Fortuna Düsseldorf fell to a 3-0 defeat away to Union Berlin on the final day of the season, a result that confirmed their relegation back to Bundesliga 2 in the wake of Werder Bremen’s 6-1 victory over Cologne.
The visitors went into the game in 16th place, two points ahead of Bremen and aware that a draw would probably be enough to secure the relegation play-off spot thanks to their superior goal difference. Uwe Rösler’s side were eager to eliminate any possible doubt, however, and went on the front foot early on in Berlin. Kaan Ayhan saw a header cleared off the line by Christian Gentner before Erik Thommy curled just wide of the far post after a nice link-up with Rouwen Hennings. They would come to regret those misses though, as Union took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Anthony Ujah bundled over from close range after the visitors struggled to clear a corner. That knocked Fortuna off their stride somewhat, and they were unable to seriously trouble the home defence again before the break.
The visitors’ hopes of a fightback were dealt a heavy blow early in the second half when Gentner was afforded time and space on the edge of the area to place his shot past Florian Kastenmeier and into the net. To their credit, Fortuna did not let their heads hang and they began to create some pressure as the match entered the closing stages. Hennings had a fiercely struck goal-bound effort blocked and fired just wide of the target with his weaker right foot moments later, while Thommy drew a superb save from Rafal Gikiewicz from 18 yards. However, try as they might Düsseldorf simply could not find a way through. Their unhappy afternoon was compounded late on when Suleiman Abdullahi netted his first Bundesliga goal for Union late on.
- Ujah scored his third goal of the season, all of which have come on home turf.
- Uwe Rösler had never previously been relegated as a coach, with Düsseldorf his ninth club in four countries.
- Union midfielder Felix Kroos – brother of World Cup winner Toni – started just his third game of 2019/20, and first since Matchday 12.
- Gentner's goal was his third for Union this season.
- Union claimed 27 of their 41 points this season at their Stadion An der alten Försterei, putting them eighth in the league-wide home standings.
- Düsseldorf have the worst away record in the division: W2, D6, L9; 18 goals scored, 38 conceded.
Watch: Ayhan: "We haven't played like a relegated team"
Union: Gikiewicz - Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Reichel - Gentner, Prömel (Becker 66'), Kroos (Malli 61') - Mees (Schmiedebach 62'), Bülter (Parensen 82') – Ujah (Abdullahi 61')
Unused subs: Busk, Subotic, Flecker, Kade
Out: Andersson (suspended), Becker (thigh), Gogia (match fitness), Hübner (match fitness), Ingvartsen (match fitness), Lenz (ankle), Nicolas (knee), Polter (not included), Ryerson (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Fortuna: Kastenmeier - Ayhan, Jorgensen (Hoffmann 29'), Gießelmann (Suttner 62') - Zimmermann, Stöger, Bodzek (Morales 62'), Thommy - Karaman (Zimmer 73') - Skrzybski (Kownacki 62'), Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Rensing, Berisha, Sobottka, Bormuth
Out: Barkok (shoulder), Fink (calf), Steffen (knee)
Coach: Uwe Rösler