There were no draws amongst a very entertaining set of offerings in the 15:30 kickoffs of the 2020/21 Bundesliga's 25th round.
In the fixture most relevant to both halves of the table, FC Union Berlin came from behind to prevail over relegation-threatened Köln 2-1.
Well before kickoff at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, a fascinating off-the-pitch story was developing. Hometown fans flocked to the stadium to take advantage of the club's offer of free COVID rapid tests near the grounds. On the pitch, supporters surrounding the stadium would eventually celebrate a victory that saw their beloved Eisern Union hold the Bundesliga's Europa League playoff place.
Both coaches rolled out some interesting XIs. Urs Fischer deployed Ahmed Musa alongside Max Kruse in what appeared to be a 3-5-2 with Keita Endo and Grischa Prömel buttressing the strikers. Köln's Markus Gisdol once again declined to deploy a natural striker. Ondrej Duda a 4-2-3-1. Jonas Hector supported the lead attacker from the ten spot.
The Köpenick hosts immediately generated three quality chances inside the first ten minutes. Köln managed almost nothing offensively, excepting a short-range effort from Salih Özcan in the 23rd that FCU keeper Andreas Luthe had to be at his best to save.
The Berliners continued to look the greater threat during the first half. Köln were nevertheless gifted an opportunity to take a lead into the dressing room when Robin Knoche took out Hector in the box. Duda converted the subsequent spot kick at 45+2.
Less than three minutes after the restart, Union were awarded a penalty of their own. Max Kruse drove home an Elfmeter resulting from a Marius Wolf handball in the 48th. Köln looked to be getting stronger, but the man tasked with donning the captain's armband picked the perfect time for his first-ever Bundesliga goal.
Thirty-four-year-old Christopher Trimmel, ordinarily known as an assist-meister for his set-piece prowess, finished a Julian Ryerson cross calmly in the 67th. Die Eisernen had to their fair share of defensive work to hold off die Geißböcke down the stretch, but ultimately secured three points that felt well deserved.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, league-leaders FC Bayern München completely dominated SV Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion. Hits of the post and crossbar, together with a late consolation grabbed by Niclas Füllkrug meant that the match finished with a highly deceptive 3-1 scoreline.
VfL Wolfsburg likewise dismantled FC Schalke 04 with little to no difficulty. A Shkodran Mustafi own-goal proved the lone tally of the first half. The floodgates were completely flung open in the second 45, however, and Germany's green company team ended up thoroughly humiliating the league's doormat 5-0.
A highly intriguing tactical affair in the country's Southwest saw Christian Streich's Freiburg battle Bo Svensson's Mainz to low-scoring, yet always exciting impasse. The Nullfünfter eventually captured all three points with a late goal from substitute Robin Quaison.
|28||Christopher Trimmel (C) ⚽|
|21||Grischa Prömel ↩73|
|18||Keita Endo ↩61|
|6||Julian Ryerson ↩88|
|10||Max Kruse ⚽ ↩89|
|24||Petar Musa ↩73|
|9||Joel Pohjanpalo ↪73|
|15||Marius Bülter ↪88|
|32||Marcus Ingvartsen ↪61|
|33||Sebastian Griesbeck ↪89|
|34||Christian Gentner ↪73|
|31||Marius Wolf ↩81|
|23||Jannes-Kilian Horn ↩12|
|21||Salih Özcan ↩81|
|14||Jonas Hector (C) ↩64|
|20||Elvis Rexhbecaj ↩81|
|18||Ondrej Duda ⚽|
|43||Emmanuel Dennis ↪81|
|5||Rafael Czichos ↪12|
|8||Ismail Jakobs ↪64|
|19||Kingsley Ehizibue ↪81|
|15||Dimitris Limnios ↪81|