The Warm Down: Augsburg take all three points in Berlin
Andre Hahn celebrates Augsburg's third goal/Photo by Maja Hitij via GettyImages

Upon the return of the Bundesliga, both teams would have targeted three points to kickstart their respective seasons, but it was FC Augsburg who left their game against Union Berlin with the points in the bag.

An extremely tight first half looked like it was heading into the break goalless. However, as the halftime whistle was approaching, Ruben Vargas headed in Raphael Framberger's cross from close range to give the away side the lead.

The second half had a different feeling about it, especially for the hosts, who were energised by their marquee signing Max Kruse. He came on in the 71st minute, and Berlin finally found an equaliser four minutes later. Almost a carbon copy of Augsburg's goal, Christopher Lenz whipped in a cross into the six yard box which was missed by everyone apart from Marius Bulter, who gleefully turned the ball past ex-teammate Rafal Gikiewicz.

However, Union were not level for long. Carrying on the theme of the day, this time it was Brazilian left-back Iago who crossed the ball for the returning Michael Gregoritsch to expertly head into the back of the net. The win was sealed just before the 90th minute, as an error by Union debutant Niko Giesselmann allowed Augsburg substitute Andre Hahn to nick the ball off him and tuck it past Andreas Luthe.

Both teams face extremely tough fixtures next time out, with Union Berlin travelling to Borussia Monchengladbach while FC Augsburg host Borussia Dortmund.

No Max, no problem

Over the summer transfer window, Heiko Herrlich's team lost star player Philipp Max to PSV Eindhoven. The German left-back contributed eight goals and six assists as well as being their primary set-piece taker last season. However, Max's replacement Iago, (signed last summer from Internacional) put in an extremely positive performance which was topped off by his assist for Gregoritsch. More of that from the Brazilian and the departure of their former talisman may not be felt as much as first feared.

The fans are back

How good was it to see 4,500 fans inside the Alten Försterei? Despite the stadium only being 20% full, it felt like a big step back to normality. It certainly made a difference to the overall spectacle and provided a feel good factor for fans tuning in from home. It seems like there is finally some light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel for us footballing fanatics.

Will goalscoring be an issue for Union ?

Like Augsburg, Union also lost their talisman over the summer, with striker Sebastian Andersson joining fellow Bundesliga side Koln. Scoring 12 goals in each of the last two seasons on top of bringing an aerial presence to the Berliners, manager Urs Fischer is seriously going to miss the big Swede. Marcus Ingvartsen started on Saturday, but struggled to get involved. Max Kruse came off the bench and showed glimpses of quality, but he is a completely different type of striker to Andersson.

However, Union did sign Taiwo Awoniyi on loan from Liverpool prior to the visit of Augsburg. Not registered in time for Saturday's game, the big Nigerian is likely to offer a physical presence when he does eventually play. However, the question remains if he can bring in goals or not? He showed that he can when playing for Excel Mouscron in Belgium, but he barely featured when on loan for Mainz last season. Only time will tell, it seems.

The goalkeepers switch teams

Not very often do you see the starting goalkeepers from last term playing against each other on the opening day of the season. Rafal Gikiewicz played all but one game for Union last campaign, while Andreas Luthe became Augsburg's first choice for the majority of the Ruckrunde.

However, they both fancied a change of scenery, and ended up swapping clubs in the summer. Ultimately, it was Gikiewicz who left the happiest on Saturday with all three points in the bag for his new team. Both did well on the day, though, so neither Augsburg nor Berlin will likely be too upset with the trade by the end of the campaign.

VAVEL Logo