• Jamie Lashley

Bundesliga GW16: Union Berlin break into top five, Silas’ strike spares Stuttgart’s blushes

Updated: Feb 9

Sports writer Jamie Lashley reports the latest developments from GW16


The second Bundesliga gameweek after the winter break saw a number of even matchups, with only two sides picking up maximum points from Friday and Saturday’s matches. One of those teams was Union Berlin, who hosted a Bayer Leverkusen outfit that had stuttered somewhat after a strong start to the season.


Stadion An der alten Försterei, home to FC Union Berlin. Photo: Ralf Roletschek via Wikimedia Commons


Meanwhile, Union are impressing in their second season back in Germany’s topflight, and their sophomore surge continued, with Cedric Teuchert grabbing the only goal in the 88th minute, whilst the Union defence kept the likes of Leon Bailey, Patrick Schick and Moussa Diaby quiet. Having only lost two matches this season, it is without a doubt that Union Berlin in the battle to qualify for the Europa League, and are now only one point behind both Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund.


Despite Leverkusen’s loss on Friday, Dortmund could not capitalise, with their visitors Mainz picking up only their seventh point of the season. Dortmund had won their last three matches and looked well on their way after two minutes, but an Erling Haaland goal was ruled out for an offside in the build-up.


Dortmund relentlessly peppered the Mainz goal, but found themselves behind following a fabulous strike from Levin Öztunali. The midfielder being deployed at right-back chopped inside on his left foot before shooting from 30 yards, picking out the top corner of Roman Bürki’s goal, leaving BVB stunned.


The equaliser came through an unlikely source, with Thomas Meunier hitting a low shot into the bottom corner to score his first goal for Die Schwarzgelben after good work from 16-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko. Meunier won his side a penalty only two minutes later, but Marco Reus missed the spot kick and a chance to claim all three points.


Elsewhere:


Werder Bremen took all three points in a midtable clash with Augsburg, scoring twice in the last ten minutes of the game. Köln and Hertha Berlin played out a goalless draw, as the side from the capital continue to disappoint fans after an exciting summer transfer window. Hoffenheim and Arminia was also goalless.


RB Leipzig missed the chance to go top with Bayern Munich playing on Sunday, drawing 2-2 with sixth-placed Wolfsburg. Wout Weghorst continued his strong goalscoring run for Wolfsburg, cancelling out Nordi Mukiele’s early opener.


There was also nothing to separate Stuttgart and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Despite Stuttgart’s attacking domination they looked set to lose until a 96th minute Silas Wamangituka penalty rescued a point for the hosts. Schalke also play on Sunday after finally winning a football match last week after over 25 attempts.


Game of the week:


Last week saw Schalke's first win in 31 league games. Watch the highlights here:



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