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Union fairy tale ends in Belgium, Leverkusen solves mandatory task

Union Berlin's trip to Europe came to an unfortunate end in Anderlecht's Lotto Park.

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Union fairy tale ends in Belgium, Leverkusen solves mandatory task

Union Berlin's trip to Europe came to an unfortunate end in Anderlecht's Lotto Park. At Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, the Bundesliga club missed the historic quarter-finals of the Europa League. The Belgians were clearly superior to the tired Berliners, who have now been five games without a win, 3-0 (1-0).

Teddy Teuma (18th minute) set the course for the hosts with his early goal. Lazare Amani (63rd) made everything clear, Loic Lapoussin (90.4) even caused Union's highest European defeat. Substitute Janik Haberer saw the yellow-red card in the 80th minute for repeated foul play.

The Irons had nothing to oppose in their 14th competitive game this year. Instead of hoping for a cracker like Juventus Turin or Manchester United as the next international opponents, the Berliners now have to concentrate on the Bundesliga final sprint.

Just no hair-raising individual mistakes like in the wild 3: 3 in the first leg - that was what coach Urs Fischer had made clear as his expectation. Diogo Leite did exactly that in the sixth minute. Simon Adingra's shot was cleared by Robin Knoche just before the line. The 2,000 or so loyal Union fans quickly realized that this would be their last trip abroad this season. After the UEFA threat of an away ban, no pyrotechnics were fired this time. A banner with a tirade against the association was a form of protest.

When Leite again let Adingra take him by surprise after Knoche's risky pass, Teuma threw the ball low into the goal. Captain Rani Khedira tried to demonstrate defiance and perseverance with body language. It was just an attempt. Saint-Gilloise played his stint in a beat that unnerved the opponent, as Union Berlin tends to do at its best.

When the feeling came up in the second half that Union might be able to force extra time with a lucky shot, Boniface freed his colleague Amani, who shot in and celebrated with a flick flack. Not only the better soccer players, but also the better floor gymnasts came from the Belgian Union that evening. Shortly before the line, Sheraldo Becker (87') prevented Boniface from making it 3-0 with a save before Lapoussin put the end.

Bayer Leverkusen kept a cool head in the witches' cauldron of Budapest and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League. After the 2-0 win in Leverkusen, the Werkself also won the round of 16 second leg of the Europa League at Ferencváros Budapest in the atmospheric Puskás Aréna 2-0 (1-0) and reached the quarter-finals of an international competition for the eighth time. Under the eyes of Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Moussa Diaby laid the foundation for victory with his goal in the 3rd minute, which was sealed by substitute Amine Adli (81st).

Ferencváros had moved to the almost 70,000-seat Puskás Aréna for the biggest game in Hungarian club football in almost 20 years. It wasn't completely full, but the visitors provided a magnificent backdrop. Both the team and the Hungarian fans got really busy at the beginning of the game. An early goal was the motto to shake the arena and shake Bayer. The early goal came after 161 seconds - but on the other side. After a long ball from Edmond Tapsoba, Diaby pulled up and away and finished thoughtfully.

But the Hungarians quickly recovered. With the abolition of the away goals rule, the endeavor did not seem completely hopeless. A long-range shot by full-back Eldar Civic just missed the goal (8'), Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky made a splendid save against Amer Gojak (22') and a deflected shot by Adama Traoré saved the crossbar (38'). Overall, Leverkusen played calmly and orderly, although not without mistakes.

Curious: Immediately after the change, Leverkusen almost increased in the same way as they had taken the lead. This time it was the fourth minute of the second half when Tapsoba played a long ball to Diaby, who this time gave it up to Mitchel Bakker - but the Dutchman was stopped at the last moment. But now the guests were no longer as passive as in the first round and had the events under control much better. But in front of Frimpong's goal, Bakker was offside (52') and Diaby hit the post (57'). Only Adli provided the redeeming 2:0.

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