Union Berlin return to top of Bundesliga with win vs. Wolfsburg
Berlin, Sept 18, 2022 (AFP) - Second-half goals from Jordan Siebatcheu and Sheraldo Becker propelled Union Berlin back to the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 home win over Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Union, in only their fourth year in the top division, are the Bundesliga's only unbeaten team after seven matchdays and will finish top for the second week in a row.
Union manager Urs Fischer suggested things were running so well with his table-topping team, that he could take a back seat.
"I thought it was very impressive how the side delivered - it was a very mature performance in my eyes," Fischer told German news agency SID.
"In the second half we were very dominant. I didn't feel the need to exert any influence from outside."
Before the match, the biggest cheer from the Alte Foersterei crowd was reserved for returning defender Timo Baumgartl, who made his first appearance in the starting XI since overcoming testicular cancer.
Speaking after the victory, Baumgartl told broadcaster DAZN "that's exactly what I was dreaming of after chemotherapy"
"These are emotional moments for me."
Furious at the Foersterei
Just as they did last matchday against Cologne, Union opened in furious fashion, almost taking the lead after just 45 seconds when Janik Haberer forced a block from Wolfsburg 'keeper Koen Casteels.
Union had another chance through Becker just two minutes later, but the Bundesliga's leading goalscorer blazed over.
As the half wore on, Nico Kovac's Wolfsburg took the sting out of the game and produced the chance of the first half, with Josip Brekalo's shot, set up by a backheel from Bartol Franjic, skimming just wide.
Siebatcheu was inches wide from breaking the deadlock in the 46th minute, but the American did not wait long to give the home side the lead, heading in a perfect Becker cross from close range in the 54th minute.
Provider turned scorer in the 77th minute, when Becker controlled a long-ball with his chest before slamming it past Casteels for his sixth goal of the season.
While Union sit in first, Wolfsburg end the round second last in the table, with one win and two draws from seven matches.
Manager Kovac told the post-match press conference "Union deserved the victory", but said it was too early for the Wolves to be concerned about relegation.
"No-one is relegated after seven games - and no-one becomes champions," Kovac said.
"We are not doing the basics right. Passion, brotherhood, fighting spirit, that's what we are missing at the moment. (And) that's what I see at Union."
Becker and Siebatcheu have combined for nine of Union's 15 goals, with Becker providing three assists.
In Sunday's late game, Freiburg have the chance to go to outright second when they travel to play Hoffenheim.
Also on Sunday, rock-bottom Bochum will seek their first point of the season when they host Cologne.
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