Ruben Vargas, Michael Gregoritsch and Andre Hahn earn Augsburg clinical win at Union Berlin
Headers from Ruben Vargas and Michael Gregoritsch helped earn a clinical Augsburg all three points at Union Berlin, with Andre Hahn sealing a 3-1 win for the Bavarians in the capital.
Union Berlin 1-3 Augsburg
Goals: 0-1 Vargas (40'), 1-1 Bülter (75'), 1-2 Gregoritsch (82'), 1-3 Hahn (89')
With 4,300 fans in the Stadion an der Alten Försterei, the Bundesliga returned with a welcome atmosphere restored in Germany's capital, and it did not take long for their presence to inspire new signing Robin Knoche to send in the first shot of the game, although he missed the target for the hosts. There was further disappointment for the fans midway through the first half when Christian Gentner had to be substituted off due to injury. It had otherwise been an encouraging first half from the hosts, until one momentary lapse in concentration at the back let Vargas meet Raphael Framberger's cross to head Augsburg in front with their first meaningful attack of the match, five minutes before the break.
Union started the second half with a little more urgency, and – perhaps tellingly – more aggression. Having enjoyed most of the first-half possession, they now appeared intent on doing more with the ball. Captain Christopher Trimmel led their now more frequent forays into the Augsburg penalty area, yet with the hour mark passed, still they had not managed to test their former team-mate Rafal Gikiewicz on his debut between the Augsburg posts. Coach Urs Fischer turned to Max Kruse to find a way through in the final 20 minutes, and he immediately made his presence felt for Gikiewicz, who courageously plucked a deep cross out of the air while under pressure from the German forward. The pressure mounted from Union, and it soon paid off as Marius Bülter met Christopher Lenz's cross from close range to draw level. It was Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich's turn to react, with Alfred Finnbogason and Hahn both sent on. He left on Gregoritsch, however, and that proved to be an inspired choice as the returning attacker from Schalke headed in Iago's cross to restore Augsburg's lead, before Hahn turned the screw in the closing stages.
- Vargas scored his first Bundesliga goal against Union last season, on Matchday 2.
- Sebastian Griesbeck made his Bundesliga debut as a replacement for Gentner, who is Union's most experienced player with 409 appearances.
- Kruse has now played for six different clubs in the Bundesliga (Union, Bremen, Wolfsburg, Mönchengladbach, Freiburg und St. Pauli). Only seven other players (Sandro Wagner, Stefan Kohn, Markus Feulner, Srdjan Lakic, Jürgen Rynio, Bruno Labbadia, Michael Spies) have represented so many different clubs.
- The new Union striker had 11 goals and 11 assists in his last Bundesliga campaign with Werder Bremen in 2018/19, before spending last term in Turkey with Fenerbahce.
- Gregoritsch scored just one goal all season in 2019/20. He is off the mark already on Matchday 1.
- Gikiewicz joined Augsburg from Union over the summer. The goalkeeper made the second-most saves in the Bundesliga last season with 115, only behind Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Yann Sommer (126).
Union: Luthe - Friedrich, Knoche, Lenz (Gießelmann 87') - Trimmel (c), Prömel, (Teuchert 71') Gentner (Griesbeck 25'), Andrich - Bülter - Ingvartsen (Mees 87'), Becker (Kruse 71')
Unused subs: Moser, Ryerson, Schlotterbeck, Hübner
Out: Endo (thigh), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Framberger, Gouweleeuw (c), Uduokhai, Iago - Caligiuri (Oxford 86'), Khedira, Gruezo (Jensen 86'), Vargas (Hahn 76') - Gregoritsch (Strobl 89'), Niederlechner (Finnbogason 76')
Unused subs: Koubek, Gumny, Pedersen, Suchy
Out: Bazee (match fitness), Löwen (knock), Moravek (muscular), Richter (ankle)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
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