Bundesliga: VfL Bochum almost saved, Union Berlin is shaking

As of: May 5, 2024 6:35 p.m

VfL Bochum prevented direct relegation from the Bundesliga. In the basement duel at Union Berlin on matchday 32, VfL almost lost a three-goal lead, but at the end of a dramatic game they emerged victorious 4-3 (3-0). Union, on the other hand, is getting into more and more trouble.

Maximilian Wittek put VfL on the road to victory early with a brace (16th/31st), Keven Schlotterbeck added the third goal before the break (37th). Berlin came close again in the second half through Yorbe Vertessen (59′) and Chris Bedia (63′), but Philipp Hofmann (70′) put Bochum back in front with two goals. Benedict Hollerbach immediately made things close again (74′), but it wasn’t enough for more.

  • 32nd matchday
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Bochum has stronger nerves than Berlin

This means that VfL now has 33 points and can no longer move away from 17th place in the table. 1. FC Köln (24 points). Should Mainz 05 not win at 1. FC Heidenheim on Sunday evening, direct relegation is almost certain. “Thank God we won the game. Those were crazy emotions because there was a lot at stake” said Bochum coach Heiko Butscher in the Sportschau interview.

In contrast, Union is even threatened with the worst case scenario. The lead over Cologne is still six points, but the next matchday is against FC. If there was another defeat, there would be a long-distance duel for direct relegation on the last matchday. “The first half was very bad from us. The situation is what it is now and you have to keep your nerve in the relegation battle. We try, but we don’t always succeed“, admitted Union coach Nenad Bjelica in the Sportschau interview.

Wittek strikes twice

The game at the Alte Försterei in Berlin-Köpenick was initially a one-sided affair. Bochum was the more active and dominant team. However, it took 16 minutes for the first shot on goal, but it was right there. Moritz Broschinski brought the ball from the right side into the middle. Wittek was in the right position there and pushed in from seven meters (17th).

14 minutes later Wittek was there again. This time he received the ball from Patrick Osterhage, then left Union central defenders Danilho Diekhi and Diogo Leite standing with a body deception and hit the left corner (31′).

And things got even worse for Union: Six minutes after making it 2-0, Felix Passlack crossed into the penalty area, where Schlotterbeck finished unchallenged. Leite deflected, leaving Union keeper Frederik Rönnow without a chance – 3-0 (37th).

Bjielica’s change is fruitful

Union coach Bjelica reacted and brought in three new players for the second half: Chris Bedia, Brenden Aaronson and Vertessen. This initially didn’t change anything about the game. Bochum remained in control and almost made it 4-0 in the 51st, but Ivan Ordets shot the ball just wide of the goal from a corner.

But then Union was suddenly there again. Vertessen had too much space and took a chance just 23 meters from the goal. His powerful shot hit the bottom right corner, unstoppable for VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann.

Union was now woken up and scored the next goal just three minutes later. And again it was one of the substitutes at the break: after winning the ball in midfield, the Berliners played it quickly. The ball came to Bedia, who held off two opponents and hit the ball into the right corner (62′).

Hofmann only provides brief relief

Union now pushed for an equalizer, but forgot to defend. In the 70th minute, Kevin Stöger crossed into the penalty area, where Hofmann was completely free in the six-yard box and was able to head in unchallenged to make it 4-2.

It became quiet at the Old Forestry House, but only for a short time. Because almost in direct response, Union was back in the game. Hollerbach pushed the ball over the line from close range after an assist from Aaronson and restored the old distance.

Union starts in vain

Union pressed on. However, Bochum now managed better to keep the home team away from their own goal. In addition, VfL repeatedly provided relief at the front, but without putting the ultimate conviction into the attacks.

In the first minute of injury time, Union even had the chance to equalize, but Aaronson’s header was ultimately no problem for Riemann, who held on to Bochum’s victory.

Berlin in Cologne, Bochum against Leverkusen

Union absolutely wants to prevent slipping further towards relegation in Cologne on Saturday (May 11, 2024, 3:30 p.m.). Bochum could take the final step to stay in the league on Sunday (May 12, 2024, 7:30 p.m.), but champions Bayer Leverkusen are the opponents.

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