A goal-filled matchday 6 ended in derby losses for Schalke and Hamburg, while Robbie Kruse inspired Leverkusen to a 4-1 win over Mainz. THT reviews the weekend’s Bundesliga action.
Petersen double seals Nordderby for Werder Bremen
The 99th edition of the Nordderby saw both teams under immense psychological pressure to perform. HSV were back on the coaching carousel after firing Thorsten Fink, while Bremen had lost three consecutive matches and desperately needed some positive momentum. All this, added to the tension of derby day, spelled a nervy opening.
Bremen put the pressure on HSV from the start. Santiago Garcia had a chance with a long-range effort, and Assani Lukimya could have had the opening goal, but for Zhi Gin Lam’s off-the-line clearance. HSV finally broke after half an hour. Clemens Fritz made a beautiful run down the right, squared quick and low into the box — and Nils Petersen was there to tap it past Rene Adler.
Down one goal and 45 minutes, HSV shook off the first-half nerves to come out swinging after the break. HSV threw themselves into the attack, and as Bremen got a little sloppy, the home side got a look. Maxi Beister twice had a chance to put HSV level, but he along with Tomas Rincon and Heiko Westermann all failed to beat an outstanding Sebastian Mielitz.
In the end it simply wasn’t to be HSV’s day. Petersen nearly got his second when, with 75 minutes gone, he found himself in a one-on-one situation but couldn’t convert. But four minutes into added time, Petersen broke downfield after HSV had committed all 11 players to a last-minute penalty. Adler couldn’t get himself back to his goal in time, and with a skillful chip, Petersen sealed this Nordderby 2-0 for Werder Bremen.
Bayern hit four past Schalke
This battle of the Boatengs ended 4-0 in Jerome’s favor, as Schalke found no answer to Bayern’s dominant display at the Veltins on Saturday. Though it was Schalke who arguably began the game more strongly. Kevin-Prince Boateng’s fifth-minute shot forced Manuel Neuer into a parry, but Adam Szalai failed to make anything of the rebound.
Predictably, it was inexplicable defending that eventually did Schalke in. A 21st-minute corner saw Bastian Schweinsteiger capitalize on the Royal Blues’ disorganized defense to put Bayern up 1-0. Mario Mandzukic punished Schalke again a minute later, when Benedikt Höwedes failed to cover the cross in from Alaba.
Up 2-0, Bayern cruised. Toni Kroos’ passing released Robben and Ribery on numerous occasions, though the duo failed to make anything of their opportunities. That is, until the 75th minute: again it was Alaba who provided the assist with a smart cut-back, and all Ribery had to do was tap it in. Ten minutes later, Claudio Pizarro came off the bench to seal it 4-0 for Bayern.
All in all, it was probably Bayern’s most accomplished performance under Pep Guardiola. Their Champions League match midweek was notable for how Guardiola seems to be meshing better with the team and adapting his tactics to his players. If this latest scoreline at Schalke is anything to go by, Bayern and Guardiola will only get better from here on out.
Leverkusen “Kruse” to 4-1 victory at Mainz
What a great day it was for Robbie Kruse. It was his first start of the season, Leverkusen were looking to bounce back after a painful midweek Champions League defeat, and Kruse helped the team do just that. “He’s no Heung-Min Son,” some might have said before the match; but after this performance, they’ll be swallowing their words.
It began in the 19th minute when Sidney Sam won possession, and released Kruse with a pinpoint-accurate pass. One-on-one against the keeper, Kruse kept his cool and calmly put the ball past Heinz Müller for a delightful opener. Lars Bender then let loose with two long-range efforts. The first found the side netting, but the second took a fortuitous deflection off Nikolce Noveski and wrong-footed Müller. Kruse further extended Leverkusen’s lead just second before halftime. Again it was Sam who began the move, laying it off to Simon Rolfes this time. But the veteran opted to pass rather than going for goal himself, and Kruse finished it off for 3-0.
After the break, usual suspect Stefan Kiessling made it four for Leverkusen when Mainz failed to clear a cross, and Rolfes set up Kiessling for his fifth goal of the campaign. Mainz got a consolation goal in the 83rd minute. Yunus Malli took advantage of Leverkusen’s failure to clear a cross and, in an ironic reversal of fortune, his shot took a wicked deflection to ruin Bernd Leno’s clean sheet.
Bundesliga Matchday 6 Results:
M’Gladbach 4-1 Eintracht Braunschweig, Hannover 2-1 Augsburg, Wolfsburg 2-1 Hoffenheim, FC Nuremberg 1-1 Borussia Dortmund, Freiburg 1-1 Hertha Berlin, Stuttgart 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
- For the first time in Bundesliga history, not a single match in the first six matchdays ended goalless.
- Bayern have now scored in 43 consecutive Bundesliga games.
- This 4-0 was Schalke’s biggest Bundesliga home loss in 32 years.
- At 17 years and 200 days old, Timo Werner became VfB Stuttgart’s youngest ever goalscorer with his equalizer against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
- Hoffenheim have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 successive Bundesliga outings.
Goal of the Week:
Robbie Kruse opened the scoring for Leverkusen with this delightful goal that showed off his composure and touch.