The Bundesliga is finally back! The top flight of German football was at its entertaining best, with its fair share of goals and shocks. TheHardTackle takes a look at all the action from this week’s Bundesliga games in the weekly column, Beer And Bratwurst.
Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen kick started the league with a high tempo game, filled with end to end action. Thomas Schaaf fielded three of his new signings, Eljero Elia, Kevin de Bruyne and Theodor Gebre Selassie. Dortmund’s sensational summer acquisition, Marco Reus, was unsurprisingly given the start in the central attacking midfield role.
Dortmund looked the hungrier side and it wasn’t a shock when they took the lead in the 11th minute through Marco Reus. A misplaced Kuba pass was poorly dealt with by Aleksandar Ignjovski and Reus was at his lethal best, finishing with ease past Sebastian Mielitz. This error didn’t put off Bremen, as they continued to hit Dortmund on the counter. De Bruyne, Aaron Hunt and Marko Arnautovic were Bremen’s most influential attackers. Arnautovic even went on to rattle the upright in the first half, but Dortmund went into the break with their lead untarnished.
The second half continued at the pace of the first half. Dortmund looked dangerous throughout the first twenty minutes, with Bremen creating their fair share of chances. Dortmund’s defense had a good number of scares over the game, and their lack of resoluteness was punished in the 75th minute. Neven Subotic failed to deal with a cross from Hunt, giving Bremen another opportunity through Arnautovic. The Austrian provided a delightful cross which was headed in by debutante, Gebre Selassie. The visitors’ joy was short lived though, as substitute Mario Götze scored Dortmund’s second goal six minutes later. Once again, it was the hard working Kuba who initiated the move which was finally finished by the returning German sensation.
Dortmund’s main competitors for the title, Bayern Munich were in top form this week as they demolished newly promoted Greuther Fürth. This was the first time that Fürth had achieved promotion to the top flight of German football, and it was not in the least bit surprising to see them suffer at the hands of the most successful German club. Thomas Müller opened the scoring in the 43rd minute with a simple tap in that resulted from a goal line save off Dante’s header. New signing, Mario Mandzukic, continued to thrive at Bayern as he doubled the lead in the 60th minute. The Croat headed into an empty goal after Arjen Robben shot was deflected straight to him by Max Grün. Things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Bayern were gifted a third goal thanks to a wicked deflection off the leg of Fürth defender Thomas Kleine.
The biggest surprise of the week was at the Commerzbank-Arena, where Eintracht Frankfurt shocked Bayer Leverkusen with a 2-1 victory. Armin Veh’s side made their return to the Bundesliga after a year long hiatus, but were in full flow in their first home game of the season. They started on a bad note as Leverkusen took the lead through Stefan Kießling in the 30th minute. It took the hosts a while to get into the game, but their hard work eventually off when Bastian Oczipka thundered down the left flank and provided a delightful ball into the box. Takashi Inui latched onto the cross but his tame shot was parried away by Bernd Leno. The rebound was then thundered into the back of the net by new signing, Stefan Aigner. The hosts sealed the three points by taking the lead in the 82nd minute through a Martin Lanig header.
Borussia Mönchengladbach started life without Reus on an impressive note, as they picked up a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim at Borussia Park. Freiburg continued to remain unbeaten at home in 2012 by holding Mainz to a 1-1 draw. Fortuna Düsseldorf kicked off their campaign in style with a 2-0 win over Augsburg thanks to a sensational brace from Dani Schahin. Wolfsburg and Nuremberg picked up narrow 1-0 wins over Stuttgart and Hamburg respectively.
The final game of the first week was played between Hannover and Schalke. In what was a fairly contested first half, Hannover took the lead through a thunderous header from Felipe. Schalke equalized a couple of minutes into the second half courtesy their captain, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The visitors then took the lead through the highly touted Lewis Holtby and looked set to head back with a victory. Unfortunately for Schalke, substitute Adrian Nikci pulled Hannover back on level terms in the 80th minute. Both teams huffed and puffed but the game ended in a stalemate.
Week 1 results: Dortmund 2-1 Bremen, Gladbach 2-1 Hoffenheim, Freiburg 1-1 Mainz, Augsburg 0-2 Düsseldorf, Hamburg 0-1 Nuremberg, Fürth 0-1 Bayern, Frankfurt 2-0 Leverkusen, Stuttgart 0-1 Wolfsburg, Hannover 2-2 Schalke
Player of the week
Dani Schahin: The former Greuther Fürth attacker was in sensational form for his new club, as he came off the bench to score two sensational goals for Fortuna Düsseldorf. The 23-year-old striker was brought on in the 60th minute, scored a screamer in the 68th minute and then ensured that his side would walk away with the three points with a powerful finish with about ten minutes to go. Now that’s a super sub!
Flop of the week
Aleksandar Ignjovski: The Werder Bremen left back had an atrocious start to the Bundesliga campaign. He was the culprit for Dortmund’s first goal, as he failed to deal with a mishit pass by Kuba which allowed Reus to slot home the first goal of the Bundesliga. His night turned ugly when he made a rash challenge twenty minutes later and must count himself lucky not to have seen red. Vedad Ibišević should feel even luckier to see that his name isn’t ahead of Ignjovski’s in this section.
• Dani Schahin’s opening goal for Fortuna Düsseldorf was their first goal in the Bundesliga since 1997.
• Twelve out of the twenty goals scored this week were netted by new signings.
• This was the first time that Jakub Blaszczykowski had his full name on his jersey. He normally just has Kuba on it.
• Only three of the twenty one goalscorers were above the age of thirty. This includes the own goal scored by the 34-year-old Thomas Kleine.
• Nuremberg picked up their first win in Hamburg since 1992.
Goal of the week
Dani Schahin’s sensational strike that gave Düsseldorf the lead just pips Juan Arango’s delightful freekick against Hoffenheim.
Quote of the week
Dani Schahin after scoring a brace against Augsburg: “Today is like Christmas and Easter on the same day.” Schahin and Düsseldorf need a season full of such festivities.