bundesliga

Suat Serdar hits winner as Schalke overcome spirited Union Berlin

Suat Serdar came to Schalke's rescue late on against Union Berlin, netting in the closing stages to give David Wagner's side a 2-1 victory in the Matchday 13 opener.

Schalke 2-1 Union Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Raman (23'), 1-1 Ingvartsen (pen. 36'), 2-1 Serdar (86')

Having won four of their previous five league outings prior to kick-off, it was no surprise to see Union start confidently, pressing their hosts high up the pitch and aggressively contesting tackles across the pitch. It almost paid instant dividends early on when a mistake from Alexander Nübel presented Marcus Ingvartsen with a glorious chance, but Matija Nastasic cleared off the line. With the visitors on top, Schalke's goal came very much against the run of play when Benito Raman's rasping left-footed drive from the edge of the area left Rafal Gikiewicz no chance. Unfazed, Union stuck to their game plan and deservedly pulled level when Ingvartsen lashed in a penalty after Robert Andrich was tripped by Nastasic.

Schalke emerged for the second half seemingly affronted at having allowed their guests 10 efforts on goal in the first 45 minutes, with Raman and Weston McKennie going close early on. They continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession, even if Union retained their threat on the break, with Sebastian Andersson a constant threat. The match appeared to be heading for a draw as the final whistle approached, until Daniel Caligiuri pounced on a loose touch by Neven Subotic in midfield and instigated a lightning-fast counter-attack. The ball eventually came to Serdar via Ahmed Kutucu and Amine Harit, and the midfielder's cool finish into the bottom corner handed the Royal Blues their seventh win of the season.

Match stats

  • Raman netted his second goal of the season, scoring in successive Bundesliga matches for the first time ever.
  • Union have been awarded a league-high five penalties this season.
  • Schalke have now conceded four goals from the spot this term, the same as Cologne. Only Union's city rivals Hertha have let in more (five).
  • Ingvartsen was Union's third penalty taker this term, after Andersson and Sebastian Polter.
  • The visitors had more shots (16) than they have had in any other away game this season.
  • Serdar scored his fifth Bundesliga goal of 2019/20, meaning he now has more than in his previous four seasons combined (four).

Watch: McKennie: "It was a tough match"

Line-ups

Schalke: Nübel (c) – Kenny, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka – Serdar, Mascarell – Caligiuri, McKennie, Harit (Becker 90+1') – Raman (Kutucu 84')
Unused subs: Schubert, Miranda, Matondo, Burgstaller, Reese, Carls, Mercan
Out: Boujellab (calf), Sane (knee), Schöpf (thigh), Stambouli (metatarsal), Uth (thigh), Skrzybski (illness)
Coach: David Wagner

Union: Gikiewicz – Freidrich, Subotic, Schlotterbeck (Hübner 27') – Trimmel (c), Gentner, Andrich, Lenz – Ingvartsen, Bülter (Becker 70') - Andersson (Ujah 86')
Unused subs: Nicolas, Ryerson, Polter, Kroos, Schmiedebach, Parensen
Out: Abdullahi (knee), Gogia (torn ACL), Prömel (knee), Mees (groin)
Coach: Urs Fischer