Fortunes of Berlin clubs changed by Bundesliga's virus break

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Hertha BSC's Krzysztof Piatek celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hertha Berlin and Augsburg at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Because of the coronavirus outbreak all soccer matches of the German Bundesliga take place without spectators. (Hannibal Hanschke/pool photo via AP)

BERLIN – The Bundesliga’s coronavirus-induced break has changed the fortunes of the Berlin clubs.

The German soccer league’s unprecedented two-month suspension came at the right time for Hertha Berlin and the wrong time for city rival Union Berlin.

While Hertha used the break to good effect – bringing in a new coach who is unbeaten with three wins from four games – Union has gone six matches without a win.

Union’s previously mean defense has conceded 11 goals in four games since the league resumed, and the promoted club is coming under increasing pressure from teams below in its fight for survival.

“It’s not the most fun part of the season,” Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson said after the 4-1 loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday.

Union coach Urs Fischer added: “You can’t win a game with just 25 good minutes after the break.”

The team was 11th before the virus hit in March but is now 14th in the 18-team division, four points above Fortuna Düsseldorf, which occupies the relegation playoff spot with five games remaining.

“We knew in advance that it wouldn’t be easy to survive in the Bundesliga,” Union captain Christopher Trimmel said. “We have to get points, especially at home.”