Bundesliga roundup: Union Berlin suffer first defeat, Werner makes history for Leipzig

Bundesliga roundup: Union Berlin suffer first defeat, Werner makes history for Leipzig
Gotze helped Frankfurt to victory
Gotze helped Frankfurt to victory
In the Bundesliga on Saturday, Union Berlin suffered their first defeat of the season against Frankfurt, Leipzig thumped Bochum thanks to a brace from history-maker Werner (26), Dortmund lost 3-2 to Köln with former player Steffen Tigges (24) haunting them, and much more.

Frankfurt - Union Berlin

Jesper Lindstrøm’s sensational solo goal helped Eintracht Frankfurt to end Union Berlin’s 14-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga as the Eagles earned a 2-0 home win over the Iron Ones.

After losing their previous two matches without scoring at Deutsche Bank Park, Eintracht Frankfurt knew a tough test awaited against Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, who were unbeaten in their opening seven games. But, the Eagles stood firm and prevented any real early Union pressure as the visitors controlled the lion’s share of possession from the outset. Suddenly, the hosts shifted into fifth gear and showed the attacking form that yielded 11 goals in their last four home matches against Union as the Bundesliga’s leading assister, Randal Kolo Muani, raced to the goal line and cut back to Mario Götze, who curled into the bottom corner.

Union were always going to hit back in the hope of claiming three consecutive away wins in the Bundesliga and Janik Haberer took a more direct approach, curling an effort from 25-yards that Kevin Trapp tipped behind. But, Frankfurt ended the half stronger as Lucas Pellegrini rattled the crossbar from distance before Jesper Lindstrøm raced past two Union defenders and composedly passed into the bottom corner past Frederik Rønnow just before HT.

With their 14-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga in jeopardy, Union started strongly in the second period and Niko Gießelmann couldn’t take advantage of Trapp’s spilled save as the wing-back fired over the crossbar. With 20 minutes remaining, Kolo Muani was sent off for a second booking after a high challenge, giving the Iron Ones a chance to salvage something from the game.

Other than Tim Skarke’s rifled effort that stung the palms of Trapp late on, Union couldn’t find the breakthrough and Frankfurt held on to secure a third consecutive win in all competitions. Union’s club-record unbeaten run had to end at some stage, but Urs Fischer will not be pleased with the way his side were carved open on the counter-attack, especially after back-to-back wins to nil before this defeat.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Jesper Lindstrøm (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Köln - Dortmund

Three second half goals saw Cologne come from behind to defeat Borussia Dortmund and pick up their first home win of the season in the Bundesliga. After failing to win their previous two matches, the superb home result sees the Billy Goats remain well within the top-four race. 

Dortmund threatened from the off, but were wasteful in front of goal. While they perhaps should have been two or three goals ahead within fifteen minutes, it took until the half-hour mark for the visitors to finally get on the scoresheet. Captaining the side for the first time in his career, Jude Bellingham slipped in Julian Brandt who coolly slotted home for the opener on the day. Despite taking the lead, the visitors would be made to pay for their continued wastefulness in the final third.

It only took ten minutes for Cologne to claw their way back into the proceedings after the break. A superb attacking move down the left-wing was capped off by Florian Kainz getting on the end of an inch-perfect Linton Maina cross to stab home from point-blank range. It quickly went from bad to worse for the visitors as Stefan Tigges headed in Cologne’s second on the day only minutes later to take the lead in dramatic fashion.

The hosts all but wrapped up the three points with another quality move down the left hand side, and after being played in space centrally, Dejan Ljubicic sent his curling effort past the outstretched hand of the keeper and into the side of the net to double the Cologne lead with twenty minutes remaining. Thanks to a Tom Rothe cross taking a massive deflection and looping into the net, Dortmund cut the deficit in half. But it was too little too late for Die Schwarzgelben, who dropped all three points for a second time in three matches.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Florian Kainz (FC Cologne)

Freiburg - Mainz

SC Freiburg moved level on 17 points with league leaders Union Berlin after extending their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions with a 2-1 home victory over Mainz 05.

After playing out consecutive goalless draws in the Bundesliga, there may have been concerns ahead of kick off about Freiburg’s ability to offer a significant threat in the final third. Those fears were blown out of the water within three minutes when Michael Gregoritsch put the hosts in front with his fourth league goal of the season. A passage of neat interplay on the right side of the box was rounded off by a powerful strike from the Austrian that sparked the home faithful into fine voice.

Anton Stach attempted to offer the Mainz response, but his long-range drive was dealt with little fuss by Mark Flekken. In truth, the visitors were struggling to find a foothold in the contest, and as a result, Freiburg’s second goal of the afternoon felt inevitable. With under 10 minutes remaining until HT, Gregoritsch guided the ball onto the crossbar, and from the resulting rebound, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh had the simple task of nodding home his first goal for the Breisgau-Brasilianer.

Trailing at the break for the first time this season, a highly-motivated Mainz side re-emerged from the tunnel, and they were quickly rewarded for their newfound intent in the 52nd minute. Aarón Martín arrived in the box in time to place Jonathan Burkardt’s low cross into the awaiting net. While the visitors carried an improved threat in the second half, they were still coming under pressure from a dangerous Freiburg side that were keen to re-establish their two-goal lead. Robin Zentner had to be at his very best to make a superb reflex save that denied Gregoritsch his second goal of the contest.

Freiburg had to survive a couple of late scares after Angelo Fulgini thundered the ball against the post before Silvan Widmer was agonisingly denied by a last-ditch goal-line clearance that guaranteed the hosts’ all three points and a fourth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Michael Gregoritsch (SC Freiburg)

Leipzig - Bochum

RB Leipzig returned to winning ways in style by thrashing VfL Bochum 1848 at the Red Bull Arena. Timo Werner netted a brace to become the first player to score 100 goals in the club’s relatively short history.

The international break may have come at the perfect time for Marco Rose’s men, with the new manager overseeing consecutive losses without scoring. Bochum represented perhaps the perfect opposition, still yet to win a game and propping up the Bundesliga table. Die Roten Bullen flew out of the traps to heap the pressure on, as Werner hit the post with a sharply-taken early chance.

The Germany international clearly had his eye in and made no mistake with his second chance, seizing on a loose ball in the final third before expertly placing his finish into the top corner. Soon afterwards, Christopher Nkunku won himself a penalty having been tripped by Jannes Horn inside the area. The Frenchman assumed responsibility and dispatched from 12 yards, ending a five-game scoring drought and doubling the lead.

Bochum had been blitzed in the first half, registering no shots on goal while enjoying just 27% possession, so it perhaps wasn’t surprising to see three substitutions made at the interval. Unfortunately, for new manager Thomas Letsch, very little changed and Leipzig were soon three ahead. Kevin Kampl picked out André Silva with a lofted ball in behind, but the Portugal forward could only hit the post. Luckily for him, the first man to respond was Werner, who reacted smartly to net his second of the contest.

The suffering wasn’t over there for Die Unabsteigbaren, with another penalty given Leipzig’s way after Cristian Gamboa fouled Marcel Halstenberg inside the area. No quarter given to the possibility of Werner completing a hat-trick, Nkunku stepped up and uncharacteristically missed the target, rifling his spot-kick off the post. Not dismayed, the Frenchman did find the net in the closing stages, slotting past Manuel Riemann to register a brace in this fixture for the second consecutive season.

A much-needed win for Leipzig temporarily returns them to the top half of the Bundesliga table, while maintaining their unbeaten record on home soil so far this term. Meanwhile, a seventh loss from their opening eight games leaves Bochum well adrift at the bottom, with confidence among the camp surely at an all-time low.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

Wolfsburg - Stuttgart

VfL Wolfsburg registered their first victory at home this season in a thrilling 3-2 win over VfB Stuttgart, who have now failed to win in 14 away Bundesliga games.

With both sides experiencing indifferent starts to the season, they faced off against each other while lingering at the bottom of the table for the first time in 47 Bundesliga meetings. Wolfsburg made all the first big moves going forward, with Yannick Gerhardt, Patrick Wimmer and Mattias Svanberg all testing the opposition defence in the opening minutes, before the game turned topsy-turvy in the space of two minutes.

Midway through the first half, Stuttgart stunned the hosts following Serhou Guirassy’s first-time shot into the roof of the net from point-blank range. However, that lead was cut less than a minute later as Egyptian forward Omar Marmoush inspired Die Wölfe with a virtuoso solo effort to flash the ball into the bottom left corner.

Motivated by the equaliser, Wolfsburg’s advances paid off once again – this time minutes before HT when Maximilian Arnold unleashed a swerving effort right at Florian Müller, who failed to push the ball away and saw it lodge in the back of his net. However, that was not the end of the action-packed first period, as the visitors levelled terms right before HT via Konstantinos Mavropanos’ close range strike into the bottom right corner past Koen Casteels.

Die Roten thought they had taken the lead as the clock struck the hour mark, when Silas cut in and let fly a thunderous strike, only for it to crash off the crossbar, much to the relief of the home crowd. Largely responsible for letting in Arnold’s goal earlier, Müller made amends and pulled off an astonishing last-ditch save in the 75th minute, pushing away Jakub Kaminski’s close range effort to keep scores level.

As the final minutes dawned, neither team looked like snatching a late winner until Gerhardt found himself at the right place at the right time in front of goal to notch home the winner at the death, handing Wolfsburg a first home victory this Bundesliga season. The Swabians will regret not having held their guard up towards the end, as they head home winless in the new campaign. They extended their longest-ever opening top-flight run without a win to eight matches.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Maximilian Arnold (VfL Wolfsburg)


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