Despite creating opportunities to score, 1. FC Union Berlin were unable to unsettle Bayern Munich who ran out 4-0 winners at the Allianz Arena.
Goals from Kingsley Coman, Tanguy Nianzou and a double from Robert Lewandowski allowed Julian Nagelsmann's team to stay at the top of the Bundesliga.
Urs Fischer's side fought for the 90 minutes and were passed up good chances at key times in the first-half to break the deadlock and equalise before the result was out of sight.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Stanisic, Nianzou, Upamecano, Hernandez; Musiala (Sabitzer 71), Kimmich (Roca 74), Coman (Gnabry 68), Müller (Choupo Moting 74), Sane (Tolisso 74); Lewandowski
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Ryerson, Oczipka, Knoche, Jaeckel, Baumgartl; Khedira, Möhwald (Schäfer 62), Haraguchi; Awoniyi (Voglsammer 62), Becker (Michel 72)
1. FC Union Berlin's "Eisern for Humanity" campaign met FC Bayern's "Reds against Racism" this weekend as the league marks the International Week Against Racism which runs until the end of March. There was a late drop out from Union's team with Christopher Trimmel testing positive for coronavirus in the week – the captain's armband was worn instead by Rani Khedira. Meanwhile, Grischa Prömel was suspended following a yellow card last week at home to Stuttgart and Kevin Möhwald took his place in midfield. The Köpenick side, with 1,400 travelling supporters, started with the sort of courage that Urs Fischer asked for during the week at the pre-match press conference. Julian Ryerson powered down the right after five minutes, picked out Sheraldo Becker who headed wide from a good position. The Dutchman showed at times he had the pace to out run the Bayern Munich defence, he delivered from wide but Taiwo Awoniyi failed to connect on 8 minutes. It was a night where Union had to take whatever goalscoring opportunities came their way given the sort of quality in Julian Nagelsmann's side at the other end. That quality included Robert Lewandowski who was denied by Andreas Luthe after 10 minutes. Leroy Sane smashed one from distance over the bar a minute later, but the German champions for the last nine successive years would succeed in breaking the deadlock. Frenchman Kingsley Coman shifted the ball on to his right foot on the left-hand side and then cannoned a shot over the goalkeeper and into the corner to give Bayern a 1-0 advantage. A setback like that could have derailed Union's confidence but Fischer's men stepped up with a brilliant reaction at the home of the league leaders. A free-kick was won out on the left-flank, with Bastian Oczipka standing over the cross. The Union number 20 put it into a perfect zone for Robin Knoche who was denied by an excellent Manuel Neuer save. Becker's speed and wing play created more opportunities for Union but the killer touch was missing. On 21 minutes, the Dutch winger crossed for Awoniyi who connected with it but fired wide. Awoniyi turned provider to tee up Becker whose shot was tame and straight at Neuer. Within a flash, Bayern had their second to the frustration of the visitors. Nianzou dominated the set-piece situation and headed into the net despite Luthe's best attempts to push clear. Kevin Möhwald struck from range on 36 minutes but Bayern's dominance remained untouched. At the end of the half, Robert Lewandowski ran through on goal and was brought down by Andreas Luthe. Referee Harm Osmers pointed to the spot despite the protestations from the Union players, who were perhaps left a little frustrated by the pattern of the game. Lewandowski stepped up to score and hit his 30th of the season before the first 45 minutes were out.
Jamal Musiala set up Lewandowski for his 31st of the season less than 100 seconds into the second half at the Allianz Arena. Referee Osmers consulted with the video assistant referee on 51 minutes when Knoche was struck in the box, but there was no penalty awarded. Two minutes later, Genki Haraguchi forced a fine save from Manuel Neuer but Taiwo Awoniyi's finish was cleared off the line left-back Lucas Hernandez. That was the Nigerian's last action before he was replaced by Andreas Voglsammer, while Andras Schäfer came on for Möhwald on 62 minutes. Neuer came running out of his goal on 67 minutes and both Schäfer and Voglsammer combined, but the substitute forward saw his finish blocked as the goal was wide open. Sven Michel took over from Becker who was largely Union's most dangerous player the whole evening in Munich. Michel wasn't far away from scoring with his first touch on 72 minutes as Rani Khedira charged into the box, despite not steering the cutback right into Michel's path. Throughout the second half, the 1,400 Union fans in the away section sang loudly despite the 35,000-plus disadvantage to the home supporters. Nagelsmann and Bayern turned to their bench in the final 20 minutes with Gnabry, Roca, Tolisso, Choupo-Moting and Sabitzer all getting game time. Gnabry could have scored with six to go to make it five for Bayern but shot wide of the left post. Haraguchi was taken off with five minutes left as Anthony Ujah came on, continuing his recovery from long-term injury. It wasn't to be for the Köpenick club in Munich this time around after last year's successful draw on Bayern territory.
Five 1. FC Union Berlin players will head off on international duty next week, while Union will host FK Pardubice from the Czech Republic at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Competitive action returns on Friday April 1 at 20:30 when 1. FC Köln make the trip to Köpenick in the Bundesliga.