The 2. Bundesliga is still as tight as ever and thanks to Eintracht Braunschweig drawing with VfL Bochum on Friday night, Stuttgart had a great chance to go top of the table on Sunday afternoon. However the task for Stuttgart wasn't going to be an easy one as they travelled to Berlin to face Union, who have enjoyed a good season so far despite back-to-back defeats.
Sunday's meeting between Union Berlin and Stuttgart was the first ever between the two sides and it started brilliantly for the away side as they took an early lead. Carlos Mané crossed from the right side and found Christian Gentner, who then played the ball into Simon Terodde. He was lurking around the penalty spot and the club's top scorer twisted away from two players to fire past Jakob Busk for his eighth goal of the season.
Stuttgart were by far the better side in the opening twenty minutes as the home side struggled to get going in front of the expecting fans. It took till the fifteenth minute for Union Berlin to create their first attempt on goal. Steven Skrzybski slipped the ball into Kenny Prince Redondo inside the area and the twenty-two year old could only fire straight down the middle and into the arms of Mitchell Langerak.
Struggling in attack
Unfortunately for all spectators the game died down in terms of quality in the final third, however the game did improve as a battle, both sides became evenly matched and struggled to get the better of each other.
After the effort from Redondo it took until the thirty-seventh minute for the came to have a meaningful effort on goal. Dennis Daube delivered in a freekick for the hosts and found the head of Damir Kreilach, sadly for the home supporters Langerak managed to easily save.
Terodde keeps plugging away
The second half started the same as the first with Stuttgart flying out the blocks, a cross from the left picked out Terodde and his header forced Busk into action as the Danish 'keeper had to flick the effort over the bar.
The resulting corner wasn't cleared by the home side and the ball fell to Terodde, the in-form forward fired across goal and narrowly missed his mark.
Union Berlin created a chance of their own shortly after Collin Quaner managed to burst into the area as Kreilach drove into the box with the ball after getting into some space he cut back and hesitated with his shot and the effort was blocked before falling into the arms of Langerak.
Skrzybski strikes back
The entertaining start to the half continued and surprisingly Union Berlin managed to grab an equaliser out of nowhere. Roberto Punčec found space out on the left and his cross tempted Langerak to come out to claim, unfortunately for Stuttgart their keeper couldn't deal with the danger and punched the ball straight to Steven Skrzybski who fired past Langerak as he blasted his effort just out of the reach of the Stuttgart stopper.
After the goal the home side were very much on top and Stuttgart were struggling to deal with the pressure from Union. Their top scorer Quaner had a glorious chance to take the lead, Simon Hedlund raced down the left and after cutting in he provided a lovely ball across goal and the unmarked Quaner took his eye off the ball and missed it completely from a couple of yards out.
Stuttgart came close themselves shortly after, Terodde picked out Takuma Asano and his effort in the area looked to be heading in, however Christopher Trimmel was able to get across and put his body on the line to direct the ball out for a corner.
Back down the other end Union should've grabbed that all important second goal, Felix Kroos found space and with the goal baring down on him Langerak came rushing out and managed to come out on top in the one-on-one exchange. The rebound fell to Kreilach on the edge of the area and his effort was agonisingly cleared off the line.
Six minutes from time the home side appealed for a penalty, once more Hedlund crossed from the left and Skrzybski went down with the ball at his feet, nevertheless play was waved on.
The last chance of the game fell to the hosts, Philipp Hosiner was allowed to turn in the area and his effort on goal was saved rather comfortably by Langerak.
The second half fight back from Union Berlin was impressive and they could've won the game on a number of occasions, Stuttgart will be disappointed that they weren't able to build on their early goal and the draw sees them missing out on the top spot. As for Union Berlin they drop to seventh with the draw thanks to Dynamo Dresden's win over Greuther Fürth.