Two goals in the first half succumbed 1. FC Union Berlin to a defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.
Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario combined with goals inside the space of five minutes to put Peter Bosz’s team into a comfortable lead, which was kept in tack to take the points.
Substitute Sebastian Polter was dismissed after VAR consultation for a late tackle on Leverkusen’s Julian Baumgartlinger after 65 minutes.
Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky; L. Bender (Weiser 67), S. Bender, Dragovic, Wendell; Baumgartlinger (Demirbay 70); Amiri (Paulinho 84), Aranguiz, Volland, Havertz; Alario
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Lenz (Reichel 48); Gentner, Andrich; Bülter, Ingvartsen (Polter 61), Becker (Gogia 45); Andersson
Neven Subotic’s suspension handed Keven Schlotterbeck a return to the team following a ban of his own after the red card in Augsburg. Marcus Ingvartsen took the place from Anthony Ujah in attack after returning to full training. Ten minutes passed without little action and a game dominated with safe passes, but Peter Bosz’s side first found the net on 16 minutes. But referee Felix Brych ruled there to be an offside as Alario scored from close range. However, Leverkusen’s next effort was given the all clear: Volland controlling the ball on the left-hand side and firing into the opposite corner. Five minutes later, Wendell picked up a second ball and squared to Alario, the Argentine curling into the bottom corner. Union fought back into the game, created more room in attacking areas and had one or two positive counterattacks. Sebastian Andersson’s first sight of goal arrived late in the half as he controlled a pass inside from Marius Bülter but the striker was caught in two minds under pressure and Leverkusen successfully cleared the danger.
Fischer introduced Akaki Gogia from the bench for Sheraldo Becker and it was quickly followed by a second change as Christopher Lenz hobbled off with an injury — Ken Reichel took his place on the left side of the back four. A set-piece situation could always prove useful for Union with Marvin Friedrich and Schlotterbeck competing, but in one case, the on-loan Freiburg defender couldn’t power on the header to direct it goalwards. Polter’s game time lasted four minutes in place of Ingvartsen with the striker receiving a straight red card from referee Robert Hartmann following consultation with VAR. Kai Havertz hit the crossbar from distance as Leverkusen pressed for a third against the ten men from Union. However, the score remained the same and the promoted side from Berlin head back to Köpenick without points.
The next Bundesliga match for 1. FC Union Berlin is on Friday September 27 at 20:30 with UEFA Europa League participants Eintracht Frankfurt coming to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.