Europa League qualification and Berlin derby double

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After seventh place last season, many fans wouldn’t have expected Union Berlin to top that feat. However, Urs Fischer’s side finished their third Bundesliga season in fifth place, thus qualifying for the Europa League. Die Eisernen also reached the DFB-Pokal semi-final, losing to eventual winners RB Leipzig. Here is our Union Berlin season review.

Union Berlin’s season review: qualification for the Europa League and semi-final of the Cup

Summer transfers

Union Berlin are well known for not spending beyond their means, but Köpenick’s club have twice broken their transfer record this summer. First, Fischer bought Polish left-back Tymoteusz Puchacz from Lech Poznan in a deal worth €3.5m before spending nearly double that to land the Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi after an impressive one-season loan spell in the previous campaign.

As usual, Union are doing things smart in the transfer window and have seen the arrivals of Kevin Behrens, Genki Haraguchi and Andreas Voglsammer, among others, all on free transfers.

Union have lost two players in the summer that many fans would have been upset to see go, with Marius Bulter and Robert Andrich joining Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.

Good start to the season

Union Berlin would lose just one of their first nine Bundesliga games, quickly propelling them into the top five of the table. Home wins against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Arminia Bielefeld and Wolfsburg made it four games unbeaten at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei before a 5-2 loss to true champions Bayern Munich.

But Union have also looked solid on the road, losing just once in their first five away matches. Back at home, Die Eisernen bounced back from the Bavarian barricade with wins over Hertha Berlin (the first of three) and RB Leipzig.

Cup competitions

Not only did Union make early progress in the Bundesliga, but they also made positive impressions in both cup competitions.

At the Pokal, Union prevailed at Türkgücü München and Waldhof Mannheim before a 3-1 victory at the Olympiastadion against Hertha.

After qualifying for the inaugural Europa Conference League, the national stadium would also be their home for the competition due to UEFA’s all-seater stadium decision. Union lost at Slavia Prague on Matchday 1 but picked up their first home win against Maccabi Haifa.

Back-to-back defeats to eventual finalists Feyenoord curtailed their chances of progress, before winning away to Israel and drawing at home to the Czech side on the final day. Union finished third, one point behind Slavia Prague.

Return to the Bundesliga

Domestically, Union was still pushing for another European qualification. Despite losing two key players in Marvin Friedrich and Max Kruse in the January transfer window, the club slipped into fourth place after an away win at Mönchengladbach.

Three successive defeats, followed by just one win in the next four, dropped Union a few places, but they bounced back with six wins (including a 4-1 away win against Hertha) and a draw in their last seven Bundesliga matches to make sure. fifth place.

Pokal Heartbreak

After a 2-1 victory over St. Pauli, Union drew against Leipzig in the Pokal semi-finals. However, a 2-1 defeat at the Red Bull Arena ended their chance of playing in the cup final in their hometown.

Union would reclaim their own from Leipzig three days later, picking up three vital Bundesliga points.

Union Berlin’s season review: solid campaign for Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi was Union’s standout player during the campaign. The Nigerian has scored 20 goals in all competitions, including 15 in the Bundesliga, making him the club’s top-flight goalscorer.

Kruse scored eight times before returning to Wolfsburg, while four players found the net six times apiece.

Main photo

Embed from Getty Images

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