Union Berlin rise to Bundesliga's top four

Timo Baumgartl of 1.FC Union Berlin celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Union Berlin and RB Leipzig at Stadion An der Alten Foersterei on December 03, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.


Defender Timo Baumgartl was the hero as he assisted Union Berlin's opener and bagged the winner himself in a 2-1 victory over RB Leipzig which took the capital side into the Bundesliga top four.

As snow fluttered down the Union players could celebrate with the vast majority of 13,506 attending fans, who were still allowed into the stadium in large numbers before a 5,000-cap is imposed as part of the latest coronavirus restrictions.

Baumgartl poked the winner from close-range in the 57th minute after a well worked corner deflected into his path.

"Over 90 minutes we have deservedly won," said Union's Max Kruse. "We have had a very strong game and could have won by more.

"We're not unfairly high up in the table."

It was another corner, worked short and crossed to Baumgartl at the back post, which had given Union the lead. He headed across goal for Taiwo Awoniyi to claim his ninth of the season.

Leipzig levelled in an astonishing 13th minute which started with Sheraldo Becker miss-kicking and Kruse turning wide when a second Union goal looked certain.

But just 45 seconds later the ball was in Union's net as Andreas Luthe fumbled Christopher Nkunku's long shot over the line.

Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig is challenged by Timo Baumgartl of 1.FC Union Berlinduring the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Union Berlin and RB Leipzig at Stadion An der Alten Foersterei on December 03, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.


That was not enough to stop Leipzig, last season's runners-up, sinking to a third consecutive defeat.

Keeper Peter Gulacsi returning from a coronavirus infection was a bright spot even as coach Jesse Marsch remained in isolation as one of many impacted by an outbreak at the club.

Chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff said the performance was "catastrophic" and "desolate," adding: "We have delivered a terrible game."

Leipzig are eighth but could fall over the course of the weekend, while Union are in the Champions League spots for at least 24 hours.

Saturday also sees leaders Bayern Munich visit second-placed Borussia Dortmund in a match to be played in front of just 15,000 home fans due to the pandemic.

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