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Union Berlin battle to beat league leaders Gladbach

Home Fortress:

Sat, 23. November 2019
Union Berlin battle to beat league leaders Gladbach

1. FC Union Berlin made it three wins on the spin with a 2-0 victory over league-leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Anthony Ujah doubled his tally for the campaign with a header after 15 minutes as Urs Fischer's team delivered another memorable home performance in the Bundesliga.

The points were wrapped up in style with Sebastian Andersson marking his return to Köpenick with a stoppage time strike following Euro 2020 qualification with Sweden last week.

1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Subotic, Friedrich, Schlotterbeck; Trimmel, Kroos (Schmiedebach 70), Gentner, Lenz; Ingvartsen, Ujah (Bülter 78), Andersson

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer; Elvedi (Strobl 60), Ginter, Kramer; Wendt, Zakaria, Neuhaus (Stindl 58), Laimer; Plea, Thuram (Embolo 78), Herrmann

Robert Andrich’s suspension meant Urs Fischer turned to his squad for a deputy, and the Swiss coach picked Felix Kroos to start in central midfield. In attack, Ujah was preferred to Sebastian Polter from the start. 1. FC Union Berlin held firm without the ball despite Marco Rose’s league leaders threatening to break through in the early stages. Patrick Herrmann hit the post after 11 minutes and Union would punish the visitors for their lack of conviction, four minutes later. Christopher Lenz unleashed Marcus Ingvartsen down the left flank as Union Berlin turned defence into attack in rapid speed. The Danish U21 international picked out Ujah in space at the back post and the Nigerian headed in his second goal of the Bundesliga season. Ingvartsen himself came close with a rasping volley, which struck the bottom of Yann Sommer’s post on 20 minutes. The Swiss goalkeeper was kept busy from a shot by Sebastian Andersson after half an hour as Fischer’s team continued to ask questions of Gladbach. At the other end, Union number one Rafal Gikiewicz was on point to win a decisive one-vs-one battle in the 38th minute — Alessandre Plea ran through on goal, but the Polish keeper made a brilliant block to protect the lead.

The interval failed to stop Union from posing a constant threat to the Gladbach defence. Lenz charged into the box after 50 minutes, knocked the ball back to Andersson but Sommer's hands were strong to block the shot. Felix Kroos ran his race until the 70th minute in the middle of the park, eventually being replaced by Manuel Schmiedebach. Herrmann was presented with another shooting chance but fired wide. At the heart of Union's brilliant results this season has been the powerful defensive performances at the back. Today was no different as the team worked to snuff out any progressive attacks from the away side. Ujah and Ingvartsen were given standing ovations from the home crowd as they were both allowed to put their feet up for the final few minutes. The icing on the cake came in stoppage time when substitute Julian Ryerson sprinted clear of the Gladbach defence, teeing up Andersson who scored sixth goal of the campaign to secure all three points.

The run-in for 2019 comes thick-and-fast over the next few weeks and Union Berlin are involved in next week's Friday night encounter against Schalke 04 at the Veltins Arena.