.

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27 min Another good save from Gikiewicz. Ibisevic slid a low cross towards the near post, where Cunha flicked the ball daintily behind his standing leg. Gikiewicz was well positioned and pushed the shot behind.

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25 min It’s not a classic so far.

21 min Grujic whistles a shot over the bar from 30 yards. Hertha are starting to look more dangerous though.

Hertha Berlin’s Dodi Lukebakio and Union Berlin’s Michael Parensen vie for the ball.
Hertha Berlin’s Dodi Lukebakio and Union Berlin’s Michael Parensen vie for the ball. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/AFP/Getty Images

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18 min Fine save by Gikiewicz! A Hertha goalkick was headed on by Ibisevic into the path of Lukebakio, whose pace took him away from the defence and through on goal. He charged into the area and hit a low right-footed shot that was superbly blocked by the outrushing Gikiewicz.

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16 min Trimmel wins a corner for Union, which he’ll obviously take himself. Eventually. Before it is taken, Torunarigha goes down holding his face after a hand-off from Andersson. Eventually Trimmel curls a dangerous, dipping outswinger that is cleared by Boyata just in front of Friedrich.

15 min The young Brazilian Matheus Cunha, playing from the left tonight, has struggled to get in the game in the first 15 minutes.

14 min Trimmel’s free-kick from the right loops off the head of a Hertha defender and is headed onto the roof of the net by Bulter. It wasn’t really a chance.

12 min Still no chances for either side. Hertha have been the more confident team in possession, though there isn’t much in the game.

9 min Parensen is booked for a tactical foul on Darida, who was leading a Hertha counter-attack.

6 min It’s been a lively start from Hertha. Even in an empty stadium, this does feel like a derby. I might be imagining it, or it might be the acoustics of this huge stadium, but it feels like there is much more noise from the players than there was last weekend.

5 min “Er,” begins Colin Flint, “they just changed ends before the game... in an empty stadium!”

Is that weird? I have no idea what’s what any more.

4 min A dangerous break down the right from Lukebakio. He stabs the ball across the area to Darida, but he lets the ball run across is body and is dispossessed.

3 min Grujic is penalised for a high foot on Promel, prompting some loud complaints from the Union players and bench.

1 min Peep peep! Hertha, in the usual blue-and-white stripes, kick off from left to right. Union are in red.

The players are out on the field. All are wearing black armbands, and there will be a minute’s silence to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of people who have died from Covid-19.

The players observe a minute’s silence to commemorate the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.
The players observe a minute’s silence to commemorate the victims of the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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Team news

Union’s leading scorer Sebastian Andersson, who was on the bench against Bayern, returns to the starting line-up. Hertha make one change from the team that trounced Hoffenheim: Vladimir Darida replaces Maximilian Mittelstadt.

Hertha Berlin (4-2-3-1) Jarstein; Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Grujic, Skjelbred; Lukebakio, Darida, Cunha; Ibisevic.
Substitutes: Smarsch, Klunter, Mittelstadt, Dardai, Dilrosun, Maier, Samardzic, Piatek, Ngankam.

Union Berlin (3-4-2-1) Gikiewicz; Friedrich, Hubner, Parensen; Trimmel, Promel, Andrich, Reichel; Ingvartsen, Bulter; Andersson.
Substitutes: Nicolas, Subotic, Ryerson, Mees, Malli, Kroos, Gentner, Polter, Ujah.

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Preamble

Good evening and welcome to live coverage of Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin from the Olympiastadion. This is both a football match and a social experiment: in the next few hours we should find out whether the lack of a crowd affects the traditional intensity of a derby game.

The return fixture in November, which Union won 1-0, was played in a spectacular and occasionally malevolent atmosphere. Flares won’t stop play tonight, and we won’t see Union’s keeper Rafal Gikiewicz dissuading the Union ultras from coming onto the field. But this is still a huge occasion, the first time Hertha have ever hosted Union in the Bundesliga.

The fact they are next to each other in the table makes the match even more intruiging. Hertha’s excellent 3-0 win at Hoffenheim last weekend moved them above Union, who lost at home to Bayern Munich. Both teams look safe in mid-table for the rest of the season, but nobody will be calling this a meaningless match.

Kick off 730pm BST, 8.30pm CET.

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