Max Kruse scored in each half as Union Berlin piled further misery on hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach as Die Eisernen ran out 2-1 winners at Borussia Park on Saturday.
Both sides made significant changes ahead of kick-off, with Denis Zakaria and Jonas Hofmann back in the Gladbach starting line-up, but club captain Lars Stindl missing out through injury. Meanwhile, Union boss Urs Fischer picked Frederik Rönnow in goal ahead of usual No.1 Andreas Luthe, who dropped to the bench. It was an unwelcome return for Zakaria early on as the Switzerland international handled in the box. Kruse wasn't going to pass up the opportunity from the spot and he confidently sent Yann Sommer - who had saved two spot-kicks last week - the wrong way to hand the lead to Die Eisernen. The Foals were level shortly before the break, however, as Manu Kone superbly stroked home from the edge of the box.
Moments after the break, Kone - again on the edge of the 18-yard box - forced a save from Rönnow but it was simple enough for the Union goalkeeper to collect. From there, the second half unfolded in more cagier fashion than the first, with both attacks meeting stubborn defensive resistance and unable to create meaningful openings in front of goal. Gladbach came up with the first real chance of the second-half, but Luca Netz could only put over from five-yards out as the 18-year-old was caught off guard by the pace of the ball and could not adjust his feet in time to control his volley. It ultimately proved a costly miss when, six minutes from time, Kruse was played in superbly by Niko Gießelmann and the former Foal fired beyond Sommer to seal a victory that keeps Union fourth. Gladbach, meanwhile, remain just three points clear of the bottom three following Saturday afternoon's fixtures.
- Only league leaders Bayern Munich (378) have had more efforts on goal than Gladbach (289) this season, but their 25 goals mean they have scored just eight per cent of those shots.
- Meanwhile, just Greuther Fürth (51) and Hertha Berlin (38) have conceded more goals than the Foals (37) at this stage of the 2021/22 campaign.
- Gladbach have now lost each of their last four matches at Borussia-Park.
- Kone's goal was his first in the Bundesliga, in the 20-year-old's 14th appearance since moving to Germany last summer.
- Kruse - who scored 25 goals in 77 competitive games for Gladbach from 2013-2015 - has successfully converted 11 out of 12 penalties in the Bundesliga over the course of his career.
- Rönnow made his league debut for Union, six months after joining the club from Eintracht Frankfurt.
Watch: Kruse: "We're on a good run"
Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Ginter (Plea 87'), Elvedi, Friedrich - Lainer, Kone, Zakaria, Netz (Scally 87') - Neuhaus, Hofmann (Hermann 79') - Embolo
Unused subs: Sippel, Doucoure, Thuram, Jantschke, Noß
Out: Bensebaini (Africa Cup of Nations), Beyer (muscular), Kramer (illness), Stindl (knee)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Union: Rönnow – Baumgartl, Knoche, Jaeckel - Trimmel (c), Khedira, Prömel (Möhwald 58'), Gießelmann (Oczpicka 88') – Kruse (Haraguchi 88') - Becker (Öztunali 70'), Voglsammer (Behrens 71')
Unused subs: Luthe, Ryerson, Ujah, Heintz
Out: Awoniyi (Africa Cup of Nations), Van Drongelen (not included), Wszolek (not included)
Coach: Urs Fischer
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