Despite goals from Max Kruse and Andreas Voglsammer in the second half, 1. FC Union Berlin suffered a first defeat of the Bundesliga season at Borussia Dortmund.
First-half goals from Raphael Guerreiro and Erling Haaland put Marco Rose’s side in a dominant position going into the break. But Union dug deep and turned in a fantastic display after the break to push Dortmund to the very end of the 90.
Marvin Friedrich put one in his own net before Kruse scored from the penalty spot on 57 minutes. Substitute Voglsammer headed in at a corner kick with nine minutes to play as Union pushed for an equaliser. That spirit was squashed shortly after as Haaland put home his second of the game to kill off the contest and leave the three points with Borussia Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel, Guerreiro, Akanji, Hummels (Pongracic 89), Meunier, Dahoud, Witsel, Bellingham, Reus (Moukoko 89), Malen (Wolf 73), Haaland
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Ryerson, Gießelmann, Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl (Endo 77); Khedira (Haraguchi 72), Öztunali (Teuchert 55), Prömel; Awoniyi (Behrens 55), Kruse (Voglsammer 77)
After the exploits on Thursday night in Prague, 1. FC Union Berlin returned to Bundesliga action with a trip to high-scoring Borussia Dortmund. Urs Fischer’s side featured a first league start for Grischa Prömel after injury, while both Niko Gießelmann and Timo Baumgartl returned to Union’s back-five. It may have been expected that Union would have started slowly due to the 90 minutes in the Czech Republic, but that was far from reality. Fischer’s side started excellently and looked to have a real grasp of the match. Inside 40 seconds, Taiwo Awoniyi rattled the ball past Gregor Kobel but the assistant referee correctly flagged for offside against the Union striker. Despite a controlled start from the away team, Borussia Dortmund broke through in the 10th minute. Some nice combination play between the home side created space for Raphael Guerreiro far on the left side. Guerreiro powered in a sensational strike to fire Dortmund into the lead. Marco Rose’s men were in control at this point and Union needed some luck and possession to get out a difficult situation. On 23 minutes, Erling Haaland was given space to head in his side’s second goal with yards around him inside the penalty box. Borussia Dortmund worked the ball a lot around the Union penalty box without putting goalkeeper Andreas Luthe under further pressure. Awoniyi was given a good view at goal on 38 minutes after combining with Gießelmann and Kruse, but the Nigerian fired well wide. As Dortmund dropped deeper to see out the half, Marvin Friedrich stepped into space in midfield but shot directly at Kobel as the first 45 ended with a home advantage.
Borussia Dortmund scored their third of the day on 51 minutes when Jude Bellingham set up captain Marco Reus who drew the ball across the box, but agonisingly deflected off Friedrich and went into the Union net. Three goals down and off the back of Thursday’s draining travels, Union badly needed some luck and inspiration. Coach Urs Fischer turned to the bench for the introduction of Kevin Behrens and Cedric Teuchert. Behrens, who scored Union’s first group stage goal at Slavia Prague, was thrown to the deck by Axel Witsel in the 56th minute. After a short consultation with the monitor, referee Sven Jablonski pointed to the spot. The experienced Kruse sent Gregor Kobel the wrong way and handed Union an important lifeline in the match. The next 30 minutes from the Köpenick club was a reflection of the team spirit and character in the ranks, built up over several years under Fischer and his staff. Genki Haraguchi, Keita Endo and Voglsammer were handed the opportunity to go and take the game by the scruff of the neck. And Voglsammer did exactly that: the Union number nine bulleted in Niko Gießelmann’s corner kick in the 81st minute as a comeback looked like a real possibility. The fire was put out by Borussia Dortmund’s main marksmen about three minutes later as Haaland showed incredible awareness and precision to lob Andreas Luthe on the counter-attack and put the match beyond any doubt. Despite the first league defeat of the campaign, Union will be back looking for maximum points next Saturday when Arminia Bielefeld make the trip to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.