Foals play out goalless draw with Union Berlin

Borussia drew with 1. FC Union Berlin on Matchday 31 of the Bundesliga. Neither side could find the breakthrough in a hard-fought encounter.

In front of 53,723 spectators at BORUSSIA-PARK, both teams took a while to settle into the game and played a lot of long balls without really threatening. After the first 15 minutes, both sides picked up the pace a little and created some half chances at both ends in an even game. Ko Itakura and Joe Scally had the Foals’ best opportunities of the first half. At the other end, Kevin Volland hit the bar with an effort from range.

The side from the capital made the better start to the second period, creating several gilt-edged chances in the first quarter of an hour. After the Foals had managed to withstand this period of pressure though, they began to come back into the game themselves. Alassane Plea couldn’t quite make contact with a low ball-in though, before Marvin Friedrich headed straight at Frederik Rønnow from a corner with almost the last touch of the game.

TEAM NEWS

The Foals made three changes to their starting eleven from the away match at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last time out. Fabio Chiarodia, Joe Scally and Tomáš Čvančara came in for Max Wöber, Luca Netz and the suspended Julian Weigl. Chiarodia therefore made his first Bundesliga start for Borussia. Nico Elvedi, who received an award for 300 competitive games for the club before kick-off, Marvin Friedrich and Chiarodia made up the defence in front of goalkeeper Moritz Nicolas. Stefan Lainer and Scally were the wing-backs, while Ko Itakura and Rocco Reitz started in midfield. Robin Hack, Alassane Plea and Čvančara formed the attack.

Christoph Kramer (back in training after illness), Tony Jantschke (adductor problems), Max Wöber (minor thigh strain), Jonas Omlin (thigh problems), Simon Walde (high ankle sprain) and Grant-Leon Ranos (ankle injury) were all unavailable for Borussia. Julian Weigl was also suspended after picking up a tenth yellow card of the season at Hoffenheim. Jordan, Franck Honorat and Manu Koné, all of whom returned to team training this week after injury, all made the squad and started on the bench.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS

8’: The Foals win the ball back and attack quickly. Plea plays it to Hack, who lifts it over the top back into the path of the Frenchman. Khedira though does enough to put Plea off and it’s saved by Rønnow.

23’: Nice play from the Foals sees Hack lay the ball off to Itakura on the edge of the penalty area. The Japanese takes a few steps inside before firing just over.

25’: The visitors push forward and play it to Volland, who strikes from around 25 yards and smashes the underside of the bar. The Foals have luck on their side!

38’: A huge chance for Borussia. Reitz brilliantly lifts the ball to Čvančara on the right, and he beats several opponents before crossing into the centre. Plea just can’t make contact, and then Scally’s first-time effort goes over.

45’: Hack whips a free-kick into Itakura, who fires just over from close range.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS

52’: The Foals can’t clear their lines after an Union attack, and it lands at the feet of Aaronson in the centre. His strike from distance is brilliantly saved by Nicolas.

63’: After jumping on an underhit back pass, Volland beats the onrushing Nicolas but hits the post from a tight angle.

69’: Plea can’t quite get anything on a cross from the substitute Ngoumou.

76’: After a corner, the ball lands to Friedrich, who hammers it narrowly over from around 18 yards.

90+4’: Friedrich gets his head to Honorat’s corner, but can’t beat Rønnow.

STATISTICS

Borussia: Nicolas, Elvedi, Friedrich, Chiarodia (Koné 79’), Lainer (Netz 66’), Scally, Itakura, Reitz, Hack (Honorat 79’), Plea (Jordan 88’), Čvančara (Ngoumou 66’) // Unused substitutes: Olschowsky, Ullrich, Herrmann, Neuhaus

Union Berlin: Rönnow - Doekhi, Vogt (Knoche 46’), Diogo Leite - Juranovic (Trimmel 86’), Aaronson (Hollerbach 74’), R. Khedira, Tousart, Gosens - Volland (Kaufmann 86’), Vertessen (Schäfer 46’) // Unused substitutes: Schwolow, Haberer, Laidouni 

Yellow cards: Lainer, Reitz / Vogt, Khedira

Attendance: 53,723

Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)

Fabio Chiarodia made his first Bundesliga start for Borussia against Union Berlin.
Tomáš Čvančara started for the Foals in the Bundesliga for the first time since the reverse fixture in Berlin.
Alassane Plea led the Foals out as captain.

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