bundesliga

Taiwo Awoniyi and Sheraldo Becker strike as Union Berlin beat Wolfsburg

Taiwo Awoniyi scored his sixth goal of the season to help Union Berlin swap places with Wolfsburg in the table with a 2-0 win in the capital, taking Urs Fischer's men fifth in the standings.

Union Berlin 2-0 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Awoniyi (assist: Haraguchi) 49', 2-0 Becker (assist: Voglsammer) 82'

The international break was an opportunity for a reset for Wolfsburg coach Mark van Bommel, who had seen his side's flying start to the season evaporate with a run of five games without a win. He took a bold decision in leaving Wout Weghorst and Ridle Baku on the bench, and his team had a similar mentality as they took the game to their hosts. Chances were at a premium, though, and the first real opening was scuppered by Maximilian Philipp, who tried to lob Andreas Luthe after he got caught off his line, but his effort also cleared the crossbar. Neither goalkeeper would actually have to make a save in the first 45 minutes, but that soon changed in the second half.

The hosts went in front within five minutes of the restart. Genki Haraguchi touched Max Kruse's pass into the path of Awoniyi, who showed exactly why he is rubbing shoulders with Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland at the top of the scoring charts with an accomplished finish past Koen Casteels. Josuha Guilavogui flashed a low shot across the face of Luthe's goal as Wolfsburg looked to level matters immediately, and Dodi Lukebakio hit the post from close range. Baku and Weghorst were both sent on by van Bommel, and the latter's first two touches of the ball almost brought the equaliser, but for a brave double-save by Luthe's legs. Weghorst sent a free header straight at Luthe as the Wolves doubled their efforts to find an equaliser, but on the break, Sheraldo Becker doubled the hosts' lead and put the match to bed, nodding in fellow substitute Andreas Voglsammer's cross.

Match stats

  • Union beat Wolfsburg for the first time in their history, at the fifth attempt.
  • They extended their unbeaten home record to 21 consecutive matches, dating back to Matchday 1 of the 2020/21 season and a 3-1 reverse to Augsburg.
  • It was Union's fourth win in a row, while Wolfsburg are now six games without a win, including three straight defeats in the league.
  • Wolfsburg last lost three straight Bundesliga matches in December 2019 - January 2020.
  • With his sixth goal of the season, Awoniyi now has more than he scored in the whole of last season, setting a new personal single-season record in the process.
  • Maximilian Arnold played his 259th Bundesliga game for Wolfsburg, joining Diego Benaglio at the top of the all-time most appearances chart for the Wolves.
  • Weghorst started on the bench for the first time in over a year (last on 27 September 2020 in a 1-1 draw at Freiburg).

Watch: Taiwo Awoniyi praises the Union Berlin collective

Line-ups

Union: Luthe – Friedrich (c), Knoche, Jaeckel - Ryerson, Prömel, Khedira, Gießelmann - Haraguchi (Becker 73') - Awoniyi (Behrens 84'), Kruse (Voglsammer 73')
Unused subs: Rönnow, Öztunali, Oczipka, Baumgartl, Trimmel, Möhwald
Out: Wszolek (foot)
Coach: Urs Fischer 

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu, Bornauw, Brooks, Roussillon - Guilavogui (Vranckx 60'), Arnold - Philipp (Weghorst 68'), Waldschmidt (Baku 60'), Lukebakio (F. Nmecha 83') – L. Nmecha
Unused subs: Pervan, van de Ven, Paulo Otavio, Steffen, Ginczek
Out: Bialek (knee), Gerhardt (foot), Lacroix (suspended), Mehmedi (muscular), Otavio (ankle), Schlager (knee), William (knee)
Coach: Mark van Bommel