Grischa Prömel scored the only goal of the game as Union Berlin ended a five-match winless run by picking up a 1-0 victory away to Freiburg.
Although geographically these teams are the furthest apart in the Bundesliga, just a point separated them in mid-table at kick-off. Union, perhaps boosted by the return of fit-again talisman Max Kruse to the squad after three months out, were the better side in a hard-fought first half, though, and Joel Pohjanpalo tested Florian Müller with a spectacular overhead kick early on. Christopher Lenz also had a free shot on goal from Marius Bülter’s pass, but again Müller was equal to it, before Robert Andrich curled an effort wide from 25 yards. There was very little from Freiburg going forward, and the only shot on goal they registered in the first half was a deflected Janik Haberer strike that was of no concern for Loris Karius in the visiting goal.
The hosts went much closer early in the second half when Jonathan Schmid scurried down the right wing before crossing for Lucas Höler, whose header from 12 yards landed on the roof of the net. And while Freiburg were initially much improved, Union were still the better side and they edged ahead midway through the half, just seconds after the home side had made a triple substitution, with Grischa Prömel heading in from Marcus Ingvartsen’s right-wing cross. A string of substitutions prevented either side from building any momentum as the final whistle approached, but Union’s lead never looked in doubt as they held on to leapfrog Freiburg into eighth in the table.
- Petersen, making his first league start of 2021 here, has scored against 16 of the Bundesliga's 18 current clubs. Only Union and Arminia Bielefeld are needed to complete the set. The former Germany striker has struck seven times this season.
- Prömel's goal ended the team's 302-minute drought without scoring. Their last goal was in a 1-1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 19.
- Prömel now has two goals this season, both of which have been headers. He scored with Union's first effort on goal in the second half.
- Karius’ start last weekend was his first in the Bundesliga since May 2016 for Mainz. The Liverpool loanee is yet to concede in 201 minutes of playing time this season and has never lost in four Bundesliga meetings with Freiburg.
- Kruse scored 11 Bundesliga goals for Freiburg in 2012/13. He is Union's six-goal top scorer this season, despite being sidelined since Matchday 10.
Watch: Prömel: "Delighted it went in"
Freiburg: Müller - Schmid, Lienhart, Gulde (K. Schlotterbeck 68'), Günter (c) - Haberer (Heintz 46'), Santamaria, Höfler - Höler (Sallai 64'), Petersen (Demirovic 64'), Grifo (Jeong 64')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Til, Kübler, Keitel
Out: Flekken (elbow), Kwon (knee), Sallai (ankle)
Coach: Christian Streich
Union: Karius - Friedrich, Knoche, N. Schlotterbeck - Trimmel (c), Prömel, Andrich, Lenz (Gießelmann 76') - Ingvartsen, Bülter (Endo 76') - Pohjanpalo (Musa 69')
Unused subs: Busk, Kruse, Hübner, Griesbeck, Gentner, Teuchert
Out: Becker (ankle), Luthe (personal reasons), Ujah (knee), Awoniyi (knock)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Watch: Karius: "I've made it difficult for the coach now"