After the victory in the game that was almost abandoned, Urs Fischer high-fived his players without exuberance, in the block of fans of 1. FC Union Berlin the red and white flags waved peacefully. Shortly before, the mood had been quite different. Overshadowed by fan riots, the Bundesliga leaders from the capital have ended their Europa League curse. “Aiming fireworks at people, pointing them at people, that just goes too far. That’s the bad thing: It’s no longer about the sport, about football,” emphasized Fischer: “That a minority just keeps getting it right that you don’t talk about the game. Words fail me! I find that shameful.”
President Dirk Zinkler also emphasized that the emotional situation was divided. “It’s a tarnished victory. It is unacceptable. Nothing and no one has anything to do on the lawn or in other blocks. That totally annoys me. We don’t know it, we don’t do it and here we suddenly do it. I’m pissed off about that,” he said on RTL.
The fact that the Unioner managed their first win in the competition with the first goal in the competition by Sheraldo Becker (68th minute) on Thursday 1-0 (0-0) at the pointless Swedish record champions Malmö FF became a minor matter. Also that the team of Urs Fischer, who tested negative for the corona virus again in good time and traveled to Germany, kept their chances of progressing in Group D after two 0-1 defeats. What happened in the stands provided a topic of conversation – and there will be consequences. Just recently, fans of 1. FC Köln and Eintracht Frankfurt caused massive negative headlines in their European Cup games.
“We only change something if we actually find the culprits,” emphasized Zingler. He will not start now to condemn the 1,200 fans who traveled with him. Zingler also hinted that Malmö fans had invited people from the capital – the friendship between Hertha and FF supporters is well known. At the same time, Union fans invited people “from the village”. He did not elaborate on these statements. Zingler has no worries that there could be problems again in the second leg next Thursday in the stadium An der Alten Försterei, which will surely be sold out. “I think we can handle situations like this better,” emphasized the 58-year-old.
He also didn’t want to “reproach” hosts Malmö. But he didn’t like the fact that you had an incredible amount of freedom and could have moved as you wanted. But they are well prepared for the second leg.
On site, however, it was initially unclear who ignited and threw the pyros and fireworks. “Both camps threw pyrotechnics onto the field,” said the Unioner, whose head of communications, after the international announcements, also talked to the Köpenick supporters again before the game continued. TV footage also showed security forces bringing fans from the stands who weren’t in the Union supporters’ block.
It was clear that referee Halil Umut Meler from Turkey only started again on probation after the interruption in the 57th minute. If objects were thrown from the ranks into the interior again, the game would be stopped immediately, it said. Becker gestured accordingly when a flare burned again in the stands after his celebrated goal.
Not many suspected that the Union would score in the 68th minute through Becker. The guests had to take a hit just before the break when Andras Schäfer saw the red card. The entire Union team had gathered in half of the Swedes, then Schäfer stumbled the ball and involuntarily played it with his heel in the direction of his own goal. Malmo’s captain Anders Christiansen sprinted in between, Schäfer held his jersey and Christiansen fell. The referee showed the red card: Schäfer was the last man to clearly thwart a goal chance.
Led by a dancing Vincenzo Grifo, the SC Freiburg players celebrated their next win in the Europa League. The fans didn’t want to let the pros go after the 2-0 (0-0) win over FC Nantes on Thursday evening. A situation to which Freiburg have almost gotten used to after nine games without defeat. Although this time they had to do without their head coach Christian Streich, who tested positive for Corona.
“Especially with the coach gone, we were motivated to show ourselves that we can do it without the coach, that we are strong enough. I think we played a very good and stable game over 90 minutes and deserved to win,” said midfielder Nicolas Höfler.
The third win in the third game was somewhat overshadowed by the injury-related replacement of striker Michael Gregoritsch. But even without Austria’s national player, the second in the Bundesliga table dominated the game in front of 33,200 spectators. Kyereh, who scored his first competitive goal for Breisgau five days ago, continued the performance he showed against Mainz (2-1) and scored again (48′). Vincenzo Grifo scored the final score (73rd).
With nine points in Group G, Freiburg have further improved their chances of progressing. Nantes has three points before the reunion in France next Thursday (6.45 p.m.). “We’re happy that we got nine points from three games, that we have such a good starting position,” said Höfler.
In front of the television at home, Streich saw a Freiburg team controlling the game. In the first round alone, the Breisgauers had almost 60 percent possession of the ball, only the penetration power was lacking at first. Kyereh had the best chance after just over half an hour, but the French goalkeeper was able to deflect his deflected shot to a corner.
The prank, which tested positive for Corona on Wednesday, was represented on the sidelines by assistant coach Patrick Baier, and liaison coach Julian Schuster was also on the bench. The basis of the Freiburg season, which has been so strong again so far, was clear even without the head coach: the familiarity. Freiburg relied on exactly the same starting eleven for the fifth time in a row.
However, goalscorer Gregoritsch was injured after 20 minutes and Nils Petersen came on for him. The hosts also tried with the storm routine and dominated the game against deep French. However, the last pass was missing for a long time – until Kyereh struck. After a mistake by the guests, Ritsu Doan put the ball across the 26-year-old, who took the lead from close range. Kyereh celebrated his first Europa League goal with a backflip.
The Breisgauer didn’t have much trouble with the weak opponent over the entire season. The table-16. in the French league, there was hardly anything offensive, and in defense the guests were anything but secure. Before he scored, Grifo had plenty of time and space to flick the ball into the bottom right corner. Petersen (79th) almost made it 3-0, but the goalkeeper saved again.