1. FC Union Berlin turned in a brave performance at the Allianz Arena, but were beaten 2-1 by the German champions Bayern Munich.
Sebastian Polter scored the second of Union's two penalty kicks — the first from Sebastian Andersson was saved by Manuel Neuer. The home side struck through Benjamin Pavard on 13 minutes and Robert Lewandowski eight minutes after the restart.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Kimmich, Pavard, Boateng, Davies; Perisic (Tolisso 75), Coutinho, Thiago, Müller, Coman (Gnabry 65); Lewandowski
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Subotic, Friedrich, Lenz; Kroos (Becker 60), Andrich, Gentner; Ingvartsen (Ujah 66), Andersson (Polter 66), Bülter
Union Berlin travelled to Munich in good spirits following last week’s win at home to Freiburg. Urs Fischer shuffled his pack a little bit, returning to the 4-3-3 formation, which served the team so well last season. Felix Kroos started in the middle of the park, while Neven Subotic replaced Michael Parensen in central defence. Niko Kovac made four changes in his team overall with Alphonso Davies starting at left-back and Jerome Boateng and Benjamin Pavard partnering at central defence. Against the German champions, Union looked positive and brave in the attacking transition. Marius Bülter put a dangerous ball into the box, which evaded Marcus Ingvartsen in a promising situation. The opening goal on 13 minutes was frustrating for the visitors with Pavard firing home following defensive mistake at a corner kick. Union dropped into a compact defensive shape and held their own in the first half — despite the home side holding on to the ball. Ingvartsen fired over from long-range on 29 minutes as the Dane looked to build on his excellent performance from last week.
Lewandowski was kept controlled in the first half but given the Polish international’s scoring exploits, it felt like a matter of time before he struck. He did so on 53 minutes after a slice of luck around the edge of the box. Three minutes later, referee Christian Dingert halted the game following Union protests, and with a check of the video technology, the Berliners were awarded a penalty kick. Despite Andersson’s usual clinical edge from these positions, Neuer got down quickly to his right and made a strong save. Sheraldo Becker was the first introduction on the hour mark. Fischer threw his cards on the table with a double substitution on 66 minutes — in came Anthony Ujah and Sebastian Polter for Ingvartsen and Andersson. Becker worked his way into a brilliant situation on 68 minutes, clear on goal but the Dutch winger’s final pass was a couple of inches off with Polter waiting. Lewandowski scored with five minutes left but Dingert was given the nod from Cologne to chop the goal off for offside in the build-up play. The referee was centre of attention again when Pavard bundled over Polter in the box, awarding a second spot-kick for the promoted club. Union's substitute striker slotted home this time to give the 7,000 supporters something to cheer about despite the end result.
The games come thick and fast for Fischer’s team who will stay in the south of Germany ahead of the DFB Pokal clash at SC Freiburg on Tuesday evening. The next league game is against Hertha BSC at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei next Saturday evening.