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Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(2 - 0)
Union Berlin
J. Haberer (8), J. Haberer (21)

Union Berlin march on at the Bundesliga summit

By Will Shopland   @Will_Shopland

A Janik Haberer double sends Union Berlin 5 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. They once again show their overwhelming quality and fearlessness. As for Dortmund, they end matchday 10 outside of the European places.
Sheraldo Becker.
Sheraldo Becker.
At the beginning of the season, not many would have believed that by matchday 10 Union Berlin would have the opportunity to go 5 points clear at the top of the table. It is 2 points that separate them from none other than second place Freiburg. Due to the Friday and Saturday kick-offs, Borussia Dortmund knew a win was imperative to get them back into a European place. Their late comeback to stun Bayern in Der Klassiker last weekend would have given Dortmund all the inspiration they need. Prior to kick-off, the Stadion An der Alten Försterei was in full voice urging on their side in the race for die meisterschale.

They would not be silenced anytime soon either. The returning Gregor Kobel to the Borussia Dortmund goal was to be the man to blame for the early Union strike. A simple ball that was played back to him seemed to be routine. However, under no pressure, he slipped and the ball rolled off his foot to Janik Haberer who could not believe his luck. He tapped the ball into an empty net to send the Stadion An der Alten Försterei into bedlam.

After 20 minutes all of those who watch the Bundesliga began to think. Is it possible? Adeyemi gave the ball away cheaply on the halfway line. As Union broke forward a pass was played into the feet of Jordan Pefok on the edge of the box. He held the ball up until he noticed Janik Haberer galloping forward. He laid it into his path and from twenty yards out he fired the ball into Kobel’s bottom right-hand corner to double the Union lead. A sensational strike that Kobel could not do anything about.

The only bright spark in the Dortmund first-half display came in the form of Youssoufa Moukoko. Receiving the ball on the turn 20 yards from goal, his strike swerved away from the Union goal. This was soon followed by a ball flashing across the box where with his back to the goal, his strike could only find the hands of Frederik Ronnow.

At half time Dortmund could only have themselves to blame. Mistakes from Kobel and Adeyemi gifted the home side their two goals. Once again Union looked unplayable breaking on the counter while looking so well organised and compact when off the ball. Despite having the majority of possession, Dortmund looked like a side questioning their own play. Wondering how to break down such a well drilled Union side.

A triple attacking change at halftime by Edin Terzic saw Marco Reus, Julien Brandt and Donyell Malen come on for Meunier, Ozcan, and Adeyemi. It was a change that gave up any defensive solidity Dortmund had in exchange to mount a comeback that could mirror the one seen in der Klassiker the weekend previous. A glimmer of hope could be found in the fact they were the last side to beat Union away from home in the league, coming in last year's 3-0 demolition.

Although the Union Berlin onslaught was not fading. After some tidy build-up play on Union’s left-hand side, a cross into the box found Timo Baumgartl rising highest. His header was looking to bullet into Kobel’s bottom right-hand corner until the keeper struck a strong right hand to deny the centre-back. It would have been a fairytale goal after his return from his cancer diagnosis.

A potential setback for Die Eisernen came just after the hour mark when Jordan Pefok, who got the assist for the second goal, went down injured. He was subsequently substituted which summoned the question; would Union fall under pressure without their target man? Dortmund answered the question straight away. Reus found Brandt, who found Reus again, but his delayed shot meant he was forced wide. Just two minutes later Moukoko received a cross from Mats Hummels that was flashed in, and once again he spun Knocke before Ronnow denied him at the near post.

Nevertheless, the Dortmund siege would not prove fruitful. Union berlin show that when they have the ball they are mesmerising and ruthless. However, when they do not have the ball they are one of the most well organised defences in Europe. On the other hand, this 2-0 defeat for Borussia Dortmund leaves them outside of the European places. Once again Dortmund and Terzic will be left being questioned. But, nothing can be taken away from this Union side, who are really beginning to believe that this is their destiny.

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