What do you do when you can’t attend the biggest game in the season of your team? Exactly, television is the solution. Thanks to the regional broadcaster, matches of Magdeburg have become a regular feature in their programme schedule. This is due to Magdeburg’s performances in the autumn and the atmosphere on the terraces. The local derby on TV.
Before the match Halle embarrassed themselves by asking their fans to move to another stand. Fans of Magdeburg bought tickets for a stand normally reserved for Halle supporters. Since the visiting fans were quite significant in their numbers, Halle was forced to relocate their supporters! As a result there were around 3000 supporters for the Biggest of the World impressing with their continuous support and impeccable behaviour. In a ground with a 15000 capacity this suddenly was a big crowd to support the away team. To say this was the decisive bit for Magdeburg, would be stretching it, however.
After the winterbreak, everyone was giddy with excitement. After almost 4 weeks without football this was the day football fans across Germany felt a huge relief. Finally, football live football was to be enjoyed again! For Magdeburg supporters this could not have been better: it was the derby against Halle!!!
Both teams commenced with gusto but it was Magdeburg who took the lead after just 5 minutes. It was a misunderstanding in the Halle defence that Sebastian Ernst used to finish from 11m. A better was not possible. Before the season, many would have considered Magdeburg as easy prey for the big clubs in this division but a respectable 4. place after more than 20 games before christmas, made many think again. Halle, better technically, could not get their game going. It was Magdeburg’s defensive robustness that prevented Halle to get level. It took 30 minutes when Halle were level and it came as a surprise as the ball was not hit fully by Lindenhahn. Nonetheless, the ball went in via the inside of the long post. 1-1 and suddenly this derby was alive again.
Typically for a derby there were heated scenes on the pitch and at one point both benches squared up to each other and it was surprising to see the scene cool down as quick as it heated up. As unwanted as these scenes are, such a derby would be nothing without a little bit of emotion. Football without emotion would not be football but something else.
The scoreline was justified. Magdeburg brought a lot of energy into the game, Halle were technically better and looked sharper occasionally. Their actions going forward had more purpose, whereas Magdeburg relied upon luck and long balls. That made defending easy for Halle.
Half Time Entertainment
Quite a shock came at half time when a box fight was analysed instead of the match. Of course, a regional TV station has to cover local sports, yet having a boxer and his promoter analysing the game is almost beyond belief!
The game did not change much: Halle with more possession and more creativity, Magdeburg holding against it with the occasional foray into the box. Though, it was never that Halle absolutely dominated; the game could have gone either way. What Magdeburg lacked in technique, they made up more than enough with their fighting spirit.
It was exactly this, that gave, no gifted Magdeburg the lead again! The situation was cleared for Halle, the keeper just needed to hoof the ball forward. This apparently easy task simply was not possible. Magdeburg pushed forward and once more it was Ernst who nicked into the area and superbly finished into the far corner!
In the following Halle lost their urgency and appeared complacent. The substitutions added to their woes as their momentum was interrupted if not entirely lost. Magdeburg cleverly played down the remaining quarter of an hour with substitutions and controlling the midfield. Every attempt by Halle to penetrate into the box were stopped early and were helped by Halle’s insufficiency when going forward. The second goal clearly took any steam out of Halle’s sails that was left. Magdeburg secured their second (only!!!) away win this season and nicely demonstrated that they are the number one team in Saxony-Anhalt.
In his first match for Sebastian Ernst he scored twice for his new team. He came from the Hanover 96 reserves; this was the first time he played in this division. It is a sign that the scouting works well. Additionally, Ernst appears to well trained at Hanover and this might be crucial in future encounters Magdeburg will have to face.
It was an interesting game to watch with the team winning showing more cleverness when it mattered and scoring at crucial times: Magdeburg. That this was of course the right result for the author, makes this derby win even sweeter.