Analysis after 0:1 against Naples
A defeat of wrong decisions for Union Berlin
Union’s game against Napoli in the Champions League proved that the team can still fight. The Iron lost the game in the second half. Too often the players made wrong decisions. By Till Oppermann
If they had won, a description of Christopher Trimmel’s yellow card in the tenth minute would be a fitting introduction to a text about the return of the old one 1. FC Union been. In the first half of the game against Napoli, the Iron Team showed those basics that many had been missing more and more recently. Union defended aggressively going forward, shifted cleverly, consistently got the second balls and switched cleanly going forward. And the players committed small fouls that annoyed the Italian offensive artists. Like Trimmel in the tenth minute, when he cleverly stopped Napoli’s best dribbler Kvicha Kvaratskhelia with a jersey tug. The Italian champions didn’t manage to get a shot on goal until the break. 1. FC Union had less possession of the ball and was still the dominant team.
The goal conceded was not defended consistently
But in the end, Union didn’t win, but lost for the ninth time in a row. And Christopher Trimmel’s yellow card did not become a symbol of the Köpenick team’s resurrection. It was decisive in the game. Because when Kvaratskhelia got the ball on the left wing in the 65th minute of the game and passed Union’s captain, he could no longer foul. Kvaratskhelia moved to the baseline and brought on strike partner Giacomo Raspadori, who scored the winning goal with Naples’ only shot on goal.
It doesn’t take much to lose against such an opponent, Trimmel commented perplexedly on the “DAZN” microphone after the game. Especially since he actually did everything right in the situation. In principle, Trimmel’s decision to push Kvaratskhelia towards the baseline was a good one. The mistake was made by his teammates, who made two wrong decisions in the scene. First they failed to double the Georgian with Trimmel. Then they didn’t push into the space behind their captain, who only then opened up for the goalscorer.
Wrong decisions are increasing
The disappointed coach Urs Fischer couldn’t be angry with his central defenders. You can’t defend everything perfectly for 90 minutes against a top team like SSC Napoli, said Fischer. That may be the case, but strictly speaking, the goal had been in sight for twenty minutes from the restart. In this phase, control of the game in the first half was lost. The Unioners continued to play their hearts out, but they won the second balls more and more rarely. At the same time, they also increasingly maneuvered themselves into pressure situations due to errors in the build-up to the game.
The goal finally came after Union failed to clear the ball properly several times. From the 60th minute onwards at the latest, the defensive order dissolved until Kvaratskhelia and Raspadori were given too much space. An increasingly frustrating game developed in which the effort was right, but Union’s decisions were wrong at every level. Be it David Datro Fofana’s refused handshake after his substitution or the long balls on the wing to Sheraldo Becker, while Kevin Behrens, who was strong in the air, was left free in the middle. As soon as a Unioner had some space, you could be sure that the next pass would go into an area where there were more Neapolitans than Berliners. Of course it wasn’t enough to equalize.
Hope dies last
Union’s elimination from the Champions League is now all but sealed. The explosiveness of the defeat is defined much more by the fact that it was now the ninth in a row. The leading players Khedira and Trimmel still stood behind their coach. Fischer only led Union into the Champions League and is therefore exactly the right coach to end the crisis. At least there was a small success against Naples.
Because the same sentences that sounded like a slogan for perseverance after an underground performance last weekend against Stuttgart sound more plausible again after the game on Tuesday. “We showed a reaction,” said Trimmel. Khedira said that Union had brought all the typical virtues to the pitch again. 125 kilometers of mileage underline their statements. In order to finally win in Bremen on Saturday, the football decisions also have to be right again.
Broadcast: rbb24, October 25, 2023, 6 p.m
The post first appeared on www.rbb24.de