Union Berlin stay in touching distance of Bayern Munich with win over Mainz


Goals from Kevin Behrens and Jordan helped Union Berlin maintain the pressure on Bayern Munich the top of the Bundesliga as they beat Mainz 2-1 in the capital.

Union Berlin 2-1 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Behrens 33’ (assist: Seguin), 1-1 Ingvartsen (78’, pen.), 2-1 Jordan 84’ (assist: Thorsby)

Nerves appeared to be jangling in the Union team early on - and Mainz sought to capitalise, taking the game to their hosts from kick-off. The struggling guests could not create any clear openings, though, whereas Union very nearly struck with their first shot, Jerome Roussillon’s low effort turned around the post by Finn Dahmen. A scrappy contest ensued with neither side able to impose themselves until Paul Seguin sent in a searching low cross from the right which both Behrens and Roussillon lunged at, with the former getting the telling touch to turn in his fourth goal of the season.

With Union on course to add one night to their previous six-week tenure at the top of the Bundesliga, Mainz had to find something to spoil the party, yet their first shot of the game – coming five minutes into the second half – did not suggest that Union’s advantage was anything other than solid, even if the hosts were finding it hard to give Dahmen any work in the Mainz goal. Out of nowhere, Mainz were suddenly gifted the chance to level when a VAR call in the referee’s ear picked up on a Seguin handball inside the area. Marcus Ingvartsen duly dispatched the penalty for an unlikely equaliser. Union’s response was instant, with Urs Fischer sending on three substitutes, and two of these – Morten Thorsby and Jordan – combined for a winner; the American slamming the ball in from the Norwegian’s knock-down to give Union all three points.

Watch: Fischer: "We have to enjoy it"

Match stats

  • Union and Borussia Dortmund are the only teams still with 100 percent records in 2023; four wins in a row equals a club record in the German top flight for Die Eisernen.
  • Jordan scored his fourth goal of the season, and first since Matchday 7.
  • Mainz failed to muster a single shot on goal in the first half for the first time under Bo Svensson.
  • Union have not lost any of their last 50 games in which they have opened the scoring (36 wins, 14 draws)
  • Mainz have lost five of their eight Bundesliga meetings with Union to date, including three of four in the German capital.
  • The 05ers have not kept a clean sheet since the Matchday 10 win in Bremen, but did record one of their three shut-outs so far this term at home to Union (0-0).

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Union: Ronnow - Doekhi, Knoche, Leite – Trimmel (c), Seguin (Thorsby 79'), Khedira, Haberer (Laidouni 69'), Roussillon (Gießelmann 79') - Becker (Leweling 89'), Behrens (Jordan 79')
Unused subs: Grill, Michel, Juranovic, Baumgartl
Out: Busk (ill), Schäfer (knock)
Coach: Urs Fischer

Mainz: Dahmen – Hanche-Olsen, Fernandes, Bell – Da Costa, Barreiro (Gruda 88'), Kohr (c) (Stach 56'), Caci – Lee (Barkok 71') – Onisiwo, Ajorque (Ingvartsen 71')
Unused subs: Rieß, Martin, Leitsch, Mustapha, Hack
Out: Burgzorg (ankle), Burkardt (knee), Widmer (thigh), Zentner (back)
Coach: Bo Svensson