1. FC Union Berlin were fired to a superb 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei by goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Grischa Prömel.
Awoniyi counted another goal to add to his record Bundesliga tally at Union Berlin on 17 minutes before stand-in captain for the day Grischa Prömel fired a stunning goal to clinch the points after 21 minutes.
1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow; Ryerson (Trimmel 84), Gießelmann (Oczipka 84), Jaeckel, Baumgartl, Knoche; Khedira, Prömel, Haraguchi (Schäfer 66); Awoniyi (Michel 80), Becker (Voglsammer 66)
Eintracht Frankfurt: Grahl; Ndicka, Jakic (Hasebe 75), Hrustic (Kamada 57), Kostic (Lenz 66), Hinteregger, Chandler (Knauff 57), Hauge, Lindstrom (Ache 45), Tuta, Paciencia
A week after last Saturday's memorable derby win at the Olympic Stadium, Union headed into the game with an opportunity to take a step closer in the direction of European football for next season. Andreas Luthe missed out as Frederik Rönnow retained his place between the sticks following a recent run of appearances in the Bundesliga. Julian Ryerson came in at full-back for the captain Christopher Trimmel while Paul Jaeckel came back from suspension. The opponents from Frankfurt stole the headlines on Thursday with 30,000 fans in attendance in Barcelona seeing their team defeat the Catalans 3-2. Oliver Glasner's team walked into the eye of a storm at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei as Union bossed the contest from the first minute. Sheraldo Becker struck wide on 9 minutes before Genki Haraguchi headed off the post having opened the scoring in last week's derby. On 17 minutes, Awoniyi grabbed his 13th of the campaign, powering through the Frankfurt defenders and firing past Jens Grahl. Referee Frank Willenborg consulted with video referee Wolfgang Haslberger but there was no infringement against Martin Hinteregger. It was quickly 2-0 and it was a special goal for the Alte Försterei faithful to enjoy. Grischa Prömel took the ball comfortably on 21 minutes around 25 yards from goal and bent the ball high past Grahl into the net. Becker set up Prömel two minutes later and the midfielder was inches away from a third goal. Frankfurt cleared a corner kick on 25 minutes but Haraguchi blazed wide from distance. It was a comprehensive domination from the Köpenick club who snapped, bit and fought for every second ball and made life hell for the Eagles. Rani Khedira was a key player in Union's industrious pressing off the ball, but he was hotly involved in pushing for a third goal. Becker's header to him led to a good opportunity and with an acrobatic effort Khedira missed the target. Haraguchi was also on the hunt for a goal: dribbling from the right past and despite skewing his cross, Niko Gießelmann was a yard or two away from getting a clear sight at goal. The away side struggled put attacks together as Union stepped up and pro-actively looked to sniff out any danger. Goncalo Paciencia was starved of service and on 36 minutes volleyed high and wide from a corner kick. Khedira passed up another opportunity on 38 minutes, shooting wide after Grahl parried Becker's cross in his direction. Frederik Rönnow was finally brought into the contest to make an important save with four minutes of the half to go. Jens Petter Hauge found space and beat Paul Jaeckel on the left-hand side of Frankfurt but the Danish goalkeeper blocked his route to goal. Awoniyi chased after what seemed like a hopeless cause on 43 minutes but got there ahead of the visitors; the Nigerian passed in to Khedira but again the midfielder couldn't turn two goals into three before the 45 were out.
The Europa League semi-finalists were unsurprisingly the quickest to rotate and Ragnar Ache was the first introduction. Daichi Kamada and Ansgar Knauff would soon follow as Glasner's side tried to take things up to another gear. On 63 minutes, with Union mostly keeping things tight, Awoniyi burst clear of the Frankfurt defence. The Nigerian charged in powerfully from the left, twisting and turning away from black jerseys, but at the end he struck over the crossbar. Despite Frankfurt's efforts to stimulate some danger, Frederik Rönnow enjoyed a quiet afternoon. Filip Kostic's free kick was headed at Rönnow on 64 minutes and that was as dangerous as it came for the visitors. Andras Schäfer and Andreas Voglsammer came on for Haraguchi and Becker after 67 minutes while promotion hero Christopher Lenz returned to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei as a substitute for Kostic. Schäfer's energy and willngness to run was evident once again and he almost got his rewards but fired straight at Grahl. Bastian Oczipka made it Bundesliga appearance number 301 on 84 minutes as he replaced Gießelmann at left-back, with Trimmel coming on for the outstanding Julian Ryerson. A substitute on the 80th minute, Sven Michel was presented with openings to add to his first Union goal last week in the derby win at Hertha. Michel won the ball superbly from Tuta but was denied a chance at goal. He then was inches away in stoppage time from latching on to a great cross from Voglsammer. The Köpenick club stayed in control of the points and celebrated another three points ahead of a pivotal week in the club's season.