Taiwo Awoniyi and Grischa Prömel got the goals as Union Berlin recorded a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt to boost their hopes of a top-six finish, simultaneously all but ending their visitors’ ambitions of doing the same.
Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner made six changes to his side following the sensational 3-2 victory in Barcelona on Thursday, and initially his charges looked like carrying their momentum over from that game when Ajdin Hrustic sent a left-footed drive narrowly wide of the post early on. Union, however, had other ideas and after Genki Haraguchi sent a header against the post in a warning shot the away side failed to heed, Awoniyi held off challenges from Martin Hinteregger and Evan N’Dicka to fire his side into the lead. Prömel added a second moments later with an eye-catching curler into the top corner from the edge of the box, and the hosts could even have had more prior to the interval, with further chances for Prömel, Rani Khedira and Sheraldo Becker.
Jens Petter Hauge had Frankfurt’s only chance of note towards the end the first half – a shot well saved by Frederik Ronnow – but it was a glimmer of improvement that they were able to build on after the interval. Goncalo Paciencia was as industrious as ever up front as Frankfurt offered greater resistance, but they lacked the necessary creative spark to unlock a well-drilled Union defence. The hosts, for their part, had taken their foot off the pedal in terms of their attacking endeavours, aware that the onus was on Frankfurt to seek a route back into the game. A flurry of substitutions in the closing stages prevented either side from gaining any real kind of advantage, ultimately allowing Union to hold on to all three points and go sixth in the standings, one ahead of Cologne in seventh and eight ahead of Frankfurt.
- Frankfurt goalkeeper Jens Grahl started a Bundesliga match for the first time in almost six years in what was his first competitive outing for Frankfurt.
- Evan N'Dicka made his 100th Bundesliga appearance, while Hinteregger made his 100th league outing for Frankfurt.
- Awoniyi scored his 13th league of goal of the season, setting a new club record and beating the previous best mark of 12 set by Sebastian Andersson in 2019/20.
- The Nigerian forward also put his side 1-0 up for the eighth time in 2021, a league high alongside Robert Lewandowski and Anthony Modeste.
- Prömel's goal was his sixth of the season and ninth in the Bundesliga overall. It was the first time he has scored from outside of the box.
Watch: Ronnow on Union's form
Union: Ronnow - Jaeckel, Knoche, Baumgartl - Khedira - Ryerson (Trimmel 84'), Haraguchi (Schäfer 67'), Prömel (c), Gießelmann (Oczipka 84') - Becker (Voglsammer 67'), Awoniyi (Michel 80')
Subs: Busk, Heintz, Möhwald, Behrens
Coach: Urs Fischer
Frankfurt: Grahl - Tuta, Hinteregger, N'Dicka - Chandler (Knauff 59'), Jakic (Hasebe 76'), Hrustic (Kamada 58'), Kostic (Lenz 67') - Lindstrom (Ache 46'), Hauge - Paciencia
Subs: Bignetti, Toure, Rode, Borre
Out: Ramaj (knee), Sow (knee), Trapp (wrist)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
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