Union Berlin moved up to second place in the Bundesliga table, just a single point behind leaders Bayern, thanks to a convincing derby victory over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Die Eisermen outplayed their city rivals in an entertaining clash, in front of 75,000 passionate fans at the Olympiastadion, as they notched up a third consecutive victory to make it 36 points from 18 games. If they carry on at a ratio of two points a game then Urs Fischer’s side are a good bet for a Champions League place, and that would be a phenomenal achievement in their fourth Bundesliga campaign since arriving in 2019.
The visitors nudged ahead at the end of a tight opening half when Dutch defender Danilho Doekhi rose above the Hertha defence to head home the opener, and that changed the half-time team talks in both dressing rooms. Hertha pushed for an equaliser but a clinical counterattack, midway through the second half, confirmed the points for Union as Paul Seguin prodded the ball home. Hertha played their part in the game as Union keeper Frederik Ronnow earned his pay with two brilliant saves late on.
The win took Union up to second place while Hertha are in serious trouble in 17th with 14 points from 18 games. This is a great derby to have in the Bundesliga top flight but Hertha head coach Sandro Schwarz has a lot of work to do to preserve his team’s elite status. They finished 16th last season and escaped relegation with a play-off win over Hamburg, but Hertha are sailing dangerously close to the wind again after a third consecutive defeat.
Bayern draw again as Eagles excel
Die Bayern can neither win nor lose it seems and they were looking for a first league win of 2023 when they faced Eintracht Frankfurt in the late game on Saturday. The latest Bundesliga 2023 betting odds still rate Julian Nagelsmann’s side as hot favourites to win the title but, having already been held by Red Bull Leipzig and Cologne since the restart, the champions had to settle for another point and that has allowed the chasing pack, led by Union Berlin, to close in.
Leroy Sane gave Bayer a first-half lead, converting a cross from the evergreen Thomas Muller, but the hosts failed to put distance between them and their visitors. Here at SBOTOP we backed Eintracht to win with a 1.50 goals advantage; the Eagles have some talented players in fine form and they battled hard throughout in the face of a loud 75,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena. And their reward came when Randal Kolo Muani scored a 69th-minute leveller when he got on the end of a pass from Daichi Kamada, held off a challenge from Dayot Upamecano and fired home.
This is the first time Die Bayern have failed to win their opening three games in a calendar year since 2007, while the point kept Eintracht in fifth place and five points behind the leaders. With Bayer Leverkusen set to meet Borussia Dortmund on Sunday night there is a possibility that BVB could nudge them down to sixth with a victory, but this was another good weekend for the top-four chasing Eagles.
Szoboszlai gives Red Bull wings
RB Leipzig moved into third place and just two points behind the leaders thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Stuttgart and a well-taken brace from Hungarian ace Dominik Szoboszlai. He scored in either half, the first a brilliantly taken free kick on 25 minutes and the second a cool finish in the bottom left corner after latching on to a header from Andre Silva.
Red Bull could have been out of sight as Silva and Dani Olmo both came close, but Stuttgart fought back and halved the deficit, midway through the second half, when Chris Fuhrich slotted home a penalty after Josko Gvardial had handled.
Leipzig are piling the pressure on misfiring Bayern. Meanwhile Stuttgart have a battle on their hands, in 15th place and out of the bottom three on goal difference alone.
Freiburg show some steel
After an outstanding set of Bundesliga 2023 results during the first half of the campaign, SC Freiburg have found themselves in contention for a European place as a 3-1 home win over Augsburg moved them up to fourth and just three points behind the leaders. Michael Gregoritsch put Freiburg on course for a tenth win of the campaign with an early strike; and after Mergim Berisha levelled from the penalty spot on 29, the hosts hit back immediately through Lucas Holer.
While the visitors edged the shot count and possession, Freiburg had ten shots on target to Augsburg’s four, and that was the telling statistic in the end as Philipp Lienhart made it 3-1 late in the game.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.
Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.