bundesliga

Alassane Plea rescues Borussia Mönchengladbach a draw at Union Berlin

Union Berlin took some of the wind from Borussia Mönchengladbach's sails with Robin Knoche heading them in front only for Alassane Plea to snatch a point for the guests in a 1-1 draw in the capital.

Union Berlin 1-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Knoche (31'), 1-1 Plea (59')

Marcus Ingvartsen had the first sight of goal for the hosts, five minutes into what had been a positive opening from Urs Fischer's men. His shot missed the target by a distance, but Union's attacking approach appeared to be spot on as they established an evident supremacy. Even without the suspended Christopher Trimmel, Union had another excellent free-kick taker in Ingvartsen, whose enticing cross was met by Knoche with a looping header into the far corner of Yann Sommer's goal from the very edge of the penalty area for his first goal of the season. It was Union's 12th successful set-piece this season, second only to Gladbach's 16, yet not even the dead balls were working for the Foals in a frustrating first half for Marco Rose's men.

Union were still heavily on the front foot as the second half began with Sommer kicking a dangerous cross from Cedric Teuchert clear. Teuchert then blazed Berlin's next opportunity over the crossbar at the end of a quick counter-attack for the dominant hosts. Rose reacted with Florian Neuhaus replacing the ineffective Christoph Kramer, and within seconds, they were level. Plea needed just this – his first sight of goal – to dispatch a right-footed effort into the bottom right-hand corner from just outside the penalty area. It was practically the last time Andreas Luthe saw the ball as he had to leave the field soon after with concussion following a clash with a teammate, and Loris Karius entered the fray to make his Bundesliga debut for Union. He was barely tested, though, as Gladbach could not muster any shots on his goal until a late effort from Marcus Thuram, while the more enterprising Union also failed to find a way through as the spoils were shared.

Match stats

  • Knoche scored his first Bundesliga goal for Union, ending a 26-game drought.
  • Only Gladbach (16) have scored more goals from set pieces than Union (12) this season.
  • Karius' last appearance in the Bundesliga was on 14 May 2016, when he kept a clean sheet for Mainz against Hertha Berlin.
  • The Berliners are playing only their second season of Bundesliga football; five-time champions Gladbach their 53rd. The two sides have won one of their three top-flight meetings apiece, drawing the other, back on Matchday 2.
  • Gladbach have scored at least once in every league game so far this season, but kept just three clean sheets.

Line-ups

Union: Luthe (Karius 69') - Friedrich (c), Knoche, Schlotterbeck (Bülter 79') - Ryerson, Andrich, Gentner (Griesbeck 66'), Gießelmann - Ingvartsen - Awoniyi (Pohjanpalo 79'), Teuchert (Dajaku 85')
Unused subs: Gogia, Maciejewski, Endo, Bruns
Out: Becker (muscular), Hübner (suspended), Kruse (thigh), Lenz (unconfirmed), Prömel (muscular), Trimmel (suspended), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer

Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer (Neuhaus 58'), Zakaria - Hofmann (Stindl 75'), Wolf (Herrmann 90'+2), Thuram – Plea (Embolo 90'+2)
Unused subs: Sippel, Beyer, Wendt, Benes, Jantschke
Out: Lazaro (groin), Reitz (pelvis)
Coach: Marco Rose