After Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin lost last week, both sides would have looked to bounce back with three points. However, they had to settle for a draw, which was a disappointing point for Gladbach and an extremely valuable one for Union to kick start their season.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Ramy Bensebaini (YC,10'); Christoph Kramer, Florian Neuhaus (Sub,85'); Jonas Hoffmann, Lars Stindl, Alassane Plea (Sub,75'); Marcus Thuram (G,56') (Sub,70')
Subs - Oscar Wendt (Sub,70), Hannes Wolf (Sub,75'), Patrick Herrmann (85')
Union Berlin - Andreas Luthe; Marvin Friedrich, Robin Knoche, Nico Schlotterbeck (G,79'); Christopher Trimmel (YC,64') (Sub,73'), Robert Andrich (YC,90'), Grischa Promel (Sub,88'), Christopher Lenz; Sheraldo Becker (Sub,56'), Marius Bulter (Sub,73'); Taiwo Awoniyi (Sub,56')
Subs - Max Kruse (56'), Marcus Ingvartsen (56'), Julian Ryerson (73'), Cedric Teuchert (73'), Sebastian Griesbeck (88')
Story of the match
After a rather dull opening 15 minutes, the returning Alassane Plea was denied a wonder goal by a smart save from Andreas Luthe. Skipping past a number of Union defenders magnificently, unfortunately his final shot didn't match his initial play.
This seemed to ignite the game. Both sides started showing more impetus going forward, with Marcus Thuram and Sheraldo Becker in particular looking bright for their respective sides.
Becker continued to cause Gladbach problems throughout the first half, hitting the crossbar in the 30th minute, which would have been his first goal in the German top flight if it had gone in.
As the first half approached its conclusion, Plea was denied by Luthe once again, as the Frenchman had a header stopped following a corner. This was not the only time the Union goalkeeper was called upon as moments later he had to save a low from Jonas Hoffman.
The second half started in much brighter fashion with Gladbach coming out all guns blazing. Lars Stindl and Stefan Lainer looked extremely bright, while centre-back Matthias Ginter forced Luthe into his first save after the break.
On the 56th minute, Gladbach deservedly found the breakthrough and topped off their impressive start to the second half. Jonas Hoffman's corner picked out Marcus Thuram who headed past the impressive Luthe.
Unions response to falling behind was bringing on ex-Gladbach stalwart Max Kruse for Sheraldo Becker. Becker had looked like the visitors bright spark going forward, so it was an interesting change from manager Urs Fischer.
However, out of nowhere, Union Berlin equalised through a brilliant header from Nico Schlotterbeck. Unmarked from a Marcus Ingvartsen corner, Schlotterbecks effort looped over the sprawling Yann Sommer with Stindl unable to stop it from going in.
Things almost got even better for the visitors with a devilish delivery causing the Gladbach defence all sorts of problems, and Ramy Bensebaini almost headed the ball into his own net.
Bensebaini again was involved, this time down the other end, with the big Algerian putting a shot over from close range.
All in all, it was a disappointing afternoon for Monchengladbach after throwing away a goal late on in a game they would have looked at as three comfortable points.
From a Monchengladbach point of view, this draw will be seen as two points dropped. Nowhere near their best, they were still in control for large parts of the game, especially in the second half. Marco Rose will question why no one picked up Schlotterbeck for the Union equaliser. A disappointing result, especially with the first win of the season seemingly in their grasps. Next up for the Foals is the Rheinland Derby, as they travel to Koln who have lost their opening two games.
As for Union Berlin, Urs Fischer is likely to view the point in a much more positive manner. Stifling Gladbach on numerous occasions, the defence and midfield provided a very solid base to build from, with impressive showings from Robin Knoche and Robert Andrich especially. On top of this, Sheraldo Becker looked extremely bright in the first half before being taken off just after half time. Fischers team will now look towards Friday night, as they face Mainz in their next game.
Man of the Match - Andreas Luthe
The Union goalkeeper put in an solid showing to earn them a point, denying the likes of Alassane Plea, Jonas Hoffman, and Matthias Ginter on a number of occasions. The German, who signed from Augsburg in August, seems to be fitting in rather well on the red side of Berlin.