Union Berlin is set to play Bayern Munich on Sunday in a monumental clash in terms of the Bundesliga title race; three teams are separated at the top of the Bundesliga by exactly zero points. In fact, the top six are separated by a mere five points with fifth and sixth (RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt) taking on each other this weekend as well.
On Thursday, Union Berlin took on a team in the UEFA Europa League who are a part of footballing heritage. In fact, in terms of footballing richness, Ajax is that aunt who comes from many generations of previous wealth. Union Berlin are the news boys on the block; and yet, in many ways, their heritage feels just as rich. What Ajax provides in terms of the historical names who wore their shirt, Union Berlin provides in terms of fans and heart. This club is a true working class story.
It was surreal for me today to watch Union Berlin truly play the game against a juggernaut of the game; they did it with less than 30% possession too. They registered one less attempt at goal than Ajax and scored three times, once from the spot. Prior to this game, I expected Union to sit back and absorb pressure — they were really poor against a Schalke side which sits bottom of the Bundesliga only this weekend after all.