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Bülter scores, Union Berlin lose in Leipzig

Bundesliga returns with defeat:

Sat, 18. January 2020
Bülter scores, Union Berlin lose in Leipzig

Marius Bülter scored 1. FC Union Berlin's first league goal of the decade as the Köpenick club suffered a 1-3 defeat at league leaders RB Leipzig.

The 26-year-old counted his fifth of the season in the 10th minute to put Urs Fischer's team ahead at the home of the Bundesliga's 'Autumn Champions'.

But Leipzig fought back in the second 45 minutes and ran out comfortable winners in the end with a double for Timo Werner and one for Marcel Sabitzer.

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Halstenberg, Upamecano, Klostermann, Mukiele; Sabitzer, Adams (Ilsanker 86), Laimer, Nkunku (Haidara 78); Werner, Schick (Poulsen 68)

1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Parensen (Polter 82), Subotic, Friedrich; Lenz, Ryerson, Andrich, Gentner; Bülter, Andersson (Ujah 75), Ingvartsen (Malli 71)

Urs Fischer had to contend with a series of fitness concerns ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga return. Christopher Trimmel has been out with illness and he was replaced by Norwegian Julian Ryerson. Neven Subotic returned to the heart of Union's defence, while Keven Schlotterbeck dropped out. Yesterday's first new face of the January window, Yunus Malli, took his place on the bench. On the pitch, the Köpenick club started confidently and immediately put themselves into the many challenges and battles. Robert Andrich picked up a loose ball in the third minute, but blazed a long-range effort high over the crossbar. The opening goal after 10 minutes was certainly not against the run of play, with Christian Gentner breaking up Leipzig's build-up play and Sebastian Andersson sliding the ball through to Bülter who held his nerve to score the first league goal of the new decade. More than 7,000 supporters made the trip to Leipzig, but remained silent for the first 15 minutes in protest. The backing from the away end was typically outstanding, the away fans making their presence well heard. Naturally, the league leaders grew into the game and found more solutions to breaking down Union as the half went on. Rafal Gikiewicz cleared a shot from Patrik Schick after 24 minutes, while Nordi Mukiele dragged a shot wide from a good position with the half coming to a close.

The teams emerged from the tunnel unchanged, but from the get-go it was clear to see Nagelsmann's side's intent. A poor clearance landed at the feet of Timo Werner, the German international beat Gikiewicz with a thumping half-volley from 20 yards out. Frustrating for Union was perhaps how soft the second goal landed in Leipzig's lap after 56 minutes. The away side failed to clear the corner kick and Sabitzer had the room to loop the ball into the net, despite the best efforts of Gikiewicz to come to the rescue. Seb Andersson passed up a half-chance from a set-play as Union looked to drag themselves back into the match. On 71 minutes, the Swede combined elegantly with Gentner who played in Andrich, but the midfielder's powerful shot came cannoning back off the palms of Peter Gulacsi. Fischer chased the points and continued to push for attacking solutions: Yunus Malli was handed his debut for Union Berlin and Anthony Ujah followed suit with 15 minutes left. A minute after Sebastian Polter was introduced, Leipzig wrapped up the points thanks to Werner's second of the game and his 20th of the Bundesliga campaign. While there was a chance for Bülter to score with five minutes left, the home team remained in control and saw out the game to stay at the summit of the league.