The German Bundesliga showcased some key match-ups on matchday 10 with the Revierderby taking the limelight while midtable battles ensured constant changes in the table. From the fireworks of the Ruhr valley to the goal scoring exploits of Gladbach and Hoffenheim, The Hard Tackle looks into the key aspects of this weekend.
Marios do it for Bayern
Impact substitutes play a crucial role in a manager’s tactics in the later stages of a game when they come in to catalyze changes. Bayern Munich’s Mario Götze is no impact sub and can walk into any starting line-up, but he has so far been used largely as an impact sub by Guardiola ever since his return from injury. Least to say, the young German international has done really well. He changed the game when he came on in the beginning of the second half last week against Mainz, involving himself in assisting 3 goals while against ViKtoria Plzen he was instrumental in controlling the midfield play while also helping himself to a goal.
Bayern’s home fixture against Hertha Berlin saw two substitutes making telling impacts on the game as the Bavarian giants got away with a 3-2 win over the men from the capital in a thrilling encounter. Guradiola’s men started the game without the injured Dante and his absence was quite felt as the game progressed. The aging Daniel Van Buyten took the place of the Brazilian center back while Boateng returned to the line-up. Up front, Müller led the line in place of the benched Mandzukic with Ribery and Robben flanking him.
Hertha BSC have been this season’s surprise package, foxing sides with their blistering counter attacking and a determined approach to play. They showed just why they sit in a Champions League spot as they kicked off against Bayern with a display of their customary pace and aggression. Bayern’s astray passing and the slowness of the backline helped the visitors as they took a surprise lead through Adrian Ramos’s headed effort 5 minutes into the game. Things got from bad to worse as Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben limped off from the field in the 24th and 26th minute with groin injuries. But such is Bayern’s bench strength this season that Guardiola had no trouble replacing the duo with two Mario’s, Götze and Mandzukic with Müller moving to the right wing of the 4-1-4-1. The Croatian Mario made an instant impact 3 minutes later heading in home a Ribery cross to beat ex-Bayern custodian Thomas Kraft to make it 1-1. Unfazed Hertha kept up their pressure on a slow Bayern defense and a surprisingly lethargic midfield to stay level going into the break.
Just as in last week, Bayern had the sucker punch ready after the break. Mandzukic used his head yet again, this time to meet a Schweinsteiger cross that was played from pretty much the same area as Ribery’s was. Leading the game, Bayern’s other Mario Götze made with 3-1 when he met a Rafinha cross with his head.
Much to the attacking credits and determination of the visitors, Hertha made it 3-2 minutes later as Änis Ben-Hatira latched on to a cross for the game’s first non-headed goal. The introduction of Javi Martinez to partner Schweinsteiger in the midfield stemmed the flow of Hertha’s attack for the rest of the game as Bayern maintained their lead at the top of the table.
Dortmund earn bragging rights
The Revierderby, arguably the most fiercely fought derby in Germany between the men from the Yellow side and Blue side of the Ruhr valley was largely a one sided fair with Klopp’s Dortmund taking it 3-1 at Gelsenkirchen. With the excitement of the derby brewing amongst the spectators, the game started around 10 minutes late with flares being thrown in the ground. Last season, it was the Royal Blues of Schalke who inflicted a double blow as they took both the derbies games, but the 2013-2014 season hasn’t seen the best of starts for Keller’s men. Following a midweek defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League, Schalke were immediately put on the back foot by visiting Dortmund.
It took 14 minutes for Klopp’s side to stamp their authority as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, starting the game on the right wing in place of Polish Jakub Blaszczykowski, opened the scoring with a tap-in after Reus put the ball across the face of the goal. The build-up of the goal reminded fans of a vintage Dortmund as Mkhitaryan and Grosskreutz were involved in some slick passing before finding Reus at the edge of the box. Dortmund kept up the pressure through Reus and Aubameyang with both the attackers missing their chances. At the other end, the home side hardly created any, but a Subotic foul on full back Fuchs inside the box gave the Royal Blues the opening they need. Ex-Dortmund man Kevin Prince Boateng stepped up to the spot only to see his effort saved by the excellent Weidenfeller.
Despite Schalke getting more into the game after the missed penalty, Nuri Sahin doubled Dortmund’s advantage after the break with a 20 yard pile driver past a hapless Hildebrand. Jens Keller has utilized his side’s teenagers quite a bit this season and it was one of them who brought the score down to 2-1. Max Meyer who came on as a substitute for defender Christian Fuchs in the 61st minute, has scored 2 goals this season and he added his third soon after coming on. But the thoughts of a comeback were only momentary for the home side as Dortmund’s own substitute Blaszczykowski restored the 2 goal advantage 12 minutes later. A shift counter attack by Dortmund saw Mkhitaryan in the Schalke half with the ball and his cross found Kuba who made no mistake in finding the back of the net. Draxler had couple of chances saved by Weidenfeller as the game ended 3-1 in favour of the Yellow and Blacks who had plenty of reasons to celebrate on their 20 mile way back home.
Hoffenheim and Gladbach hit four
Hoffenheim were probably cheated on matchday 9 as Leverkusen won 2-1 that included that much talked about “phantom goal”. With their appeal for the game to be replayed still undecided, the ‘Village side’ decided to make amends and dished out a hiding to Hannover 96 who are always tough opponents at home. Hannover defender Marcelo and his backline were in for a bad day at the office as Hoffenheim were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute. Sejad Salihovic made it 1-0 for the visitors and the lead was doubled minutes later as Herdling bundled his chance in. Hannover, after the double blow early on gradually started getting into the game with Hungarian midfielder Huszti and forward Biram Diouf channeling much of the attacks.
11 minutes into the second period , Hannover finally broke Hoffenheim’s resistance as Salif Sané scored to get things back to 2-1. Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino has been in brilliant form this season for Hoffenheim, scoring 8 of the side’s 25 goals so far and he really came into the game midway into the second half. His twin strikes, two minutes within each other sealed the game for the visitors. The two sides sit 9th and 10th in the table equal on points.
After some miserable showings last season, Favre’s Galdbach are back into the mix for European spots as they convincingly beat Eintracht Frankfurt by 4-1. The win is Gladbach’s in matches and puts them 4th, 9th points behind Leverkusen and Dortmund.
Stefan Aigner’s 15th minute strike for the visitors was sandwiched between two Gladbach strikes from Arango and Wendt. The left sided pair proved to be a constant thorn to Frankfurts backline as Jung and co found it difficult to contain the duo. On the other side of the pitch, Hermann was unlucky not to put the home team 2 goals up as Trapp pulled out a brilliant save to keep the score as it is going into the break. The second period was much the same with Gladbach launching attacks at will. Hermann made it 3-1 on the hour mark and 6 minutes later, Gladbach’s impressive Brazilian scored the 4th to round off a brilliant evening for Favre’s men.
Hamburg won 3-0 at Freiburg with goals from Beister, Lasogga and talisman Rafael Van der Vaart while Wolfsburg’s 20 year old Arnold inspired his side to a 3-0 win over Werder Bremen. Olic and Perisic were the other scorers for Wolves as they climb up to 6th in the table after the win. Bundesliga’s first game on Friday saw Stuttgart being held by Nürnberg while Japanese attacker Okazaki scored a brace for Mainz in a 2-0 win over Braunschweig. Simon Rolfes and Emre Can were on target for Leverkusen as they saw off Bavarian side Augsburg by 2-1.
- Matchday 10 saw 32 goals being scored.
- All of Bayern’s goal came from headers with 4 headers being scored in the 3-2 scoreline.
- Roman Weidenfeller has a 50 % record in saving penalties this season.
- Bayern Munich extend their unbeaten run streak to 35 games in the Bundesliga
- Survival experts Nürnberg have drawn 7 of their 10 games.
GOAL OF THE WEEK