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Liverpool loanee Awoniyi’s opener not enough to avoid Berlin derby defeat

10:47 PM WAT 04/12/2020
Taiwo Awoniyi - Union Berlin
Union Berlin were defeated by Hertha Berlin in Friday’s derby in the Bundesliga

Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi opened the scoring for Union Berlin in Friday’s Berlin derby, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 3-1 defeat by Hertha Berlin.

The Nigeria forward nipped in between two defenders and rolled home a left-footed finish beyond Alexander Schwolow after being played in by Marcus Ingvartsen in the 20th minute.

However, the contest was made much trickier for Union three minutes later, when Robert Andrich was shown a straight red card, and Hertha turned the bout on its head in the second period.

Peter Pekarik equalised six minutes into the second period, before a double from Krzysztof Piatek inside three second-half minutes during the latter stages of the contest turned the tide in the hosts’ favour at the Olympiastadion.

Awoniyi had been withdrawn 20 minutes before Piatek’s double, as Urs Fischer looked to introduce another defensive option into his side.

Jordan Torunarigha and Dodi Lukebakio also featured for Hertha as they moved up to 11 points, six clear of the bottom three.

Defeat means Union miss out on moving into the top three, although they still remain up in sixth before the rest of the league plays this weekend—and they’re the top performing side from the capital so far this season.

The goal means that Awoniyi has already bettered last season’s tally this term.

During the 2019-20 campaign, while on loan at Mainz, he found the net just once, but already has two goals this season after scoring in Union’s 2-1 victory at Koln in late November.

Earlier this weekend, the striker announced his desire to leave Liverpool after failing to secure a work permit.

"It is my dream to play for Liverpool, but me playing for Liverpool has to do with getting my work permit," Awoniyi told ESPN. "Without it, there is no chance for me discussing about playing for Liverpool for now.

"This season was maybe a bit tough to make the decision because honestly, I was hoping to leave permanently,” he added.

"Liverpool have been great, they have been so supportive and we always talk with the director and every time, they tell me to be patient, but the reason I discussed something permanent this season was just that I felt most loans I have been to, have not really been the way I want it, and I felt like it happens that way because the loan players get less of an advantage than the players of their own club.

"That was what made me think, okay, maybe it's time to find a home with my family."