Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 1
(1 - 1)
Union Berlin
FC Bayern
S. Becker (12)
J. Kimmich (15)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

15.30 Kickoffs: Bayern drop more points with another 1-1 draw, Freiburg rise to the top of the table

SC Freiburg shall emerge from the 2022/23 Bundesliga's fifth round at the top of the table. Christian Streich's Breisgauer drew level with Dortmund on 12 points and claim first place via goal differential. The Black Forest club cannot be caught this weekend.

The league's new "Spitzenreiter" have 1. FC Union Berlin to thank for their new position. Urs Fischer's Eisernen held FC Bayern München to a 1-1 draw over in Köpenick. Bayern have now dropped points for the second consecutive matchday.
FC Bayern München have dropped points once again after completing their second consecutive 1-1 draw in as many rounds. Julian Nagelsmann's FCB were unable to deliver much quality in their trip to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei to visit 1. FC Union Berlin. A compact and disciplined Union side kept Bayern out of the box and away from their keeper. Unlike last week, Bayern did not end up troubling the opposing keeper much.

As he made clear at his Friday press conference, Nagelsmann rotated most of the players not involved in the midweek Pokal victory back into the squad. Manuel Neuer, Leroy Sané, Marcel Sabitzer, Jamal Musiala, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman, and Sadio Mané all started. In comparison to Bayern's last league game against Gladbach, Nagelsmann opted for Matthijs de Ligt over Lucas Hernandez at center back. Musiala also started over Thomas Müller as squad switched from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1.

Urs Fischer made no changes to his usual 3-5-2 "double stack" formation. There was nevertheless some bad news for the FCU trainer prior to kickoff. Standout American striker Jordan Siebatcheu couldn't participate due to some muscular issues. Center back Diogo Leite was also unavailable due to a chest contusion and Janik Haberer had to sit out for personal reasons. Fischer replaced Siebatcheu with Kevin Behrens, Leite with Paul Jaeckel, and Haberer with Andras Schäfer. Captain Christopher Trimmel also started over Niko Gießelmann in the right wingback role.

Bayern bossed possession from the start and Leroy Sané established a warning shot from just outside the area in the 3rd. The Union defensive ranks had to scramble to clear the ball after Robin Knoche blocked Sané's effort and the Bavarian guests kept trying to work the ball in. Nagelsmann's charges were able to win a couple corners in the opening ten minutes, but the Köpenick hosts cleared away with emphatic aerial supremacy. Union actually opened the scoring off of their first dead ball situation. Sheraldo Becker stroked home the shock 1-0 off a Trimmel free-kick in the 11th.

Bayern answered swiftly. The Bavarians would convert off a corner in the 15th after efforts from de Ligt and Musiala were stopped, yet not cleared. Joshua Kimmich remained with the ball and unleashed a tight diagonal shot from the half-right space. A slight deflection off of Trimmel helped the ball find the back of the net. After the equalizer, however, a compact FCU kept the lines tight in the box. Much like last week, Bayern combined intricately outside the box without finding a way into it.

The first half drew ti a close with the FCB lording over upwards of 75 percent possession. Space remained at a premium. Musiala was able to break the lines and set up a quality Sané effort in the 36th. Union keeper Frederik Rønnow made a fantastic save in that instance, but was otherwise untroubled. Bayern's problems finding finishes with vehemence persisted well into the second half. Rønnow only had a pair of very easy stops to make right up until the hour mark.

Nagelsmann introduced Müller and Ryan Gravenberch just after the hour mark. There would still be no chances and no way through for the record champions. Serge Gnabry came on in the 73rd. The next chance nevertheless belonged to Union. FCU sub Jamie Leweling took advantage of an Upamecano ball loss and had only Neuer to beat. The German national team #1 skillfully deflected Leweling's sigh-angle shot off the post. Gnabry would miss a sitter at the other end moments later.

Rønnow reacted well to put the brakes on Davies in the 84th. The Danish keeper also had to be on point to touch away Mané's header at 90+3 and punch away the danger on the subsequent corner. Apart from these two opportunities, Bayern weren't able to create any real danger and it was the Köpenicker hosts who appeared more fluid on the counter. The final whistle blew with the scoreline tied 1-1.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, Christian Streich's SC Freiburg overcame a sluggish first half against Leverkusen to turn a 0-1 halftime deficit into a 3-2 victory. Second-half goals from Matthias Ginter, Michael Gregoritsch, and Ritsu Doan proved sufficient to ward off die Werkself. Freiburg are now at the top of the Bundesliga table while Bayer team are plunged back into crisis with their fourth league loss.

If there was some good news for Germany's red company team, Patrick Schick did score his first goal of the new season. High-profile addition Callum Hudson-Odoi supplied the assist off the bench. There is no good news to be had for Germany's green company team. Niko Kovac's VfL Wolfsburg remain winless through five rounds this season. Köln dispatched the German Wolves 4-2 in their own house.

A Lukas Nmecha brace was not good enough for Wolfsburg at home. A Niclas Füllkrug brace proved sufficient for Bremen on the road. In yet another fabulous late finish, Ole Werner's Hanseatic were able to top VfL Bochum at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion. Füllkrug headed home the 1-0 in the 86th and converted a penalty in injury time to ensure that Bochum remain without a point in the current season.

Over at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Stuttgart, the hosts and visiting FC Schalke 04 played to a 1-1 draw. Another booking heavy second half saw Stuttgart lose another player to a sending off. This time Josha Vagnoman was ordered off. Schalke were nevertheless unable to capitalize on  20 minutes with the man-advantage. Both Schalke and Stuttgart remain winless this year.

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