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‘I knew where I was’: Bundesliga keeper shrugs off latest clash of heads

Berlin (AFP) – Union Berlin players Andreas Luthe and Julian Ryerson both gave the all-clear after a worrying clash of heads led to them being treated for around 10 minutes on the pitch early in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Bundesliga rivals Arminia Bielefeld. 

Union goalkeeper Luthe, who was substituted off after a blow to the head in a game against Borussia Moenchengladbach in January, said he was feeling fine. 

“I just hurt my nose a bit. Against Gladbach it was much worse and it was clear straight away that I had to go off. This time I knew where I was!” he told Sky. 

Ryerson, who played on with a bandaged head after clashing with Luthe in the opening minutes, also said he was not concerned.

“For the first couple of minutes I was a little bit dizzy, but my head is alright,” he said. 

Unlike other competitions such as the Premier League, the Bundesliga is yet to trial rule changes such as concussion substitutes amid growing concerns over the dangers of head injuries in world football. 

There was an anxious wait as both players were treated on the pitch, but both played on in what continued to be a bruising game. 

Luthe denied Sergio Cordova with a smart save shortly after the restart, and Cordova himself was then substituted off after apparently damaging a tooth in a collision with Union’s Marvin Friedrich. 

Arminia goalkeeper Stefan Ortega ultimtely saved a point for his team with a fine second half performance, twice denying Union’s Japanese winger Keita Endo to prevent his team slipping into the automatic relegation places. 

The draw left Union four points behind sixth-placed Borussia Dortmund in the race for European qualification, despite Dortmund’s 4-2 defeat to league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday. 

– Sargent at the double –

US international Josh Sargent scored for the second time in two games as Werder Bremen were held to a 1-1 draw away to Cologne in Sunday’s earlier game.

A week after firing Bremen to victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, Sargent struck again with a second-half header to give his side the lead in Cologne.

Yet a late blunder from goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka allowed Jonas Hector to rescue Cologne a valuable point in the relegation fight.

“We took a bit of time to dust ourselves off after going behind, but the point was deserved and we can live with it,” Hector told Sky.

After the home side dominated the first half, a resurgent Werder wrested back control after the break and took a deserved lead on 66 minutes.

Romano Schmid’s looping cross picked out Sargent in the box, and the American headed home his fourth league goal of the season.

Yet Hector levelled the scores seven minutes from time, prodding the ball into the empty net after Bremen goalkeeper Pavlenka fumbled a cross.

Florian Kohfeldt’s side are now nine points clear of the bottom three, while Cologne sit two places and four points above the relegation play-off spot after ending a three-game losing streak.  

Sunday’s game also saw Max Meyer make his first Bundesliga start for Cologne since he joined in January after falling out of favour at former club Crystal Palace. 

“I wasn’t playing much at my old club so I needed a bit of time to get to know my new colleagues and improve my fitness,” said Meyer, who had started the previous five games on the bench.

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