Union Berlin edged out RB Leipzig to continue their impressive run at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, which has seen ‘Die Eisernen’ taste defeat in just one of their previous 24 Bundesliga home games.
For the first time in the Bundesliga, Union faced RB Leipzig as the higher placed team, and they marked that little piece of history by getting off to a dream start, when Taiwo Awoniyi struck in the sixth minute to register his ninth league goal of the season. Julian Ryerson’s lofted cross found the head of Timo Baumgartl, who guided the ball into the path of Awoniyi and the forward made no mistake in poking home from close range.
Not content with the early opener, ‘Die Eisernen’ continued to surge forward and it looked for all the world that Max Kruse would double the lead, but he fluffed his lines much to the relief of Leipzig. The visitors’ start to the contest was far from ideal, but they were gifted an equaliser in the 13th minute courtesy of Andreas Luthe’s error. The Union goalkeeper looked set to comfortably gather Christopher Nkunku’s ambitious long-range effort, but the ball evaded his grasp and nestled in the back of the net.
Just like the first half, the hosts started the second period the stronger of the two sides, and they restored their lead through Baumgartl. A well-worked corner kick enabled Kruse to get a free shot at goal, with his effort ricocheting off Konrad Laimer and into the path of Baumgartl to score for the first time in a Union shirt.
‘Die Roten Bullen’ have only collected three points on their travels this season and that didn’t look like changing, with Urs Fischer’s side continuing to threaten, and it was only a smart piece of goalkeeping from Péter Gulácsi that denied Kevin Behrens from grabbing Union’s third late on. That miss didn’t dampen the home fans’ spirits as they held on to claim consecutive home league victories.