Kevin Behrens scored his first Bundesliga goal to separate draw specialists Union Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld with a late winner at the Alte Försterei on Saturday.
With a vociferous support behind them from the get-go, Union surged forward in search of the opening goal and Christopher Trimmel headed their first chance wide in the ninth minute. Taiwo Awoniyi subsequently had a shot blocked with another good opportunity for the hosts going begging before Max Kruse wasted the next, still earning encouraging applause from coach Urs Fischer on the touchline. Arminia almost struck on the break when Alessandro Schöpf angled his shot just inches wide, but Union were asking almost all of the questions. An injury to Timo Baumgartl, who had to be carried off after being on the receiving end of what was the first foul of the afternoon committed by an Arminia player, gave the guests a respite, but as soon as play resumed an Awoniyi volley in front of Stefan Ortega gave the last line of the Arminia defence another test.
Klos had a good early chance for the guests as they started much better in the second half, and it was he who wasted one of the best chance of the game so far when he shot straight at Andreas Luthe. Suddenly Arminia were in the ascendency and Luthe had to make another save to deny Robin Hack. From almost hero to almost villain, Hack gave away possession cheaply and the ball almost fell for Sheraldo Becker, who was denied by a last-ditch block by Cedric Brunner in front of the goal line. Becker teed up Genki Haraguchi with a neat chest control, though the substitute volleyed wide, and just as it looked like Union were going to get their fourth draw of the season and Bielefeld their fifth, two more Union substitutes combined with Becker setting up Behrens to turn and shoot past Ortega for the winner. Behrens hit the crossbar moments later as he almost grabbed a second, but one was enough for Union to take all three points.
- Union are unbeaten in 20 home games. The last time they tasted defeat at their Stadion An der Alten Försterei was back in September 2020 when Augsburg prevailed 3-1.
- Union's 5-0 win over Bielefeld on Matchday 7 last season remains their highest ever Bundesliga victory.
- Bielefeld have gone five games without victory in the Bundesliga for the first time in 25 years.
- Behrens scored his first goal in the Bundesliga and then became the fifth Union player to hit the woodwork this season.
- Becker provided his first assist of the season.
Union: Luthe - Friedrich (c), Knoche, Baumgartl (Jaeckel 36') - Trimmel (Ryerson 80'), Prömel (Haraguchi 80'), Khedira, Gießelmann - Voglsammer (Behrens 66') - Kruse, Awoniyi (Becker 66')
Unused Subs: Rönnow, Endo, Möhwald, Teuchert
Coach: Urs Fischer
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner (de Medina 81'), Pieper, Nilsson, Laursen (Andrade 78') - Prietl (c) - Okugawa (Kunze 78'), Schöpf, Hack (Krüger 78') - Klos, Lasme (Wimmer 62')
Unused subs: Kapino, Ramos, Serra
Out: Czyborra (hip), Fernandes (ill), Vasiliadis (ankle)
Coach: Frank Kramer