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VfL Bochum 1848 vs 1. FC Union Berlin

Bundesliga, 17. Matchday

Bochum vs 1. FC Union

Bundesliga, 17. Matchday

Sat., 18. December 2021, 15:30 Uhr
Vonovia Ruhrstadion
0 : 1
13.500
SR: Tobias Reichel

Kruse scores as Union win in Bochum

Match report

Max Kruse scored the decisive goal as 1. FC Union Berlin ended 2021 with three points at VfL Bochum.

The Union number 10 fired in the winning goal after 16 minutes to get Urs Fischer's side back on winning ways before the three-week winter break.

Bochum: Riemann; Soares, Masovic, Stafylidis (Bockhorn 59), Leitsch; Losilla, Osterhage (Novothny 75), Rexhbecaj; Pantovic, Antwi-Adjej (Gonvoula 75), Polter

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel (Ryerson 76) Oczipka, Knoche, Friedrich, Jaeckel; Prömel, Khedira (Möhwald 90), Kruse (Voglsammer 76); Becker (Haraguchi 63), Awoniyi (Behrens 63)

The final game of the Hinrunde saw 1. FC Union Berlin head back to Bochum, where a 2-2 draw on the last weekend of the 2018/19 campaign saw the Köpenick club go into the relegation play-off. The rest is history in the end. Two and a half years later, Union returned to face Bochum who achieved promotion to the top flight last season under the stewardship of coach Thomas Reis. Urs Fischer made three changes from the midweek draw at home to Freiburg with Bastian Oczipka, Marvin Friedrich and Max Kruse starting. After two matches without a win, Union managed to rediscover the structure and cutting edge which has served Fischer's side so well this term. Christopher Antwi-Adjej threatened in behind with his pace but goalkeeper Andreas Luthe was in control of his penalty box at the home of his former club. On 16 minutes, Max Kruse shot Union into the lead with an excellent right-foot finish after a cross from Oczipka. A minute later, Union piled on the pressure but Manuel Riemann saved from Sheraldo Becker. Union played a first-half with control and dominance with Becker and Taiwo Awoniyi combining to good effect in forward areas. On 41 minutes, Oczipka fired wide from the left side of the area having powered his way into a dangerous area. At the other end, Luthe sweeped up a ball in behind which would have sent Antwi-Adjej into a scoring position on the stroke of the break. Before the half was out, Union stepped up their attacking play and may have gone into a two-goal lead. Christopher Trimmel joined the attack from the right-hand side but Riemann was up to the job at the Ruhrstadion.

Union faced a motivated Bochum side in the second half as they looked to recover something from their final match at the Ruhrstadion in 2021. But Urs Fischer's side continued to create the bulk of the opportunities to put the game beyond doubt. Awoniyi ran clear of the Bochum defence on 50 minutes but Masovic made a vital tackle to keep the Nigerian at bay. Grischa Prömel fired over on 52 minutes from a corner kick. At one end, the Köpenick club failed to kill the game early but Bochum fought back in the last half hour. Stafilidis fired into Luthe's grasp and Milos Pantovic missed from point-blank range on 59 minutes. Both teams dipped into their reserves to bring in fresh legs as fatigue become more and more a problem. Kevin Behrens and Genki Haraguchi were introduced while Bochum swapped midfield depth for two strikers in Soma Novothny and Silvere Ganvoula. With the 13,500 fans largely pushing the home team on, Bochum tried everything to get back into the match. A chance fell to Pantovic on 79 minutes and although Luthe looked beaten, the former Bayern youngster cannoned his finish against the crossbar. It was a sigh of relief for Fischer's side considering previous experiences in the league of losing late goals. This time, however, Union managed the game with consummate professionalism, keeping the ball and running down the clock to the frustration of the home support. A final win of 2021 keeps up the pressure on the Bundesliga's top six as the Bundesliga goes into vacation mode for the next few weeks.

Union head to newly-promoted Bochum

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin's final league match of the year will be at the Ruhrstadion as we head to newly-promoted VfL Bochum on Saturday.

Review – The last match:

Union's last home game of the year ended in a goalless draw against SC Freiburg. After bouncing back from Sunday's defeat at Greuther Fürth, Union picked up the levels and were the side on top in the second half in Köpenick. Andreas Luthe made a number of important interventions at the restart from Vincenzo Grifo and Lukas Kübler, but Union recovered. A corner kick on the hour mark led to a goalmouth scramble with Timo Baumgartl unable to finish off from close range before Kübler remarkably blocked the ball on the line from Rani Khedira. A draw was a fair result for Union against Christian Streich's side that included two familiar faces in Nico and Keven Schlotterbeck.

Bochum – Opposition Report:

Despite defeat in Bielefeld, Bochum will be delighted with their start to the season following a return to the Bundesliga this summer. Bochum have picked up recent home wins against Freiburg and Hoffenheim, while holding local rivals Borussia Dortmund to a 1-1 draw. Thomas Reis' team won 3-2 at Augsburg a fortnight ago to increase the cushion above the relegation zone to three points. Former 1. FC Union Berlin striker Sebastian Polter has found his feet at Bochum after a year in the Netherlands. The 30-year-old has scored six goals in 15 matches in the Bundesliga.

Bochum – The coach's view:

"They have 20 points from 16 games. You need to praise VfL Bochum. Thomas Reis has found a style of play which suits the players. They've found their face. From the last three games, they've won. They drew 1-1 with Dortmund. It will be a difficult game. We must empty the tank and go to the limit if we are to win," said Urs Fischer at the pre-match press conference.

Personnel:

Laurenz Dehl is still injured but building up again in rehab training. There are no other fitness concerns for Urs Fischer and his staff.

Service:

There will be around 450 fans heading to Bochum on Saturday.

AFTV Videos

Max Kruse

Max Kruse

was Player of the Day for the last time against Bochum

Max Kruse

was Player of the Day against Bochum

MatchStatistics

VfL Bochum 1848 vs 1. FC Union Berlin

54 % Possession 46 %
77 % Pass Completion Rate 74 %
47 % Successful Tackle Rate 53 %
13 Shots on Goal 9
16 Crosses 12
1 Caught Offside 1
3 Yellow Cards 0
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Last match

Date Home Result Away