1. FC Union Berlin made their bow as the 56th club to compete in the Bundesliga. However, Urs Fischer’s team went down 4-0 at home to RB Leipzig.
A strong performance from the visitors saw the game wrapped up by the break with goals from Marcel Halstenberg, Marcel Sabitzer and Timo Werner.
Substitute Christopher Nkunku added a fourth with about 20 minutes left to play.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Schlotterbeck, Friedrich, Lenz; Prömel, Andrich, Gentner (Ujah 45); Abdullahi (Becker 58), Bülter, Andersson (Polter 69)
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Konate, Mukiele, Orban; Halstenberg, Klostermann; Demme (Laimer 62), Sabitzer, Kampl (Forsberg 73); Werner (Nkunku 65), Poulsen
1. FC Union Berlin battled well in the opening quarter of an hour. Sebastian Andersson drove into a dangerous position, the ball striking off Willi Orban and landing to Marius Bülter but the cutback for Robert Andrich was cleared. Andersson threatened after 10 minutes but a deflection sent the ball out for a corner kick. Despite the vocal support from the supporters, Julian Nagelsmann’s team went ahead in the 16th minute, Marcel Halstenberg striking past Rafal Gikiewicz with his right foot. The video assistant referee intervened after 23 minutes and took away a goal from a corner kick for the visitors due to handball. But Marcel Sabitzer rifled in the third on 31 minutes before Timo Werner scored the third three minutes before the end of the first half.
Fischer introduced Anthony Ujah at the half-time interval with Christian Gentner making way. Werner dashed in behind three minutes after the restart but Gikeiwicz blocked at his feet. A double save from the Polish keeper a minute later kept the scoreline down. Sheraldo Becker made his first Bundesliga appearance with around half an hour to go and showed his speed and dribbling ability on several occasions. Although Union threatened with more regularity, the away team added a fourth through substitute Nkunku. Sebastian Polter was introduced before the restart of play, but the Union number 9 was unable to assist in a comeback.
Union Berlin’s Bundesliga campaign heads on the road for the first time next weekend with Fischer’s side travelling to FC Augsburg on Saturday August 26 at 15:30. There are some tickets remaining on sale for our first away match of the season.