Sebastian Andersson the difference as Union Berlin down Cologne
Sweden striker Sebastian Andersson scored his seventh and eighth goals of the Bundesliga season as Union Berlin continued their superb run on home soil with victory over struggling Cologne.
Union Berlin 2-0 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Andersson (33'), 2-0 Andersson (50')
The Union fans were in fine voice as their side made a dominant start at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, although it wasn't until 12 minutes in that Andersson got a first sight of goal, with his low shot easily gathered by Timo Horn. Union centre-back Michael Parensen then did brilliantly to dispossess Kingsley Ehizibue just before he could pull the trigger, having brought down a fine long ball. Cologne enjoyed a bright spell as Birger Verstraete twice tested Rafal Gikiewicz with free-kicks from range, but the Bundesliga's leading shot-stopper was equal to both efforts. Andersson then grabbed his seventh goal of the campaign as he powered in a Christopher Trimmel corner, with Marcus Ingvartsen almost netting a second goal for Union a minute later. The hosts squandered a glorious chance for 2-0 as they failed to finish off a four-on-one counter-attack, but still went in at the break with a deserved lead.
The second goal duly arrived five minutes after the restart, and it was that man Andersson again. Union won the ball back high and Christian Gentner slipped through for the Swede, whose shot trickled over the goal line before Sebastiaan Bornauw could clear it. Cologne rarely threatened to get back into the game, although Gikiewicz had to be alert to keep out Dominick Drexler's attempt, with Parensen very nearly scrambling the ball into his own net. The hosts almost added to their lead with another well-worked counter, but Julian Ryerson couldn't quite get on the end of Marius Bülter's inviting delivery, mere seconds after replacing Ingvartsen. The Berlin fans were celebrating three more points long before the final whistle, as the plucky promoted side made it four consecutive league victories on home soil and moved up to 10th in the table.
- Andersson has now scored five goals in his last four Bundesliga outings, after two in Mainz on Matchday 11 and one at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 12.
- Four of Union's last eight goals have been Andersson headers. The Sweden striker was also his team's top scorer (12) last term, when they won a first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga.
- The capital club have won their last four league home games, beating Freiburg, Hertha Berlin, leaders Gladbach and now Cologne. Across those matches they have scored seven goals and conceded none. They also defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at home on Matchday 3.
- Only Gladbach (19) and Dortmund (17) have picked up more points at home than Union (15) this term. They've taken 19 in total, which is six more than fellow promoted sides Cologne (8) and Paderborn (5) combined.
- Whenever Union have taken the lead this season, they have won (six times).
- Cologne coach Gisdol has failed to win any of his last nine Bundesliga games (six with Hamburg), overseeing three draws and six defeats.
Watch: Andersson: "We're very strong at home"
Union: Gikiewicz – Freidrich, Hübner, Parensen – Trimmel (c), Gentner, Andrich (Kroos 87'), Lenz – Ingvartsen (Ryerson 77'), Andersson, Polter (Bülter 63')
Unused subs: Nicolas, Ujah, Reichel, Rapp, Schmiedebach, Becker
Out: Abdullahi (knee), Gogia (torn ACL), Mees (groin), Prömel (knee), Schlotterbeck (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Cologne: Horn – Schmitz, Bornauw, Sobiech, Katterbach – Ehizibue (Schaub 46'), Höger (c) (Kainz 68'), Verstraete, Drexler – Cordoba, Terodde (Modeste 72')
Unused subs: Kralh, Risse, Mere, Skhiri, Hauptmann
Out: Clemens (knee), Czichos (suspended), Hector (suspended)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
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