Robert Andrich and Dodi Lukebakio exchanged first-half goals as Union and Hertha shared Berlin derby spoils to close out Matchday 27 on Sunday.
It was Union who came out the traps fastest in the second Berlin derby of the season, with Grischa Prömel and top-scorer Max Kruse both forcing Alexander Schwolow into saves inside the first seven minutes. And they were soon ahead courtesy of Andrich's delightful strike that had Schwolow rooted to the spot as it kissed the inside of the post before settling into the back of the Hertha net. The hosts were rampant and nearly took a two-goal lead ahead moments later as Julian Ryerson first rattled the crossbar and then Petar Musa fired over the rebound from close range. The stunned visitors finally begun to stir and were denied by the bar themselves as Jordan Torunarigha headed against the woodwork. Hertha's rally saw them back on level terms 10 minutes before the break as Lukebakio fired home from the penalty spot after Matteo Guendouzi was set tumbling in the box.
With the home side looking to grab a European place at one end of the table and Hertha aiming to pull clear of relegation at the other, it was a big second half for both sides before you added in the extra weight of city bragging rights being up for grabs. It made for a more cautious approach to proceedings in the early exchanges after the break that carried on through the remainder of the second period. Neither outfit were able to replicate the intensity of the first 45 minutes, resulting in a combative end to the game that failed to deliver any clear cut chances after the interval as the two rivals settled for a share of the points.
- Union haven't lost at home since the opening day of the season, with this draw taking their unbeaten Bundesliga record at the An der Alten Försterei to 13 (W5, D8).
- Andrich has scored four goals from outside the box so far this term, which is more than any other player in the Bundesliga in 2020/21.
- Lukebakio's goal was his fifth of the season, which takes him to 10 goal involvements in 2020/21 alongside his five assists for the campaign.
- It was also the Belgium international's second successful spot kick of the season and second goal in his previous four league games.
- Hertha have now gone three derbies without defeat to their city foes (W2, D1).
- A 79th minute substitute, Sami Khedira celebrated his 34th birthday by making his fifth Hertha appearance since joining the club in January.
Watch: Lukebakio: "I like to take responsibility"
Union: Luthe - Friedrich, Knoche, Schlotterbeck - Trimmel (c), Prömel (Ingvartsen 73'), Andrich, Gentner, Ryerson - Kruse, Musa (Pohjanpalo 83')
Unused subs: Karius, Bülter, Endo, Hübner, Lenz, Griesbeck, Teuchert
Out: Awoniyi (thigh), Becker (ankle), Gießelmann (shoulder), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Hertha: Schwolow - Klünter, Stark (c), Torunarigha - Zeefuik, Guendouzi (Khedira 79'), Tousart, Mittelstädt - Lukebakio (Ascacibar 61'), Cordoba (Piatek 92'), Cunha
Unused subs: Körber, Pekarik, Leckie, Alderete, Plattenhardt, Redonjic
Out: Boyata (thigh), Darida (suspended), M. Dardai (knee), Jarstein (not included), Löwen (knock), Netz (foot)
Coach: Pal Dardai