Taiwo Awoniyi and Christopher Trimmel earned Union Berlin derby honours over Hertha Berlin with two goals within the first half an hour at an electric Stadion an der alten Försterei.
Union opened the scoring inside the first ten minutes, with no surprise as to who supplied the goal. Awoniyi benefitted from a defensive mistake and kept his cool to slot the ball low into the bottom left-hand corner. Grischa Prömel hammered a shot against the crossbar moments later, although the offside flag had already been raised. Max Kruse was prevented from doubling Union's lead by the quick reflexes of Alexander Schwolow before Prömel got within an inch of making contact with Genki Haraguchi's inswinging cross, when only a flick was required to turn it in. A flick would have taken Trimmel's diagonal effort in too, but even without one, the ball found its way through a pack of players and into the far corner of Schwolow's goal to double Union's advantage. Hertha thought they had grabbed a lifeline right on the stroke of half-time when Peter Pekarik headed in after Andreas Luthe only punched the ball away weakly, but the goal was ruled out due to an offside position of Krzysztof Piatek in the build-up.
Marco Richter tested Luthe within seconds of the restart, but any thoughts that may set a more positive tone for the guests were soon dispelled when Haraguchi skipped into the penalty box and saw his shot deflected behind for a corner. It was Union once again asking all the questions, even if Hertha were enjoying more of the ball. Niko Gießelmann flashed a shot across Schwolow's goal and efforts from Timo Baumgartl and Marvin Friedrich followed as Urs Fischer's men – urged on by their incessantly vociferous fans - sought to turn the screw. Sheraldo Becker came on and he tried to get in on the act, clipping the crossbar, but the damage had been done inside the first half an hour as Union took derby honours and climbed to fifth, leaving their city rivals seven points in their wake.
- With eight goals after 12 matchdays, Awoniyi is enjoying career-best form.
- Union took a two-goal advantage into the break for the sixth time in the Bundesliga, and they have always gone on to win.
- It was the first time they had ever scored two goals in a derby in the Bundesliga.
- Hertha have conceded 11 goals from set pieces this season – more than any other club in the Bundesliga.
- Robin Knoche and Rani Khedira were the only Union outfield players not to have a shot on goal.
- Die Eisernen have only lost two of their last 28 home matches in the Bundesliga.
- The Old Lady have claimed 22 fewer points (89) than Union (111) since their city rivals’ promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019.
Watch: Awoniyi: "We took our chances"
Union: Luthe - Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl - Trimmel (c) (Ryerson 90'+2), Khedira, Prömel (Möhwald 72'), Gießelmann - Haraguchi (Öztunali 82') - Kruse (Voglsammer 90'+1), Awoniyi (Becker 82')
Unused subs: Rönnow, Van Drongelen, Oczipka, Ujah
Out: Behrens (not included), Jaeckel (ill)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik (Jastrzembski 71'), Stark (c), M. Dardai, Plattenhardt - Ascacibar, Tousart (Belfodil 46') - Richter (Selke 86'), Serdar, Mittelstädt (Boateng 61') - Piatek (Ekkelenkamp 61')
Unused subs: Christensen, Torunarigha, Zeefuik, Maolida
Out: Boyata (suspended), Darida (thigh), Jovetic (not included), Klünter (shoulder)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Watch: Piatek: "We have to play better"