Three observations of Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw against an energetic Berlin Union

Union Berlin versus Bayern Munich: the small team from the East versus the global super institution.

Only in sport can such an economically skewed duel end in a draw. Bayern Munich paid for Lucas Hernández almost double what Union Berlin has spent on all its players. Despite Bayern’s uneven advantage off the field, it would not be crazy to say that Union deserved to win the battle on the field.

A lost battle in the midfield

Bayern looked ideal and uncreative for much of the game. Bayern’s midfielder duo, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala, were overtaken by Union’s Grischa Prömel and Sebastian Griesbeck. While the two Union men often intercepted and recovered the ball, Goretzka and Musiala failed to help Bayern connect defense and midfield. As a result, Union was able to defend itself against a Bayern that relied on individual quality rather than intricate attacking play. It was not enough to keep a clean sheet, but it was enough to draw against Bayern.

A tired Bayern Munich

Hansi Flick’s Bayern are understandably extremely tired. Today, injury issues led Flick to remove Jamal Musiala from position, a situation in which the talented youngster struggled. The loss of Joshua Kimmich is so evident on the pitch that I think Bayern are thinking of buying another midfielder in January.

Gone are the days when the Flick revolution took Europe by storm and led Bayern to become the best team in the world. Bayern’s winning mentality has helped them get through this period in terms of results, but it has been a difficult couple of months. In the league, Bayern have left as many goals as FC Cologne and have been extremely vulnerable without their star talisman in midfield.

Crisis? No way. But I’m sure Flick’s biggest challenge in his career as a manager is continuing to achieve greatness with this Bayern team.

A resilient Union

Union, who I often see as one of the last ‘fan clubs’ in the modern game, displayed a huge banner, located on the long side, throughout the game with a clear message:

New formula: old “Equity” … for a fair allocation of TV money

It’s a clear dig into the DFL distribution of TV backgrounds, which was decided last weekend. Without going into too much detail on the hotly debated issue, Union and other analysts have viewed television rights as unfair to smaller clubs.

A clear message from everyone at the club that it was made perfect as the away game was the team making the most money in the new DFL distribution deal.

I am so incredibly surprised by how well this team is playing on the field. As mentioned in the introduction, Union is a very small team with limited funds. The fact that they survived their first season in the league was a surprise. The fact that they are now in Europa League territory in their second season is almost shocking.

COVID-19 has impacted all sports teams, but I thought it would impact a small club like Union more as I thought they would rely on their fanatic support at Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Despite not spending much in this transfer window, Union is now in sixth place and has only lost two games after its first eleven. Urs Fischer has found the perfect match, creating a tough, athletic and tough team. His stable back gives the base to his Union team that today played, at times, a beautiful direct football.

It doesn’t matter that there are no fans and recent bad TV treatment. Union, the tough old East club, ignored the odds against them when they faced a multi-million dollar super institution and almost won.