No progress against Schalke “00”: Union Berlin missed the great opportunity to lead the Bundesliga and travels as a hunter instead of the hunted to the summit at Bayern Munich next weekend. Coach Urs Fischer’s team couldn’t get more than 0-0 against Schalke 04 on Sunday.
For Union it was the second zero in a row three days after the draw at Ajax Amsterdam. Schalke played goalless for the fourth time in a row and set a Bundesliga record. In the fight to stay up in the league, however, the hoped-for liberation did not succeed again due to a lack of penetrating power on the offensive.
“I don’t think it was the best game for the spectators,” admitted Union captain Christopher Trimmel DAZN to, “It wasn’t our best day.” Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann said: “Every defender is happy, but we still need three points and we didn’t manage that again. But we’re on the right track, we’re not playing like we’re bottom of the table.”
Schalke shouldn’t be comforted by the statistics from better times either: the last time there were four Bundesliga games in a row without defeat was more than three years ago – before the big crash that led to relegation a year and a half later. Four games in a row without conceding a goal in 2018: Back then, Schalke finished runners-up.
Before the game, Union had announced that they would be taking part in the international competition again as a new goal for the season. Doing that on matchday 21 was “surreal,” said coach Fischer.
The Berlin start-up difficulties against the royal blue were very real. In view of the triple load from the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Europa League, Fischer had switched to five positions – that was noticeable.
Although the Berliners convinced with great commitment and good duel leadership, they found it very difficult against the well-organized guests. Passes rarely found their target in the last third, and Schalke also safely defended long balls to the offensive duo Kevin Behrens and Sven Michel. All in all, Union was too harmless.
Both teams neutralized each other in an uneventful duel. The 22,012 fans in the sold-out An der Alten Försterei stadium had to wait a long time for Danilho Doekhi’s first big chance (23′). S04 goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann made a strong save. The game remained competitive until the break and without further highlights.
After the change of sides, little changed at first. Union couldn’t get through, and Schalke’s offensive problems were also obvious. Fischer tried to create more danger by substituting top scorer Sheraldo Becker. Instead, the guests became bolder and repeatedly pushed into the Berlin penalty area.