US international Jordan Siebatcheu scored on his Bundesliga debut as Union Berlin opened the season with a routine win over city rivals Hertha.
It was one-way traffic from the get-go at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei as Rani Khedira had a first-time shot charged down. Hertha's debutant goalkeeper Oliver Christensen then got his fingertips to a Christopher Trimmel cross, with Filip Uremovic preventing the loose ball from being turned in by Julian Ryerson. Siebatcheu had a shot on the turn blocked and Ryerson brought a flying save out of Christensen, before Union got the goal their dominance deserved. Sheraldo Becker lifted a left-wing cross towards the near post, where Siebatcheu stooped to glance a header into the opposite corner. Only another strong Christensen stop prevent Ryerson from making it two with a shot from 12 yards.
Christensen was at it again after the restart, the young Dane preventing Siebatcheu from converting a Becker delivery. Union made their next meaningful chance count, though, as Becker exchanged passes with Janik Haberer, glided past Uremovic and slotted home from 10 yards. It got worse for Hertha five minutes later as Robin Knoche steered in a Trimmel corner. There was a VAR review for a possible offside against Khedira, but the goal stood. Despite Dodi Lukebakio's sweetly struck consolation from 18 yards, Hertha never looked like staging a comeback as they slipped to a second loss of the new season following their DFB Cup first-round exit to Eintracht Braunschweig.
- Siebatcheu is the first American to play, and score, for Union in the Bundesliga.
- Becker scored four and assisted eight in last season's Bundesliga.
- Porto-owned Diogo Leite made his Bundesliga debut for Union.
- Union have won four Berlin derbies in a row in all competitions, and lead the overall head-to-head against Hertha by six wins to three (three draws).
- Urs Fischer's team are on the longest unbeaten run of any Bundesliga team (eight matches: seven wins and a draw). Their eight-match unbowed streak equals the club record (September - November 2020).
- Kevin-Prince Boateng scored his last Bundesliga goal on 17 March 2018, against a Mainz team coached by Schwarz.
Watch: Becker: "Siebatcheu's a good striker"
Union: Rönnow - Jaeckel, Knoche, Leite - Trimmel (c), Khedira, Haberer (Schäfer 71'), Ryerson (Gießelmann 64') - Haraguchi (Pantovic 78') - Becker (Leweling 71'), Siebatcheu (Behrens 78')
Unused subs: Grill, Doekhi, Voglsammer, Michel
Out: Baumgartl (match fitness), Heintz (unconfirmed), Schneider (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Hertha: Christensen - Kenny, Uremovic, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) - Boateng (Ejuke 56'), Sunjic (Darida 80'), Serdar - Lukebakio, Selke (Kanga 56'), Maolida (Jovetic 56')
Unused subs: Jarstein, Pekarik, Dardai, Zeefuik, Gechter
Out: Boyata (unconfirmed), Dong-jun Lee (knee), Ngankam (knee), Nsona (cruciate ligament), Richter (match fitness), Tousart (suspended)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Watch: Lukebakio: "A derby defeat hurts a lot"
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