Max Kruse scored one and assisted two as Union Berlin pulled into a provisional fourth with a comfortable 5-0 win at home to Arminia Bielefeld at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Keita Endo was handed his first Bundesliga start following his summer loan arrival from Yokahama F. Marinos in his native Japan and wasted little time in opening his account for the Berliners, giving them the lead inside the first five minutes from close range after Sheraldo Becker's cutback. Robert Andrich then doubled the hosts' advantage with a fine finish following some smart interplay with Kruse, crashing a left-footed effort in off the bar. Endo's afternoon ended soon after, though, the attacking midfielder replaced by Akaki Gogia after pulling a muscle. The first-half traffic continued to flow in the same direction, though, and Becker made it 3-0 with half-time approaching, drilling a low shot beyond visiting goalkeeper Stefan Ortega after a fine Kruse through-ball.
Fischer's opposite number Uwe Neuhaus sent Reinhald Yabo, Nils Seufert and Fabian Kunze on for the second half - not before what must have been a stern half-time team talk for those that started for die Arminen - but things didn't get much better for the visitors after the restart. Gogia drew a penalty from Cedric Brunner with a burst of pace, and Kruse stepped up to send Ortega the wrong way for his third goal of the season. Joel Pohjanpalo then attempted to get in on the scoring but he mis-timed meeting Christopher Trimmel's cross before referee Matthias Jöllenbeck called the Bayer Leverkusen-owned striker back for a foul anyway. Arminia might have pulled one back late on but Ritsu Doan's free-kick hit the wall and Cedric Teuchert added insult to injury late on as it ended 5-0.
- Endo's opener made him the first Japanese player ever to find the target for Union Berlin in the top two divisions of German football. Scored on three minutes, it was also their second-fastest.
- Having assisted the goals for Andrich and Becker before his spot-kick, Kruse has now scored three and laid on five more since arriving at Union in the summer.
- Kruse's penalty conversion was his 16th consecutive successful spot-kick in the Bundesliga, drawing him level with record set by Jocehn Abel with Schalke in the 1980s.
- Union have still never lost a home game against Arminia. In nine previous Bundesliga 2 meetings there were five wins for die Eisernen and four draws.
- Bielefeld have only picked up four points from seven games. Their last away win in the Bundesliga came way back in March 2009, when they ran out 1-0 winners at Karlsruher's Wildparkstadion.
- Arminia's travails aren't for the want of trying. Marcel Hartel - who won promotion to the Bundesliga with Union in 2019 - has covered a league-high 55.7 miles so far this season.
Watch: Fischer: "Max Kruse's doing very well right now"
Union: Luthe - Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Knoche, Lenz - Gentner (Griesbeck 73'), Andrich - Becker (Maciejewski 82'), Kruse (Teuchert 82'), Endo (Gogia 20') - Pohjanpalo (Awoniyi 73')
Unused subs: Karius, Ryerson, Hübner, Gießelmann
Out: Ingvartsen (muscular), Prömel (muscular), Ujah (knee), Schlotterbeck (hamstring)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner, Pieper, Van der Hoorn, Laursen - Prietl, Maier (Seufert 46') - Soukou (Kunze 46'), Hartel (Yabo 46'), Doan (Cordova 82') - Klos (c) (Schipplock 88')
Unused subs: Linner, Nilsson, de Medina, Lucoqui
Out: Voglsammer (foot)
Coach: Uwe Neuhaus