On Friday night Darmstadt had the perfect opitunity to close the gap on league leaders Ingolstadt, they were up against fourth place Karlsruher. So with the potential of a slip up, Darmstadt needed to make sure of a win against twelfth place Union Berlin. They managed to do so in a terrific performance where they put five past Union.
Going into the game against Union Berlin, Darmstadt were looking to respond after drawing to FSV Frankfurt last weekend. Darmstadt have been very hard to beat in the last few months, their last defeat was the 5th of October when they lost 4-1 at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf.
This season hasn’t been as memorable as last season for Union Berlin, last season saw them fighting towards the top, this term however sees them fighting towards the bottom. They’ve struggled to find consistency this season and after two wins from three after the winter break they’ve now lost one and drawn one in their last two games. The draw coming last weekend against the high-flying Kaiserslautern would’ve given them a boost ahead of this game.
Darmstadt had to deal without key players Jérôme Gondorf and Dominik Stroh-Engel, who were both suspended after picking up yellow cards in the last game.
Darmstadt should’ve taken the lead when Marcel Heller charged into the area and his cross picked out Ronny König who was free on the six yard line. Despite being free he couldn’t direct his shot on target as he stretched with his left, had it been his right the move probably would’ve ended with him celebrating his first goal for the club.
The hosts were on top and with the pace of Heller and Marco Sailor, Darmstadt continued to cause Union problems at the back. The possession paid off after the half hour mark as Leon Balogun scored the opener. The right back leapt the highest to powerfully head Milan Ivana’s long freekick past Mohamed Amsif.
Union Berlin struggled to respond and didn’t cause many problems going forward. Things got worse for them just before the break as a poor Fabian Schönheim backpass allowed Sailor to rush towards goal before being brought down by Amsif. The Union keeper was given his marching orders and Romain Brégerie stepped up to convert the penalty, which flew in after clipping the post.
Darmstadt made it three ten minutes into the second half, a long throw from Balogun was flicked on by König, then Sailor before dropping to Ivana, who’s drilled shot flew across goal and into the bottom corner.
Despite having a few efforts on goal Union Berlin were disappointing and struggled to test Christian Mathenia. The hosts finished the game strongly and they grabbed a fourth ten minutes from time. A high ball was poorly punched away by Daniel Haas and Ivana’s cross back in saw Aytac Sulu get away from his marker and his great header flew past Haas.
Three minutes later it was 5-0 and Sulu was once again on the scoresheet, Ivana completed a hat-trick of assists as his corner saw Sulu charge in and head the ball into the ground and over the defender on the post.
Darmstadt face Fortuna Düsseldorf next week and will be looking to get revenge after the loss in the last meeting. Union Berlin need a response and next week will be the perfect time as they face fellow strugglers St. Pauli.