Fussball, Herren, Saison 2022/2023, 1. Bundesliga 5. Spieltag, 1. FC Union Berlin - FC Bayern München, v. l. Julian Ryerson 1. FC Union Berlin, Kingsley Coman FC Bayern München, 03.09. 2022, *** Football, men, season 2022 2023, 1 Bundesliga 5 matchday , 1 FC Union Berlin FC Bayern Munich, v l Julian Ryerson 1 FC Union Berlin , Kingsley Coman FC Bayern Munich , 03 09 2022, Copyright: xSebastianxRäppold/MatthiasxKochx

Before kick-off on Saturday, the DJ in the An der Alten Försterei stadium gave a musical wink. “Success is not luck” was the name of the song that blared out of the loudspeakers. No one could disagree. It also has nothing to do with luck that 1. FC Union is suddenly being treated by some as a title candidate and has played a top duel against FC Bayern in the Bundesliga. With the performances of the past few weeks and months and the good work of the last few years, Union has deserved to be at the top.

A bit of luck is always part of it. Union had this last season, for example, because there were hardly any injuries and the triple burden was less noticeable than expected.

Union was lucky that financially better off clubs like VfL Wolfsburg, TSG Hoffenheim and Borussia Mönchengladbach fell well short of expectations. But you have to know how to use your luck first.

And in the 1-1 draw against Bayern on Saturday, the Köpenickers showed once again how confidently they deal with good and bad luck. When the lineups became public, Union’s luck seemed to have run out. In addition to the already ailing Diogo Leite, Janik Haberer and Jordan Siebatcheu were also absent for a short time. Two players who have integrated excellently in recent weeks and who shone in the thrashing of Schalke. Ironically, they fell out against Bayern.

But Union seemed completely unimpressed. “Those who came in continued their performances seamlessly,” said coach Urs Fischer. “That also describes the team a bit. We know we can count on everyone.” Similarly, Julian Ryerson said, “We’ve talked enough about what kind of unit we are. Everyone always knows what to do.”

Everyone knows their job, so everyone can make good use of their strengths. Kevin Behrens, for example, is a much more limited striker than Siebatcheu, for whom he stepped in on Saturday. Nevertheless, he was able to cause unrest in Bayern with his strong possession of the ball. As a collective, Union reacted to the cut in personnel, made slight changes and then was just as effective as in the previous games.

With a squad of 29 players, it is not to be taken for granted that such changes should go so smoothly. But instead of causing friction, the high level of competition in many cases leads to an increase in performance. A good example is Ryerson, who, along with Christopher Trimmel, is the last Union player to have been involved in promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019.

Since then he has rarely been a regular, but slowly he seems to be earning a permanent place in the starting XI.

It could be the same with Jamie Leweling. The striker, who came from Greuther Fürth, has not had the best start at Union, but he also took the opportunity to promote himself against Bayern. About ten minutes after coming on, he left Dayot Upamecano confused on the ground to conjure up a good chance out of thin air. If Manuel Neuer wasn’t Manuel Neuer, Leweling would probably have scored the winning goal.

“You can see we have a large squad, the lads are ready to compensate for losses,” said Fischer after the game, but at the same time emphasized that they still hoped for a quick return of the missing players. After the birth of his child, Haberer should be ready for action again until Thursday’s Europa League clash against Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. It is still open for Siebatcheu, who has muscular problems. “Now it’s up to the medical department to get him fit for Thursday,” said Fischer.

Siebatcheu is also needed because this week the triple load really starts. Until November there will be almost only English weeks. “Now the hot phase begins. We’re really happy that we’re playing internationally in our own stadium. But of course you have to be a little careful. It’s a group where you can be both last and first,” says Captain Trimmel.

Of course, Union hopes for the second option. After the performances in the first few weeks of the season, there is growing optimism that the club can winter in European competition for the first time in club history. For this, the squad is needed in its entirety. And maybe a little luck.