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Union Berlin’s First-Ever Bundesliga Match Includes 15-Minute Silent Protest Aimed At RB Leipzig

Union Berlin made its Bundesliga debut on Sunday afternoon, and not even a 4-0 beatdown from rivals RB Leipzig could dampen the mood at the Alte Försterei in East Berlin. 

That the match was against Leipzig — another club from the eastern portion of Germany — was of significant historical importance. The pregame hype was dominated with a number of protests aimed at Leipzig’s unpopular structure (the club's rapid rise from the fifth tier to Germany’s top division was funded by owners Red Bull BmbH, makers of the energy drink).

Union refused to acknowledge RB Leipzig in its prematch program, instead referring to the club as BSG Turbine Markranstädt. 

The match also began with a 15-minute silent protest aimed at RB Leipzig.

They really don’t like them.

One other quirk from the game: 

But shortly after Union’s 15-minute silent protest ended, Leipzig took the lead through Marcel Halstenberg.

That was followed by another Leipzig goal, this one from Marcel Sabitzer.

And shortly before halftime, Timo Werner made it three with this crack.

Christopher Nkunku would add a fourth in the 69th; Union fans didn’t care.

The RB Leipzig win represents a perfect start for new manager Julian Nagelsmann. The 32-year-old moved to Leipzig from Hoffenheim after establishing himself as the rising star in German coaching. Leipzig was without USMNT standout Tyler Adams as he continues to recover from a troublesome groin issue.

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