bundesliga

Taiwo Awoniyi among the goals again as Union Berlin beat RB Leipzig

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Taiwo Awoniyi's ninth Bundesliga goal of the season helped Union Berlin beat RB Leipzig 2-1 in the Matchday 14 opener.

Union Berlin 2-1 RB Leipzig
Goals: 1-0
Awoniyi 6’ (assist: Baumgartl), 1-1 Nkunku 13’, 2-1 Baumgartl 57’

The tone was set early on for a bumper Matchday 14 when Awoniyi struck after only six minutes. Timo Baumgartl headed down Julian Ryerson’s cross following a short corner, and the Nigerian reacted quickest to turn in at the far post. Union really should’ve been 2-0 up minutes later but Awoniyi missed a low ball into the centre and Max Kruse put the second attempt wide while unchallenged. The Berliners were made to pay as Leipzig responded with their first effort on goal only seconds afterwards. Nkunku’s shot from 25 yards bounced just in front of Andreas Luthe – wearing purple gloves to support International Disability Day – but he failed to get either one to it and the ball went in over the diving goalkeeper. Dominik Szoboszlai had a dipping effort tipped over the bar while Kruse pulled the strings at the other end, but without any more clear-cut chances. Andre Silva headed over his best chance before the half-time whistle sounded at the Alte Försterei.

The second half didn’t have the blistering start of the first, but Union did again make their first good chance count. Baumgartl was again up for a corner and reacted quickest after Kruse’s effort from the edge of the box following the cutback was deflected and wrong-footed Peter Gulacsi, allowing for the tap-in. Silva failed to hit the target in search of a response, dragging wide from 18 yards in the falling Berlin snow. Szoboszlai had a goal-bound effort blocked before substitute Genki Haraguchi missed out on making the final 10 minutes far more comfortable when he poked wide. Kevin Behrens was then denied from point-blank range by the leg of Peter Gulacsi, who reacted well again from the ensuing corner to tip a deflected effort around the post. Victory for Union puts a five-point cushion between themselves and their eastern rivals, who are seven points down on their previous lowest total after 14 Bundesliga matchdays.

Match stats

  • Awoniyi extended his club record of Bundesliga goals to 14, with nine falling this season. That’s the most an Union player has ever had in an entire Hinrunde.
  • Nkunku got his sixth Bundesliga goal of the season to equal his personal record for an entire campaign after only 14 matchdays.
  • The Frenchman’s six goals and four assists mean he’s had a direct hand in 40 per cent of Leipzig’s 25 Bundesliga goals in 2021/22.
  • Baumgartl got his first Bundesliga goal for Union in his 11th game
  • Leipzig have conceded a league-high five goals from defenders.
  • Die Roten Bullen remain one of five teams still to record an away win in this season’s Bundesliga (D3, L4). They also lost their final three away matches of 2020/21, ending the campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Union.

Watch: Timo Baumgartl reflects on a spirited Union win

Line-ups

Union: Luthe – Friedrich (c), Knoche, Baumgartl – Ryerson, Khedira, Prömel, Gießelmann – Kruse (Haraguchi 72’) – Becker (Voglsammer 80’), Awoniyi (Behrens 80’)
Unused subs: Rönnow, Jaeckel, Oczipka, Trimmel, Öztunali, Möhwald
Out:
-
Coach:
Urs Fischer

Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) – Mukiele, Klostermann (Simakan 70’), Gvardiol – Henrichs (Forsberg 64’), Adams, Laimer (Kampl 70’), Angelino – Nkunku, Szoboszlai – Silva (Brobbey 78’)
Unused subs: Martinez, Bonnah, Raebiger, Ibrahimi, Wosz
Out:
Halstenberg (ankle), Novoa (not included), Olmo (thigh), Orban (not included), Poulsen (calf), Saracchi (knee)
Coach:
Jesse Marsch

Watch: Peter Gulacsi on Leipzig's stumbling start to 2021/22

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