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Union hold Bayern Munich to 1-1 draw

Prömel header early on:

Sat, 12. December 2020
Union hold Bayern Munich to 1-1 draw

Grischa Prömel's header after four minutes was enough to bag 1. FC Union Berlin a fantastic point at home to champions Bayern Munich.

The midfielder glanced home the opener early on following a terrific start from Urs Fischer's side. The Köpenick club had chances to win the game, but Bayern pulled level through Robert Lewandowski.

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel, Knoche, Friedrich, Lenz; Prömel, Griesbeck (Ryerson 71); Becker, Bülter (Endo 71), Ingvartsen (Teuchert 36); Awoniyi (Gentner 90)

FC Bayern Munich: Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka (Tolisso 76); Coman, Musiala (Sane 63), Müller, Lewandowski, Gnabry (Choupo-Moting 88)

With Robert Andrich and Max Kruse unavailable due to respective suspension and injury, and Julian Ryerson dropping to the bench, Fischer’s starting line-up included three new faces. Sebastian Griesbeck took the central midfield position, Marius Bülter came in on the left-hand side, while Sheraldo Becker was given the nod. In the last home match against Frankfurt, Union roared out of the traps and scored two goals in five minutes. The same aggressive tempo was set from the first minute when Taiwo Awoniyi rampaged through on goal but was denied by an excellent save from Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. But the German number one was beaten after just four minutes — Prömel headed in Christopher Trimmel’s corner kick brilliantly from the front post. Marcus Ingvartsen popped one from distance after 12 minutes but Neuer’s positioning was on point to claim the ball. On 22 minutes, Awoniyi created a brilliant opportunity from nothing after a mistake from Alphonso Davies. The on-loan Liverpool striker, with two goals to his account, bullied David Alaba and was inches away from scoring Union’s second of the night. Andreas Luthe’s goal was relatively untested during Bayern’s main spell of dominance in the first half, with Alaba’s long-range piledriver one of the closest the champions came to breaking Union’s resolve. The hosts were forced into a frustrating first-half change through injury when Ingvartsen pulled up after a solid shift — Cedric Teuchert took his place off the front. At the close of play, Robert Lewandowski stood over a threatening free-kick but the red jerseys put themselves on the line to block both from the Polish number nine and defender Jerome Boateng in the rebound.

Into the second half, Bayern's immense offensive power asked questions of 1. FC Union Berlin. But time after time again, Fischer's side came up with the answers. Kingsley Coman was forced to strike from more than 25 yards out, while both Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry struggled to break through the Union rearguard. Union's response was superb and the home team pushed back on to the front foot, causing all kinds of trouble for Hansi Flick's side. A minute after the goal, a cross from wide was agonisingly missed by Awoniyi on the slide. Substitute Teuchert powered past Boateng on the left, set up the chance for Bülter but Bayern cleared the danger. In the end, Union had to watch as Lewandowski tapped home the equaliser after 67 minutes. Julian Ryerson and Keita Endo were the fresh legs Union needed after an energy-sapping 70 minutes of football. Endo nearly made an instant impact, taking the ball in from Awoniyi but only shooting at Manuel Neuer. There were a few scares in-and-around Union's box, but the clear action took place at the other end. Fischer's team were brave and showed no fear, picking their moment to counterattack to almost devastating effect. Marvin Friedrich nearly capped off a wonderful performance with the winning goal but the central defender headed straight at Neuer from another Trimmel corner kick. One final bit of action, after 89 minutes, had hearts in mouths on the Union side as Luthe pulled off a match-defining save from Coman's header. Four minutes of stoppage time lapsed and Union walked away with an outstanding point against the German champions to keep up the strong start to the season.

The action comes thick-and-fast for Union in the Bundesliga. On Tuesday, the Köpenick side head south to play VfB Stuttgart at 20:30 before returning to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei next weekend to face another heavyweight in Borussia Dortmund.