It was an emotional afternoon at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei and the defeat will be disappointing, but the club has a tremendous spirit.
Bundesliga Debut Doesn’t Go to Plan for Union Berlin
Emotional Afternoon in Berlin
It was always going to be an emotional affair. Prior to kick-off in their debut top-flight match, supporters held aloft black and white photos of loved ones who had passed away, allowing them to see their side in the Bundesliga.
Even after kick-off, emotions ran high. For the opening 15 minutes, Die Eisernen supporters stayed silent in an ‘atmosphere protest’ due to the fact they didn’t view the industrialised Leipzig as a proper club.
On 15 minutes, the fans erupted and the stadium was rocking. Unfortunately, they went on to lose, but the defeat hadn’t taken away the clubs spark for being in the German top flight.
Incredible off the Pitch, Not So Good on It
It was always going to be a tough afternoon for Union. Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga last term and came runners up two years previous in their debut top-flight season following promotion from Bundesliga 2.
Marcel Halstenberg fired home in the 17th minute, just moments after the hosts’ ‘atmosphere boycott’, and then pounced on a keeper error to set up Marcel Sabitzer for the visitors’ second goal in the 31st minute, with only their second shot on target. Leipzig thought they were two goals up before Sabitzer’s effort, but it was ruled out.
Forward Timo Werner completed a fine combination with a powerful shot to send Leipzig into the break with a three-goal cushion. Substitute Christopher Nkunku tapped in from close range for their fourth goal after the visitors also twice hit the woodwork.
Union, who lost only once at home in the second division last season, struggled with Leipzig’s pace throughout and were unable to mount any serious attacks of their own. Leipzig will certainly be up there again this season, and Union will bounce back, but they need to turn the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei into a fortress again.