1. FC Union Berlin claimed their first win in the Bundesliga this season with a sensational 4-0 win at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei against Mainz.
The Köpenick club added to the point already on the board to consign the Carnival Club to another heavy defeat in the league.
Max Kruse scored his first since his summer move from Fenerbahce and goals from Marcus Ingvartsen, Marvin Friedrich and Joel Pohjanpalo rubbed salt into the wounds of the visitors.
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Knoche; Trimmel (Ryerson 69), Lenz, Prömel, Andrich (Griesbeck 81); Becker (Bülter 64), Kruse (Pohjanpalo 64), Ingvartsen (Endo 81)
Mainz: Zentner; St Juste, Hack, Brosinski, Mwene (Martin 71); Kunde (Nebel 59), Boëtius, Latza; Quaison (Kilian 71) Mateta (Burkhardt 59) Onisiwo
Before the game, there was reason for a double celebration as captain Christopher Trimmel was awarded Unioner des Jahres 2020 and handed a gift to mark his 200th game for the Köpenick club. In Urs Fischer’s starting line-up, there were two changes from last weekend’s well-deserved point in Mönchengladbach. Max Kruse was in from the start for the first time, replacing Taiwo Awoniyi, while Marcus Ingvartsen took the place of Marius Bülter. Three fresh faces were included in the matchday squad — Loris Karius, Joel Pohjanpalo and Keita Endo.
Under new coach Jan-Moritz Lichte, Mainz tried to show more competitiveness in a direct battle with Union. The away side held their own for the opening exchanges but the first good chance fell the way of Christopher Lenz, who blasted over from about 20 yards out. Fischer’s side took full advantage of a mistake in the Mainz rearguard to score the opener after 13 minutes. Scoring for his sixth different Bundesliga club, Kruse held his position at the back-post and confidently nodded home the pin-point cross from Sheraldo Becker. The Dutch winger’s explosive pace caused all sorts of problems for Borussia Mönchengladbach and struggling Mainz were on the end of the same treatment. Alexander Hack’s slip allowed Union to transition rapidly into attack, led by Becker who was first to the loose ball. He once again picked out Kruse with precision but the striker was a millimetre short and lifted the finish over Robin Zentner’s crossbar. Union’s cutting edge came from all over the pitch, with Lenz playing in rampaging central defender Nico Schlotterbeck who was denied his second goal in back-to-back games for the Köpenick club.
An exhilirating second half came to life four minutes after the restart in Köpenick. Schlotterbeck sliced open the Mainz setup with a brilliant cross-field switch to Trimmel on the right. The Austrian drove into the final-third, delivered straight into the path of Ingvartsen who finished past Zentner. Three minutes after the hour mark, Trimmel notched up his second assist of his double century in Union colours. The skipper whipped a deep cross into the box and Friedrich powered home a thunderous header. As the 5,000 crowd at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei got to grips with a three-goal advantage, Urs Fischer handed a debut to Pohjanpalo who completed his loan move from Bayer Leverkusen this week. It took the Finnish international about 10 seconds to control the ball in the area, take a second bite at the cherry and finish past the Mainz goalkeeper. Trimmel, who will go off to represent his national team next week, was given a standing ovation as he was replaced by Julian Ryerson after 76 minutes. Fischer's final changes saw a Bundesliga debut for Keita Endo who was given the last nine minutes of a memorable evening at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
After this weekend’s round of fixtures, club football takes a break with international competition taking priority focus. Fischer’s men return to action with an away trip to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke.