Oh, what a night! :-)
Ticker

1. FC Union Berlin vs Borussia Mönchengladbach

Bundesliga, 19. Matchday

1. FC Union vs M'gladbach

Bundesliga, 19. Matchday

Sat., 30. January 2021, 15:30 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
1 : 1
SR: Bastian Dankert

Union Berlin hold Gladbach to 1-1 draw

Match report

1. FC Union Berlin held firm against Champions League participants Borussia Mönchengladbach to come away from the Matchday 19 meeting with a 1-1 draw.

Robin Knoche headed the Köpenick club into the lead after 37 minutes, but the Foals levelled through Alassane Plea in the second half.

 

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe (Karius 69); Ryerson, Gießelmann, Schlotterbeck (Bülter 79), Friedrich, Knoche; Gentner (Griesbeck 66), Andrich; Ingvartsen, Awoniyi (Pohjanpalo 79), Teuchert (Dajaku 85)

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer; Elvedi, Ginter, Lainer, Bensibiani; Kramer (Neuhaus 58), Zakaria, Hofmann (Stindl 75); Plea (Embolo 90), Thuram, Wolf (Herrmann 90)

Urs Fischer’s team selection was influenced by injuries to Sheraldo Becker, Christopher Lenz and Grischa Prömel, while Christopher Trimmel and Florian Hübner sat out suspensions. While the formation was untouched, Julian Ryerson and Niko Gießelmann enjoyed starts at full-back, Christian Gentner returned to midfield and Cedric Teuchert supported the lone striker in Taiwo Awoniyi. Against top-class opposition, Union set up ranks to keep control of the midfield zone and look for quick passes into attack. A move, well-knitted together by Robert Andrich, put Marcus Ingvartsen into a dangerous positon around 25 yards out but the Dane blasted over — a similar positon from where the Union attacker drilled home against Augsburg a week ago. Chances were few and far between as both teams played a game of poker on the tactical side. Borussia Mönchengladbach always looked dangerous in the final third with the likes of Denis Zakaria supporting from midfield, and the striker duo of Marcus Thuram and Alassene Plea. But while Gladbach — the strongest team from set-pieces in the Bundesliga — passed the ball around more, it was the home side who broke the deadlock after 31 minutes. Ingvartsen popped a free-kick into the box from a difficult central positon but Knoche made the most of the delivery, heading past Yann Sommer from distance. Six minutes later, Nico Schlotterbeck roared into an offensive transition from the back and was not far away from finding the top corner. Gladbach probed and looked for a gap but Andreas Luthe and his resolute defence held firm until the interval.

Marco Rose's side creeped more into the match after the interval and Thuram came relatively close with a right-foot shot on 52 minutes. The counter was Union's strongest weapon but the tempo and intensity of the game eventually took its toll on the home side. Fischer and assistant coach Markus Hoffmann roared on from the sidelines as Teuchert in particular showed pace on the break. However, the visitors levelled on 57 minutes and Union were undone by a moment of individual quality. Plea took the ball at the edge of the box and with perfect placement, found the bottom corner from range. After the hour mark, Sebastian Griesbeck added fresh legs into the middle of the park, but Fischer was forced into another swift substitution after a heavy collison between Thuram and Luthe. The Union number one was taken off with injury and Loris Karius was handed the baton for the last 20 minutes. Joel Pohjanpalo celebrated his return from injury with about 15 minutes left, while Marius Bülter supported from the bench. Bülter was about 100 seconds on the pitch before he sent in terrific cross, which was secured by the Finnish international front man. The shot from Andrich was well-blocked and Ryerson couldn't direct his follow-up attempt on the target. Teuchert's time on the pitch was up with five left as Leon Dajaku made a home debut at the Alte Försterei. Gladbach were the team on the ascendency in the final minutes and three successive corner kicks were cleared in the six minutes of stoppage time. Referee Bastian Dankert and his video assistant cleared up a potential handball situation, but in the end, the Köpenick club saw the game out and secured another important point on the road to survival.

Union take on Borussia Mönchengladbach

Match preview

After positive results against fellow Champions League challengers Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg, 1. FC Union Berlin will go head-to-head with another this weekend in the shape of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Review

However, the Köpenick club suffered back-to-back defeats in the week against Leipzig and Augsburg. Saturday's game at the WWK-Arena in Augsburg was a stuffy affair but the margins didn't quite fall in the way for Union Berlin. Florian Niederlechner opened the scoring before Marcus Ingvartsen drilled home an excellent goal midway through the first half. Niederlechner scored again, two minutes into the second half, but gave a way a penalty on 67 minutes. A foul on Prömel was double-checked by the referee Felix Brych and a penalty was awarded for Union. But former Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz denied his former team a point as he saved the spot-kick from Ingvartsen with 20 minutes to play.

Opposition

Borussia Mönchengladbach is a "top opponent" according head coach Urs Fischer. The Foals have taken 13 from their last available 15 points, including victories against Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. "Who comes second in a Champions League group with Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan is a top-level team," added the Union coach. Although Borussia Mönchengladbach sit down in fifth, Marco Rose's men are one of the form teams in the Bundesliga – now four points off second-placed Leipzig. A 4-2 win over Dortmund last week knocked the stuffing out of the team regularly the strongest challengers to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Nico Elvedi scored a double in a topsy-turvy first 45 minutes, but impressive goals from Reny Bensibiani and Marcus Thuram put the game beyond any doubt. In other competitions, Mönchengladbach have a double-header to come against Premier League league-leaders Manchester City and in the DFB Pokal, they will go up against VfB Stuttgart.

Personnel

Urs Fischer admitted in the pre-match press conference that there were questions marks over the availability of Grischa Prömel, Sheraldo Becker and Marius Bülter. All three have a chance and don't have any serious injuries to note. Christopher Trimmel and Florian Hübner are sitting out suspensions this weekend, while Max Kruse and Anthony Ujah are out of contention. Fischer added: "With Joel Pohjanpalo, it's looking really good. The strength is there for 15-20 minutes of game time. We'll decide after the last training session."

Service

Saturday's 15:30 kick-off at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei will be played behind closed doors.

AFTV Videos

Robin Knoche

Robin Knoche

was Player of the Day for the last time against M'gladbach

Robin Knoche

was Player of the Day against M'gladbach

MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs Borussia Mönchengladbach

44 % Possession 58 %
81 % Pass Completion Rate 88 %
47 % Successful Tackle Rate 46 %
13 Shots on Goal 6
12 Crosses 8
1 Caught Offside 1
1 Yellow Cards 3
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Last match

Date Home Result Away