Union Berlin pulled up to 11th in the Bundesliga table with a 3-2 win at Mainz, as captain Christopher Trimmel created all three goals - two of them scored by Sebastian Andersson - at the Opel Arena.
Mainz 2-3 Union Berlin
Goals: 0-1 Brosinski (o.g. 30'), 0-2 Andersson (45+3'), 0-3 Andersson (51'), 1-3 Onisiwo (81'), 2-3 Brosinski (90'+4)
They may have begun the day separated by just a single point just above the relegation zone, but Mainz and Union both started brightly at the Opel Arena, each looking to turn defence into attack the moment they won the ball back. The capital club carved out the better early chances, though. Christian Gentner blazed over the Mainz crossbar after Sebastian Polter had chested Christopher Lenz's cross into his path, and Lenz should have got his name on the scoresheet when Polter found him unmarked at Robin Zentner's back post soon after, but he too fired high of the target. Robin Quaison - scorer of October's Goal of the Month - shot wide from similar range at the other end before Union pulled into the lead, Daniel Brosinski meeting Trimmel's cross just before Marcus Ingvartsen only to turn the ball into his own goal. Trimmel created a second goal before the half was out, swinging a corner into the box for Andersson to power home, and Union went into the break with a two-goal advantage.
The second half was little more than five minutes old when Union pulled further clear. Trimmel sent in another corner, this time an in-swinger from the left, and Andersson rose highest to head home his fifth goal of the campaign. With the game slipping away from him, Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz threw Karim Onisiwo into the fray for the final half hour, and he reduced the arrears soon after. Moussa Niakhate - a centre-back - did brilliantly to dance his way through the visiting defence, and Onisiwo was on hand to steer home his shot for 3-1. Mainz ended the game well, and further reduced the arrears in injury time when Brosinski drove forward and found the bottom corner of Rafal Gikiewicz's goal, but it proved to be too little too late for the 05ers, who have now lost four of their last six Bundesliga games.
- Trimmel is up to three assists for the season. Had Invartsen touched the first goal before Brosinski, it would have been five.
- Union have now won their last three games on the bounce, having also claimed the scalps of high-flying Freiburg and city rivals Hertha.
- With five goals, Andersson is Die Eisernen's top scorer. The Swede scored his first ever Bundesliga brace on Saturday.
- Union centre-back Neven Subotic featured for Mainz during Jürgen Klopp's tenure, playing 35 times, but he never faced his current employers.
- Mainz had won their previous three games against promoted clubs. Six of their nine points this season have come against Bundesliga newcomers.
- Jean-Paul Boetius has had a hand in a club-best 12 Bundesliga goals for Mainz in 2019. He played under Union boss Urs Fischer at Basel.
Mainz: Zentner – Brosinski (c), St. Juste, Niakhate, Martin (Burkardt 77') – Baku, Fernandes, Öztunali (Maxim 52') – Boetius (Onisiwo 61') – Szalai, Quaison
Unused subs: Müller, Pierre-Gabriel, Latza, Kunde, Barreiro, Hack
Out: Bell (ankle), Ji (knee), Mateta (knee)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Union: Gikiewicz – Freidrich, Subotic, Schlotterbeck (Parensen 32') – Trimmel (c), Andrich, Gentner, Lenz – Ingvartsen – Polter (Kroos 76'), Andersson
Unused subs: Nicolas, Ryerson, Ujah, Reichel, Bülter, Schmeidebach, Becker
Out: Abdullahi (knee), Gogia (torn ACL), Prömel (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer