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.
Mainz kicked off the second installment of the Bundesliga at the Coface Arena against Greuther Furth on Friday evening. Both teams looked desperate to register their first win of the campaign. The match was a closely contested affair, with the hosts dominating both possession and having the better chances throughout the game. But the failure to convert their chances came back to haunt them as Felix Klaus’s left footed strike earned the new boys their first ever win in the Bundesliga. The result leaves Mainz with 1 point after 2 games.
Eintracht Frankfurt continued their dream start to the campaign with a 4-0 hammering of hapless Hoffenheim in front of the stunned crowd at the Rhein-Neckar Arena. The first couple of goals were scored before half time by Pirmin Shwegler and Alexander Meier. For the hosts Sejad Salihovic and Stephan Schrock were given their marching orders at 70 and 74 minutes respectively, with the score still 2-0. Waves of attack from Frankfurt caused unrest among the 9 men of Hoffenheim who finally gave way to the pressure, conceding a penalty. Meier stepped up to earn himself a brace. Martin Laing completed the rout as Armin Veh’s side ended the day top of the table.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund were in action on Saturday against Nurnberg in front of 50,000 pair of eyes at the easyCredit Stadion. The Borussians never looked to be in control of the game as the home side neutralized Dortmund’s attacking quartet well. The game began at a slow pace with both teams looking to find their feet. Dortmund enjoyed most of the early possession, but the end product was absent. With a cagey start to the game, it was Nurnberg who opened the scoring, thanks to a bullet header from Tomas Pekhart who rose to head home Hiroshi Kiyotake’s pin point delivery. The home side’s joy lasted for a mere seven minutes as a cross from the left caused panic in the box and after Lewandowski and Perisic failed to convert, the ball fell to Kuba who equalized with a simple finish.
The second half began with Nurnberg creating the better chances attacking from left, right and centre. Kiyotake and Mak were constant threats to the champions, the latter being denied a debatable penalty shout. Dortmund absorbed the persistent attacks well enough and eventually got chances themselves. Javier Pinola cleared off the line as Hummels’ header seemed to have gotten Dortmund the lead. Scheiber and Kuba had shots saved later in the game. Mak who continued troubling the Dortmund backline saw his shot hit the frame with just 4 minutes to be played. Gotze and Grosskreutz were put in the line of fire as Klopp looked desperate to snatch a win. But a lackluster display from the champions meant the match ended at 1-1 with both teams sharing the spoils. Ikay Gundogan remained anonymous yet again as he continues his dull display to the season. The return to fitness of Kehl and Goetze must be relieving for Klopp as he now looks forward to a tricky month ahead with Champions League action.
Bayern were in action on Sunday as they hosted Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena. Bayern were rattled early on as Martin Harnik’s left footed effort came off the crossbar with 4 minutes on the clock. With 25 minutes passed, an Arthur Boka freekick found Harnik again, on the far post this time, and he drilled an exquisite volley past Manuel Neuer to put the visitors a goal to the good. The response from Bayern was emphatic to say the least. Mandzukic’s cross was met by Muller who side footed his effort. Ulreich saved but Muller jumped on the rebound and finished calmly to equalize for the hosts. Barely a minute later Toni Kroos put the hosts ahead with a thumping effort from just around the edge of the area. That wasn’t the last scorcher for the day, as Gustavo let fly a shot from almost 30 yards out with the ball ending up in the right corner.
The second half was expected to be more of the same, but Bayern came out all guns blazing. Three goals in six minutes saw the Champions League runners up sit prettily at 6-1 after 53 minutes played. First it was Mandzukic, who scored after another cheap loss of possession from Sakai. A classic counter attack saw the Bayern relay squad up against just 2 Stuttgart defenders, as Muller scored his second of the night. Schweinstieger scored the sixth and final goal of the night as Bayern romped to the top of the table after an ace performance. Stuttgart had more to worry about as Vedad Ibisevic got himself sent off with 15 minutes to play. Bayern would be pleased with their showing and have opened up a 2 point gap over defending champions Dortmund.
The biggest surprise of the week was provided by Felix Magath’s Wolfsburg side as they lost 4-0 at home to Hannover 96. This was Wolfsburg’s worst home defeat of the century, as the Wolkswagen Arena couldn’t believe what they saw. Karim Haggui scored from a corner with just ten minutes gone. The signs were ominous. Artur Sobeich scored his first of the game after the expansive move by Hannover with 26 minutes played. The Wolves never looked solid defensively and in the second half, they were murdered by Hannover’s pace. Andreasen and Sobeich scored within a 4 minute span, as Wolfsburg lost their shape and organisation at the back. Things went worse when Robin Knoche recieved his second booking of the night and Wolfsburg ended the game with 10 men.
Elsewhere Bremen beat Hamburg who look for a long season in the lower half of the table. Aaron Hunt and Nils Petersen scored as Hamburg had Adler to thank for keeping the score at a respectable 2-0. Bayer Leverkusen got their first win of the season as they beat Freiburg 2-0 at the BayArena. Goals from Gonzalo Castro and Philipp Wollscheid sealed the game for Sami Hyppia’s side. Gladbach and Dusseldorf played out a goalless draw at the Espirit Arena leaving both the sides at 4 points each. Last season’s top scorer Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored in Schalke’s 3-1 win over Augsburg leaving the latter with no points after 2 outings.
Week 1 results: Mainz 0-1 Greuther Furth, Dusseldorf 0-0 Gladbach, Schalke 3-1 Augsburg, Bremen 2-0 Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Freiburg, Hoffenheim 0-4 Frankfurt, Wolfsburg 0-4, Nurnberg 1-1 Dortmund, Bayern 6-1 Stuttgart
Player of the week
Szabolcs Huszti: The Hungarian midfielder who returned to Germany this summer had a big impact on Hannover’s great result at Wolfsburg. At the Volkswagen Arena, he was instrumental in all the good work done by Hannover. His pace down the left tore Wolfsburg and aided each of the four goals scored. A man of the match performance from the new signing makes him our player of the week.
Flop of the week
Dennis Aogo: The Hamburg left back had a horrible game against Bremen. He was ill-positioned and thus at fault for two clear chances for Bremen in the first half. To add to his misery the German also conceded a couple of penalties. Luckily Hunt missed the first one as Adler saved Aogo the blushes but he converted the second one as Bremen ran away 2-0 winners in the Nordderby.
• Augsburg had the maximum shots at the weekend with a jaw dropping 22, and also the maximum crosses with 19.
• Augsburg and Hamburg are the only teams yet to score in the Bundesliga this season.
• Bayern had an amazing 90.3% passing percentage to go with their 6 goals on Sunday.
• Borussia Dortmund had the weekend-high 11 corners, unable to convert either of them.
• Wolfsburg and Frieburg both committed a joint high 24 fouls in their respective matches.
Goal of the week
Pirmin Schwegler pips Harnik and Jones to get our nod for the goal of the week.