Matchday 2 in the Bundesliga was a mixed bag of surprises and non-stories. From Bayern’s undefeated streak to Schalke’s miserable start, THT reviews the weekend’s action.


Super sub Jonas Hofmann secures BVB victory

Dortmund - Jonas Hofmann impact sub

Jonas Hofmann is the perfect impact sub

After Aubameyang’s dream debut last week, Dortmund’s penny-bright newbies were the focus of everyone’s attention. On Sunday against Eintracht Braunschweig, BVB’s fresh signings Mkhitaryan, Papastathopoulos, and Aubameyang all started — but it was substitute Jonas Hofmann who made the difference.

Going into the match, few would have put their money on Eintracht Braunschweig. Yet the Lions were the ones who looked more like scoring from the outset, with Dennis Kruppke just missing Ken Reichel’s cross and then Norman Theuerkauf’s volley going wide. Braunschweig deserve credit for some truly dour defending that kept Dortmund out for the better part of the match. But there’s no denying Dortmund were off their usual game, lacking the dynamism for which they have become known.

Klopp switched Blaszczykowski out for Marco Reus on the hour mark, and sent in Jonas Hofmann eight minutes later to replace Aubameyang. The 21-year-old Hofmann had already made his mark last week, when he drew a penalty scant minutes after being subbed on. This week he went one better, latching onto a good pass from Hummels, and put Dortmund up 1-0.

Ten minutes later, Hoffman drew another penalty. Reus converted from the spot, and Dortmund sealed their victory — but couldn’t keep a clean sheet, as Kevin Kratz nabbed a consolation goal for Braunschweig a minute from time.

Thanks to super-sub Jonas Hofmann, BVB now top the Bundesliga table on goal difference. The 2-1 also marked Jürgen Klopp also celebrated his 100th Bundesliga victory as Dortmund coach. Not the most “fast and furious” of matches, as Klopp prides himself on delivering, but it was a solid win, a good home opener, and something to build off of.

Bayern Munich playing to win

Eintracht Frankfurt made Bayern work for the three points they eventually took. A visit to the Commerzbank Arena is never easy, but Bayern started well. Mario Mandzukic scored within 15 minutes of kick-off: Thomas Müller provided a fine assist, and Super Mario’s side-footed volley put the visitors up 1-0.

The scoreline would remain unchanged until the final whistle, though not for lack of trying from both sides. Eintracht especially took every half-chance they got. Takashi Inui came close twice in the first half, and agonizingly, Alexander Meier had a goal disallowed. Meanwhile, Kevin Trapp performed some heroics to keep the scoreline from growing. The Eintracht keeper stopped a close-range shot from Dante in the first half, and in the second, saved a free kick from Arjen Robben.

Armin Veh threw the the proverbial bathtub at Bayern, but it wasn’t to be Eintracht’s day. Bayern have now gone 27 games undefeated since last season — a new club record. In less encouraging news, against Eintracht, they had17 shots on goal but only managed to convert one.

“We just wanted to win the game today,” said Manuel Neuer. “It wasn’t about playing pretty football. We just had to make sure we took three points.”

Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim reliving glory days

What year is it? Last season’s underachievers Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim glittered on Matchday 2, evoking fond memories of 2008 when they took the Bundesliga by storm.

Prize signing Luiz Gustavo debuted for Wolfsburg as Dieter Hecking’s men hammered Schalke 4-0. The scoring didn’t open until the second half, beginning with Robin Knoche’s maiden strike in the 55th minute. Two more quick goals from Vieirinha and Naldo signaled the end for Schalke, and Stefan Kutschke’s 90+1st minute goal was just insult upon injury. Making matters even worse was Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s knee injury, which will rule him out for four weeks.

“It’s not pleasant to play a game like that,” said Christian Fuchs afterwards, in what must be the understatement of Matchday 2.

Roberto Firmino made club history with 2 goals and 3 assists

If there’s any team that can empathize with Schalke’s misery right now, it’s Hamburger SV. Losing to Hoffenheim is one thing, but to lose 5-1 and at home is another. A match that was deadlocked at halftime ended in a complete rout. Volland got a goal in the 50th minute, while Modeste and Firmino bagged a brace each. Firmino furthermore provided the assists for each of the other three goals — the first time any play has done that in Hoffenheim’s Bundesliga history. It was a tremendous performance from the 21-year-old Brazilian playmaker.

This was Hoffenheim’s biggest away win ever in the Bundesliga. HSV, on the other hand, come away from the match with only Rafael van der Vaart’s 44th-minute goal for consolation.

“Not once have this team let me breathe easily for two or three games in a row,” said Thorsten Fink. The manager ought to have known better, though: starting a season poorly is something of a HSV tradition now, and 2013/14 looks to be no different.

Bundesliga Matchday 2 Results:

Stuttgart 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen 1-0 Augsburg, Freiburg 1-2 Mainz, Gladbach 3-0 Hannover, Nuremberg 2-2 Hertha Berlin

Random Five:

  1. Ten penalties have been awarded in the first two matchdays this season, a new Bundesliga record.
  2. Werder Bremen are the only club that have kept two consecutive clean sheets to start the season.
  3. Augsburg have made 31 attempts on goal in the last two matchdays, and converted exactly none.
  4. Bayern have now won their last 17 matches in which Franck Ribery played.
  5. Dani Schwaab snapped a four-year goalless streak — with an own goal in Stuttgart’s 0-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

Goal of the Week:

Mario Mandzukic’s volley put Bayern up 1-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt, and Thomas Müller’s inch-perfect delivery was almost as good as the goal itself.