Free kick goals – check. Long range curlers – check. Derby drama – check. Referee controversy – check. This week’s Bundesliga games have served all this and more excitement, in a week which saw a season high 35 goals being scored. Here, are Matchday 13’s talking points:
What is sadly proving to be a routine affair in this seasons Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund dropped points yet again, in a trip away to Frankfurt this time. After a rather meek display against Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp’s men were hoping to ascend the table for any hope of qualifying for Europe next season. Instead, yet another shambolic display followed on Sunday. Eintracht’s Alex Meier scored his eight goal of the season within 5 minutes of the start after a poorly timed offside trap by Neven Subotic and Matthias Ginter. Pierre-Emerick Aubameryang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan came close to equalising soon, but lack of midfield authority and defensive errors cost the team a valuable 3 points. Swiss striker Haris Seferovic capitalized on a hilarious mixup between Roman Weidenfeller and Matthias Ginter to complete the humiliation 78 minutes in. With other results also going against them, Dortmund are at the bottom of the table with 11 points, but only 10 adrift of 4th place. Eintracht are on 9th position and are amongst the many hoping to fight their way through the densely packed middle of the table, with 18 points.
Bayern scrape through at Berlin
Hertha BSC entertained leaders Bayern Munich at the Olympiastadion in attempt to halt the Bavarians strong run of form, and almost succeeded too. Bayern were never at their best, and it took a great Arjen Robben goal for them to scrape past their hosts. Bayern’s clean sheet meant they matched Stuttgart’s 2003-04 record of letting in only three goals in the opening 13 matches of the season. Robert Lewandowski spurned two easy opportunities, and Hertha failed to pounce on the rare chances that they got. John Brooks and Valentin Stocker should have taken their chances, but poor decision making cost them at least a point against the Champions. Bayern Munich seemed to lack motivation with Robben and Pep Guardiola acknowledging that football is sometimes just about taking three points. Bayern remain comfortable in first place and Hertha Berlin are dangerously placed at 14th, only 3 points off the bottom.
Wolfsburg show their mettle
In the headline game of Matchday 13, Bayern-hunters Wolfsburg took on fellow high-flyers Borussia Monchengladbach in the Volkswagen Arena on Sunday. The game ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts with young defender Robin Knoche poking in after a good cross from Marcel Schafer 12 minutes in. Both keepers, Diego Benaglio and Yann Sommer were forced into crucial saves later on, and a wrongly disallowed goal denied the hosts a second. Scrappy play followed with some controversial decisions by the referee, to slow down the tempo of the game. After late pressure from ‘Gladbach, Wolfsburg held on to the 3 points to leave them in second, 7 points behind Bayern Munich. Monchengladbach stay fifth, 2 points within third placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga
Huub Stevens got off to a great second start at Stuttgart with a 4-1 win over Freiburg. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bagged his 100th goal for Schalke in a 4-1 victory over Mainz. Werder Bremen thumped Paderborn 4-0 at home while Leverkusen beat domestic rivals Koln 5-1 in a routine victory. Silent-but-efficient Augsburg moved into 4th place following a 3-1 win against Hamburg and Hannover lost an entertaining 7 goal thriller 3-4 away at Hoffenheim.
- The 3-1 win over Hamburg marks the first time in Bundesliga history that Augsburg have overturned a halftime deficit to win the game.
- Carlos Gruezo’s goal for Stuttgart was the first ever goal scored by an Ecuadorian in the Bundesliga
- Borussia Dortmund find themselves at the bottom of the table for the first time in 29 years.
- Augsburg have been awarded 5 penalties this season (all converted by Paul Verhaegh), which is more than their last two seasons combined.
- Despite being only 20 years of age, Hakan Calhanoglu has already scored 7 direct free kicks and created 6 more from set-pieces in his Bundesliga career.
Goal of the week
Arjen Robben, Tranquillo Barnetta and Eugen Polanski boast of great long range strikes, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar took his first goal with style and Hakan Calhanoglu managed to pull off yet another free kick, but the winner of Matchday 13’s goal of the week is Zlatko Junuzovic’s Arango-esque free kick from 30 meters.