1. FC Union Berlin suffered defeat for the first time in 2022 away at FC Augsburg.
Goals from Michael Gregoritsch and Andre Hahn secured the three points for Augsburg, who are able to move out of the relegation zone, at least temporarily. Union taste a loss for the first time in the new calendar year following seven games in all competitions without defeat.
Urs Fischer handed a debut on 61 minutes for Sven Michel who joined on deadline day from 2.Bundesliga promotion chasers SC Paderborn.
FC Augsburg: Gikiewicz; Iago (Uduokhai 81), Oxford, Framberger, Gouweleeuw; Dorsch, Maier; Vargas (Pedersen 80), Hahn, Gregoritsch; Niederlechner (Zeqiri 74)
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel, Baumgartl, Knoche, Heintz (Endo 74), Gießelmann (Oczipka 74); Khedira, Haraguchi (Michel 61); Becker, Awoniyi (Behrens 74), Voglsammer (Öztunali 61)
The VVK-Arena in Augsburg is a venue where 1. FC Union Berlin hadn't tasted Bundesliga victory – but it was the home of Union's first goal in the Bundesliga. Urs Fischer's started the first five minutes well and Niko Gießelmann headed wide from Sheraldo Becker's dangerous cross. But afterwards, Markus Weinzierl's side moved up the gears and showed real hunger to improve their dangerous league position in the Bundesliga. Augsburg used the pitch well to play into space and off the ball chased and harried Union into mistakes. Florian Niederlechner could have scored after six minutes, but shot off target. Gregoritsch and Niederlechner combined again with Union's defence at sea, but the number 7 shot wide. The Austrian forward would put Augsburg ahead after 16 minutes, assisted by poor play in the build-up from Union Berlin. The ball was nabbed off Robin Knoche by Niklas Dorsch and Gregoritsch finished from inside the 18-yard-box. Despite the odd foray into Augsburg territory, the home side will have felt they could have put this game to bed before the 45 minutes were up. Andre Hahn lost control at the vital moment when the goal was at his mercy. Opportunities came up for Fischer's men to hit back and change the dynamics of the game, but the final pass or luck in the box was missing. Becker turned in a succession of deliveries around the 22nd-minute mark but the returning Taiwo Awoniyi was unable to convert from those attacks. Augsburg's momentum soon picked up again and Christopher Trimmel cleared off the line from Florian Niederlechner on 25 minutes. Union gifted Augsburg another opportunity to break on 40 minutes, the ball falling to Gregoritsch whose speculative hit from distance cannoned off Andreas Luthe's crossbar. The Austrian lashed at the effort from around 35 yards out, and slightly lower would have seen the ball hit the back of the net. Augsburg's dominance could have stretched further than 1-0 but Union did claw their way back into the game after the Gregoritsch's chance. A concerted period of pressure saw Niko Gießelmann again attack the penalty box, but this time he headed over Rafal Gikieiwcz's as the home side held the league into the break.
Just five minutes into the second half, Union created their best chance to level. Christopher Trimmel progressed down the right, drew the ball back cleverly towards the edge of the box, but Haraguchi scuffed his attempted finish. Augsburg regained their position of dominance in front of 7,000 home supporters who gave their team an impressive backing. Luthe saved from Gregoritsch but two minutes later, the ball was in the net. Hahn picked up the ball in space around 30 yards from Union's goal and fizzed a spectacular shot into the top corner. A further save from Arne Maier kept Augsburg within a two-goal range. Fischer went to his bench and one of his first introductions was Michel who begins a new chapter of his career at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei following a successful period at Paderborn. Levin Öztunali joined the new Union number 10 on the park, and within minutes, Michel tested Gikiewicz with a well-struck effort from about 25 yards out. Bastian Oczipka, Kevin Behrens and Keita Endo saw action after 74 minutes as the Union head coach twisted with all of his options used up for the final quarter of an hour. Endo linked well from the left-hand side and saw a shot kept out by Gikiewicz on 77 minutes. Referee Harm Osmers and his team added three minutes of additional time for Union to find a route back into the game. A late free-kick almost opened Union's account for the afternoon but Gikiewicz made a point-blank save from Michel to protect his clean sheet against his former club.