Urs Fischer’s 1. FC Union Berlin came out the big losers in the latest set of concurrent kickoffs, dropping down to eighth place after falling away at Wolfsburg. SC Freiburg have also now lost two in a row and are down in ninth place.
|Urs Fischer.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Even though the first two places in the German Bundesliga table have been fixed since yesterday evening, there was much to play for amongst the ten teams contesting the latest set of 15:30 kickoffs. RB Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart will finish the weekend in the top four thanks to big wins. Borussia Dortmund are up to seventh place. Unfortunately for Germany’s debutant Champions’ League representatives, a second consecutive league loss plunges them down to eight place. Urs Fischer’s “Eisern Union” fell 1-2 to VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena.
Union trainer Urs Fischer made two changes to the squad that lost to Leipzig just before the international break. The suspended Kevin Volland was replaced by Janik Haberer. Christopher Trimmel – donning the captain’s armband – was also rotated in over Josip Juranovic at the right wingback position. Kovac made three changes to the squad that was also coming off its first loss of the season. Moritz Jenz, Patrick Wimmer, and Yannick Gerhardt took the place of Cedric Zesiger, Vaclav Cerny, and Tiago Tomas.
The visiting Köpenickers applied quite a bit of pressure in the opening minutes. Kovac’s Wolves seemed very unsettled and couldn’t seem to stop turning the ball over. The Lower Saxons nevertheless woke up after ten minutes. Wimmer barely failed to connect with a Rogerio cross in the 11th. One minute after that, it was Jonas Wind’s turn to score again. The on-fire Danish striker polished off the 1-0 in the 12th after a very nice one-two with Lovro Majer. Buoyed by the opener, Wolfsburg pinned Union back over the next quarter-of-an-hour.
A failed clearance from Jenz in the 28th suddenly enabled Union to find a way back into the game. Aïssa Laïdouni crossed in for an in crashing Robin Gosens, and the reinvigorated German national team fullback headed home the 1-1. Wolfsburg still found a way to strike back immediately. This time Dane Joakim Maehle took advantage of a poor clearance from his countryman, FCU keeper Fredrik Rønnow. Maehle thundered home and impressive first-time finish off the volley for the 2-1 at the half-hour-mark.
To their immense credit, the guests from the capital city pressed to equalize yet again. Laïdouni came close twice before it was time to head into the locker room. Maehle also missed narrowly shortly before the half-time-whistle. Matters calmed down significantly after the restart, with both teams playing it cagey in midfield and hoping that another mistake would gift them a chance at another goal. The tempo slowed down into a flat crawl until the first real scoring opportunity of the entire second half came in the 71st when Haberer pulled an effort wide.
After that, Union forced a pair of saves out of WOB keeper Koen Casteels. The subbed-on Union attacker Sheraldo Becker headed a cross just wide shortly before the end of normal time. Tomas, coming off the Wolfsburg bench, also struck the post late. There were some instances in which Union looked threatening in the extended injury time period, but Fischer’s men couldn’t fashion much out of a late press that threw everything forward. Union drop to eighth in the table after their second consecutive league loss.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga’s 15:30 kickoffs, “Plastico” clubs RB Leipzig and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim had little difficulty overcoming their respective opponents. Marco Rose’s German Red Bulls rushed out to a 3-0 lead against visiting Augsburg before thirty minutes had been played. Xavi Simons, Loïs Openda, and David Raum registered tallies in the quick lashing. No further goals were scored in a match that essentially flattened out at the Red Bull Arena.
Pellegrino Matarazzo’s Kraichgauer also took a 3-0 over Köln in their trip to the cathedral city. Steffen Bauymgart’s Geißböcke attempted to mount a comeback through the lively Davie Selke, who scored a pull-back goal and kept unleashing efforts in search of another. The TSG defensive line nonetheless held firm and the match finished 3-1. Köln’s Rasmus Cartsensen was sent off late for a frustration foul.
The woes continue for Bo Svensson’s FSV Mainz 05. A match seemed destined to end in a draw concluded with VfB Stuttgart pulling out a late 3-1 victory at the Mewe Arena. Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy secured a hat trick in the victory. Guirassy tops the Bundesliga’s scorer chart now with eight goals. Wolfsburg’s Wind presently sits in second place with five tallies.
Down south at the Europa Park Stadion in Breisgau, Borussia Dortmund also took three points off a match that appeared likely to finish in a draw. Freiburg and Dortmund entered the 88th minute tied 2-2. In the end, Edin Terzic’s BVB were able to take advantage of Christian Streich’s shorthanded team and score two late goals. Mats Hummels pocketed a brace in the 4-2 win. Marco Reus also scored off the bench.