Bundesliga News

Germany: Bundesliga
FT
2 - 1
(1 - 0)
Union Berlin
Mainz 05
K. Behrens (32), T. Siebatcheu (84)
M. Ingvartsen (79)

15:30 Kickoffs:
Union move to top of the table, Köln surprise Leipzig, Bochum rout Hoffenheim

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

The Bundesliga title race is most assuredly on after a late tally by American striker Jordan gave Union Berlin a 2-1 victory over Mainz that sees them move to the top of the table! Borussia Dortmund were also able to draw level with FC Bayern München for second place with their fourth straight win. 

Thanks to an Eintracht Frankfurt win and an RB Leipzig draw, the top six sides in the Bundesliga table are separated by only six points. Second-placed Bayern and seventh-placed Wolfsburg get a chance to have their say when they square off tomorrow.

Amid all of the immensely entertaining results, VfL Bochum were also able to dismantle woeful TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 5-2; a result that will surely see TSG trainer André Breitenreiter sacked before the weekend is out. 
Jordan Siebatcheu.
Jordan Siebatcheu.Photo: 1. FC Union Berlin
Urs Fischer's "Eisern Union" of Köpenick will spend the night atop the Bundesliga table after completing a 2-1 victory over Bo Svensson's FSV Mainz 05 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. A sensational late strike by American forward Jordan ensured that Union's perfect start to the new calendar year continues. Union have captured maximum points from their four league fixtures and, thanks to the Pokal win midweek, have won five straight on-the-bounce.


Union trainer Fischer rotated in three new players from Tuesday's DFB victory over Wolfsburg. Scorer of Tuesday's game-winning goal Kevin Behrens came on for Jordan in the attack. As Fischer commonly tends to do, the wingbacks in his 3-5-2 were freshened up. Jerome Roussillon and captain Christopher Trimmel replaced Josip Juranovic and Niko Gießelmann.

Svensson, missing his first-choice keeper and squad captain as well, made four changes to the side that lost to Bayern in the Pokal. Danny da Costa replaced the stricken Silvan Widmer. Karim Onisiwo, Jae-Sung Lee, and Stefan Bell also replaced Aaron Martin, Anton Stach, and Aymen Barkok. Mainz lined up in the same 3-4-3 as last weekend.

The match was, as expected, a quite tight contest between two sides not prepared to give one another an inch. Roussillon nevertheless managed to test the plans of Mainz back-up keeper Finn Dahmen with a stinging effort in the 10th. Mainz had trouble reaching lead striker Ludovic Ajorque with a series of long balls, but were able to generate a chance for their newly acquired center-forward just shy of the half-hour-mark.

Da Costa actually beat Roussillon on the right and sent in a low-driven cross that FCU keeper Frederik Rønnow did well to snatch in the 25th. Seven minutes later, Union had the lead. Paul Seguin - still starting over the newly acquired Aïssa Laidouni - sent in a short diagonal in front of goal. Trimmel whiffed on the finish, but Behrens was able to put hime the 1-0 in the 32nd.

The rest of the first half and much of the second was marred by broken plays and stoppages. Mainz continued to try and reach Ajorque to no avail. Roussillon, very active on the left, got a few pops in that qualified merely as half chances. Laidouni was eventually introduced later and spruced up the Union attack.


Just when it appeared as if the result would hold, Mainz were suddenly given a lifeline. Seguin was adjusted to have handled a ball in the box in the 77th. After a lengthy VAR double-check, FSV substitute Marcus Ingvartsen duly converted the 1-1 from the slot ten minutes from time. Three of the Union substitutes still had something to say.

Morten Thorsby headed a Gießelmann chip-ball over Jordan in the 84th. The American striker needed no further invitation, confidently smashing home the 2-1 and, in the process, ending what had been a long league scoring drought dating back to September. There was plenty of action on both ends as both teams audaciously sought to give the match still another twist.

The scoreline held all the same.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, SC Freiburg were reduced to ten-men against Borussia Dortmund early courtesy of Kiliann Sildillia's sending off on double yellows in the 17th minute. Despite this, Christian Streich's Breisgauer were able to cancel out a Nico Schlotterbeck strike and take a 1-1 draw into the locker room. Dortmund woke up to seize the man advantage after the restart, however, and eventually piled on for a 5-1 victory. Sebastian Haller scored his debut goal for his new club once the rout was on.

There were a pair of surprising results elsewhere in the country's commercial capital and in Germany's cathedral city. Eintracht Frankfurt were ultimately able to deliver the expected result with a 3-0 win over struggling Hertha BSC. Sandro Schwarz's Charlottenburgers side did supply some surprise fight after a Randal Kolo Muani brace put the SGE up 2-0 at the half. Emergent wingback Buta ultimately added the third at the death for a result reminiscent of Frankfurt's 3-0 win over Schalke two weeks ago.

Over in Köln, Steffen Baumgart's Geißböcke nicked a point off heavily-favored RB Leipzig with a 0-0 draw at the RheinEnergieStadion. Baumgart's Effzeh might have even taken the lead against their guests early in the first half, but both Linton Maina and Dejan Ljubicic struck the frame of the goal within seconds of one another. The hosting side effectively closed down the lethal Leipzig attack consistently thereafter.

In the Ruhrpott, VfL Bochum put five goals past visiting Hoffenheim in what looks to be the final match for TSG trainer André Breitenreiter. Thomas Letsch's 1848ers registered tallies from five different goalscorer, including the newly acquired Moritz Broschinski got in on the act. VfL winger Christopher Antwi-Adjei registered a hat trick of assists in the 5-2 victory.


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