Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(0 - 0)
Union Berlin
T. Siebatcheu (54), S. Becker (77)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Union Berlin shrug off Wolfsburg to top Bundesliga table

Union and Wolfsburg played out a relatively quiet first half as both sides' effective counter pressing and defensive rigidity told. However, it was a totally different story after the break as Jordan and Becker found the net giving Die Eisernen a 2-0 win.
Ahead of the impending international break, Union Berlin hosted VfL Wolfsburg this Sunday afternoon in the German capital with an opportunity to return to the Bundesliga summit on offer. Nico Kovač’s men saw somewhat of a turn in fortune last week with their win over Frankfurt last time out. Furthermore, Wolfsburg boast a very modest record against Die Eisernen with only one loss from their six Bundesliga meetings. Additionally, there was some positive news for Union before the game even commenced – Timo Baumgartl returned to the starting line-up for the first time in 154 days after successfully overcoming testicular cancer.

Union was the stronger of the two teams inside the opening 20 minutes with a fine first minute volley by Haberer, and Trimmel’s dead ball deliveries causing havoc as Die Wölfe failed to muster a solitary attempt in that spell. Jordan and Becker looked threatening up top, and there was a slight penalty appeal on the half hour mark although Lacroix’s arm was firmly by his side as the ball connected with him. Wolfsburg’s best chance of the half fell to Brekalo in the 32nd minute when his shot flashed across goal only to trail wide. All in all, real goal scoring chances were scarcely found as both sides’ aggressive counter pressing nullified one another.

The second half started in a far more open, attacking manner than the first 45 minutes. Jordan Siebatcheu went close just before Arnold’s long-range strike sailed narrowly wide at the other end. However, it wasn’t long before the hosts took the lead through the head of Siebatcheu. Lacroix couldn’t match Becker for pace as the Surinamese crossed to his American strike partner who arrived ahead of Van de Ven to make it 1-0. Substitutes were introduced almost instantaneously as Kovač introduced Felix Nmecha and Marmoush for the tiring Waldschmidt and Svanberg. Similarly, the returning Baumgartl went off to a standing ovation as Jaeckel entered the fray for Union.

With fifteen minutes to play Gießelmann fired over, and Thorsby fizzed wide of the left upright as Union continued to dictate the game. Substitute Paul Seguin didn’t wait around long before his crucial involvement made it 2-0 in the 77th minute. His lofted ball was exquisitely controlled by the red-hot Becker who slipped his shot beyond the despairing Casteels. Wolfsburg never came back from that point on, as Die Eisernen sail into the international break in comfortable fashion ruling over the German footballing roost.

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