RB Leipzig were defeated 2-1 by 1. FC Union Berlin on Bundesliga Matchday 14. The Red Bulls fell behind twice, with Christopher Nkunku equalising in the first half (13’) either side of Union goals from Taiwo Awoniyi (6’) and Timo Baumgartl (57’). With head coach Jesse Marsch and assistant Achim Beierlorzer still in home isolation, assistant coach Marco Kurth led the team from the sidelines.
Union Berlin were the better side to begin with, causing danger via fast counter attacks. It took only six minutes for the home side to be rewarded, as Taiwo Awoniyi stretched to turn home a header from Timo Baumgartl. Max Kruse then had a huge chance to double his side’s lead in the 12th minute but missed from yards out. Just moments later, the scores were level again. Christopher Nkunku's first shot on goal found the back of the net (13’) with his bouncing effort outwitting Union goalkeeper Andreas Luthe. RBL had chances to turn the game and take the lead themselves in the following minutes, namely through an Nkunku free-kick (15’) and Dominik Szoboszlai’s shot (18’) but each attempt went over the bar. With half time just around the corner, captain Péter Gulácsi, returning to the starting XI after contracting Coronavirus, was called into action to sieze the ball ahead of Awoniyi (34’). André Silva had a chance at the other end, but his header did not test Luthe and went over the bar (41’).
Leipzig enjoyed more control of play to start the second half, with the hosts mainly looking for counter-attacking opportunities. Just before the hour mark, the Union lead was restored when Baumgartl poked home after a deflection left everyone wrong-footed (57’). Silva’s shot could have been the perfect answer but just went wide of the post (59’), while Szboboszlai’s header was saved by Luthe (76’). Union came close to extending their advantage in the final moments, but, substitutes Genki Haraguchi (81’) and Kevin Behrens (83’) were unable to take their chances. The equaliser almost came in the 90th minute, but substitute Brian Brobbey's shot from was deflected behind for a corner at the last second.
1. FC UNION BERLIN:
Luthe - Friedrich (C), Ryerson, Khedira, Kruse (72' Haraguchi), Awoniyi (80' Behrens), Prömel, Gießelmann, Baumgartl, Becker (80' Voglsammer), Knoche
Unused subs: Rönnow (goalkeeper), Jaeckel, Öztunali, Oczipka, Trimmel, Möhwald
Gulácsi (C) - Angeliño, Adams, Klostermann (70' Simakan), Szoboszlai (77' Brobbey), Nkunku, Mukiele, Laimer (70' Kampl), Gvardiol, Silva, Henrichs (64' Forsberg)
Unused subs: Martínez (goalkeeper), Bonnah, Raebiger, Ibrahimi, Wosz
Harm Osmers (Hannover)
1-0 Awoniyi (6'), 1-1 Nkunku (13'), 2-1 Baumgartl (57')
Khedira (64') - Szoboszlai (65')
13,506 | Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Berlin
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
Underway in the capital!
The worst possible start. Ryverson delivers a corner into the box and Baumgartl heads the ball back across goal. Awoniyi is on hand and taps in from close range.
Almost 2-0. Union counter through Becker, who delivers a dangerous ball into the box. The ball misses Awoniyi, but Kruse is there at the back post. Luckily for RBL, he misses with the target with the goal at his mercy!
EQUALISER! Nkunku shoots from 30 metres out and his looping shot dips just ahead of Andreas Luthe, fooling the Union goalkeeper and bouncing into the back of the net! 1-1!
A good free kick opportunity for Christo, but his shot goes over the bar from around 25 metres.
RBL are coming better into the game now. Szoboszlai shoots from a central position from the edge of the area and Luthe dives to save.
Angeliño’s corner finds Gvardiol in the area, but he can’t direct the ball goalwards from close range.
Angeliño and Mukiele are active down the flanks but their crosses haven’t provided much danger in the middle so far.
Union threaten again – Kruse with a nice ball in over the top looking for Awoniyi, but Gulácsi is out quickly to avert the danger and seize the ball.
Nkunku and Silva combine in the area but the chance comes to nothing.
A great chance for RBL to take the lead. Laimer delivers a great ball to the six yard box, but Silva heads just over the bar.
After a hammer blow to begin the first half, the Red Bulls came better into the game and found the equaliser through Nkunku. RBL have registered more shots on goal and boast a better duels won percentage, but most importantly, the score remains level.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
Back underway with no changes for either side at the break.
RBL are asserting themselves more and more, with Union sitting deep in their own half and looking to orientate on the counter attack.
Luthe miskicks a backpass and the ball springs out of play behind him for a corner. That could have gone much worse for the Union ‘keeper!
2-1 to the hosts. Kruse tries a shot from the edge of the area after a corner kick. The ball takes an unfortunate deflection and lands at the feed of Baumgartl, who prods in from inside the six-yard box.
A good response. Some good play ends with Silva shooting from the edge of the area, but his low effort goes just wide of the left-hand post.
Awoniyi is involved again, but this time the goalscorer heads over the bar.
Gvardiol tries a long-range shot but his effort flies harmlessly over the bar.
Almost the equaliser! Nkunku finds Szoboszlai with a cross to the back post, but Luthe saves.
Haraguchi finds himself one-on-one with Gulácsi, but the Union substitute puts the ball inches wide.
Top save from Gulácsi, who does brilliantly to save a header from Behrens.
Gießelmann tries a volley at goal. No threat for Gulácsi: way wide.
Big chance to equalise! Brobbey gets the ball on the edge of the six-yard box and shoots, but Gießelmann gets in the way and pulls off an important block, deflecting the ball behind for a corner kick.
Three minutes of added time are up and it’s full time. RBL suffer a 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin.