The Hard Tackle presents you a summary of Matchday 2 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season, with Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg continuing their winning runs.
Following an exciting opening week, matchday 2 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season didn’t fail to live up to the expectations as we witnessed some interesting results across the weekend.
Although Bayern Munich managed to continue their winning momentum with a convincing win over VfB Stuttgart, it was Wolfsburg who raised a few eyebrows following a win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Things weren’t as smooth for the Ruhrpott giants, however, with both Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke dropping points this weekend. Fellow giants RB Leipzig will continue their search for a first win of the season after a disappointing draw with newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf.
As for the hardcore traditionalists, Eintracht Frankfurt lost to Werder Bremen while FC Augsburg played out a 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach. Elsewhere, Nurnberg secured their first point with a draw with FSV Mainz 05.
Here’s a complete overview of the matchday 2 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season as it transpired this weekend.
Friday: Borussia Dortmund drop points against a composed Hannover side
After a promising win against RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund failed to capitalise on their winning form, finishing a goalless draw with a composed Hannover side.
While on paper, the scoreline may suggest that the Reds kept the Dortmund attack at bay with some strong defending, the reality was totally different. As a matter of fact, Hannover enjoyed a good chunk of possession against the Black and Yellows, who often failed to thread a series of passes across the midfield lines.
The home side were very composed on the ball and at times, showed great quality to propel themselves into the final third. While they did lack the quality to provide any offensive threat to Dortmund, their efficient midfield coupled with their organized defence were enough to shut out the Ruhrpott giants.
Marco Reus had two great opportunities, one of which forced Michael Esser to make a world class save. But, we can expect Dortmund to return stronger next week, especially with the pending debut of new signing Paco Alcacer while Christian Pulisic is also likely to return to the starting eleven.
Saturday: Bayern Munich & Wolfsburg impress; Werder secure a narrow win; Szalai masterclass and much more
Despite trailing at half-time, Hoffenheim came back from behind to secure a convincing 3-1 win over SC Freiburg. An improved second-half display saw new signing Leonardo Bittencourt involved in the thick of things while Andrej Kramaric scored his first goal of the season.
But, the star of the show was definitely Adam Szalai, who netted twice whilst taking up 8 shots and winning 4 aerial duels. He could have scored a hat-trick had it not been for Alexander Schwolow making an extraordinary save to deny the Hungarian in the first half. Regardless, the Hoffenheim star is now leading the goalscoring charts with three goals in two matches, proving why he’s called the Fuβballgott.
Wolfsburg, on the other hand, also impressed by capturing a similar win against Bayer Leverkusen. A goal of the week contender strike from Leon Bailey only proved to be a consolation when the Wolves came back from behind to secure a 3-1 victory.
Ramadan Ozcan’s mishap in the first half initially handed the Wolves the equalizer before an improved second-half display that saw Wout Weghorst and Renato Steffen score their first goals for the club. Weghorst, in particular, has already shown a lot of promise and could become one of the breakout stars this season.
Wolfsburg have now registered wins against Leverkusen and Schalke in their two games this season and are deservedly clutching onto the second place in the table, only behind Bayern Munich.
Speaking of Bayern, the German champions were flawless in their 3-0 win over VfB Stuttgart. Thiago Alcantara showed what he’s capable of while Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller also delivered commendable performances to help the Bavarians climb to the top of the table.
In other Saturday afternoon fixtures, Eintracht Frankfurt tasted their third defeat in all competitions this season after falling to a 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen. In what was arguably the match of the week, 10-man Eintracht remained solid after initially conceding in the 20th minute to Yuya Osako.
They even managed to find an equalizer in the second half when Mijat Gacinovic was fouled by goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka and the resultant penalty was converted by Sebastien Haller. And just when the game seemed likely to be heading into a stalemate, on came Milot Rashica. The new signing from Vitesse Arnhem scored from a delicious free-kick in the 95th minute to seal all three points for Die Grunweiss.
Elsewhere, Augsburg played out a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach that saw Allasane Plea score his first goal in the Bundesliga to cancel out Michael Gregoritsch’s twelfth-minute opener for Augsburg. There was, unfortunately, no Andre Hahn rescue act for the Bavarians, alhough they did dominate the game with 18 attempts a compared to a measly tally of seven attempts by Gladbach.
Newly promoted Nurnberg also dominated FSV Mainz, attempting 19 shots on goal compared to Mainz’s six. The Carnival outfit also managed only one shot on target, which was enough to open the scoring in the 25th minute as Jean-Philipe Mateta scored his first goal for the club. But, Mikael Ishak showed up for Nurnberg, scoring the 48th-minute equalizer.
Sunday: Hertha Berlin upset Schalke; RB Leipzig drop points
Following a demoralizing 4-1 defeat to Dortmund in the opening fixture, RB Leipzig continued their disappointing run of form by playing out a goalless draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday.
Die Roten Bullen unsurprisingly dominated the proceedings for the most part, but were undone by a quick break from Dusseldorf just minutes after the restart. However, Matthias Zimmermann’s opening strike was canceled out by Jean-Kevin Augustin in the 68th minute. The French star in four successive games.
And finally, in this week’s Topspiel, Hertha Berlin pulled off a huge upset as they outclassed FC Schalke, who are now one of four clubs yet to secure a point so far this season.
The Royal Blues were given an early penalty when VAR revealed that Hertha’s Marko Grujic, on loan from Liverpool, had handled the ball inside the box. But, Daniel Caligiuri failed to convert the spot-kick, which proved to be quite costly for Die Konigsblauen at the end.
Just minutes after the incident, Ondrej Duda opened the scoring for Hertha, thanks to an excellent finish. After conceding the goal, the Schalke defence appeared tentative throughout the game, notably gifting a glorious opportunity to Salomon Kalou to double Hertha’s advantage but his shot was a tad too wide.
Schalke kept probing throughout the second half, but were often denied by an organized Hertha defence. Rune Jarstein was, however, forced to make the save of the week to deny Mark Uth in injury time before Duda scored his second through a beautiful free-kick in the last minute to hand Berlin a well deserved 2-0 victory over last season’s runners up.