The Hard Tackle presents you a summary of Matchday 3 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season, with Bayern retaining their place at the top of the table while Schalke and Leverkusen remain at the bottom.
It was a pretty exciting week for the German football fans as matchday 3 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign saw 34 goals being scored across nine games over the weekend.
Bayern Munich continued their incredible start to the campaign with a convincing win over Bayer Leverkusen. But, Borussia Dortmund are keen to overtake the Bavarians, having secured an impressive victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach also made a recovery after recording disappointing draws against Fortuna Dusseldorf and FC Augsburg in their last game.
However, things went further downhill for Bundesliga giants FC Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen, both of whom are now the only clubs yet to secure a single point this season. While Leverkusen stuttered against champions Bayern, Schalke were edged out by a competent Gladbach side.
Fortuna, on the other hand, managed to capitalize on their good form to register their first victory of the campaign with a surprise 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. But, fellow promoted club FC Nurnberg were held to a draw by Werder Bremen.
Here’s a complete overview of the matchday 3 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season as it transpired this weekend.
Paco Alcacer scores on his debut as Dortmund downs Eintracht
Borussia Dortmund made a stunning recovery after initially being held by Hannover in their last match as they secured a comfortable 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
That being said, the Black and Yellows struggled to impose their dominance throughout the first half, with the likes of Marco Reus, Marius Wolf and Maximilian Philipp failing to provide anything useful in attack. The Ruhr giants were indeed lucky to score the opener as new signing Abdou Diallo found the net in “Felipe Santana vs Malaga” fashion.
Frankfurt always looked dangerous in counter-attacks especially with Filip Kostic often bombing down from the flanks. And the DFB Pokal champs were eventually rewarded for their efforts as Sebastien Haller scored the equalizer in the 68th minute.
But, Dortmund’s performance significantly improved after conceding the equalizer, which coincided with the introduction of Axel Witsel. The Belgian was a calming influence in midfield as the home side pillaged their opposition with relentless waves of attack and at the end, it was Marius Wolf, who restored Dortmund’s lead by slotting home from a clever little cross from Jadon Sancho.
Sancho was also deeply involved in most of the Dortmund attacks that transpired in the final stage of the game, notably providing the pass for Paco Alcacer, who produced a thunderbolt to add further gloss into the scoreline. The Barcelona striker was making his debut for his new club and it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a fan favourite given his fantastic start to the season.
Bayern stay on top; Schalke and Leverkusen remain winless; Wolfsburg stutter
A competent performance from Hertha Berlin was tarnished when Admir Mehmedi of Wolfsburg scored the equalizer in the injury time. The club from the capital looked extremely good throughout the game both offensive and defensively, having initially scored the opener through new signing Javairo Dilrosun.
It was the first Bundesliga goal for the former Manchester City prodigy, who made the most out of a clumsy backpass from William. Although Wolfsburg did found the equalizer through a Yunus Malli penalty in the 87th minute, a stunning free-kick of Ondrej Duda quickly restored Hertha’s lead just minutes after the Malli goal. And despite the late equalizer from the Wolves, the Old Lady will be more than happy with the crucial away point.
RB Leipzig, on the other hand, were made to work hard for their three points as Hannover piled heaps of pressure on the Bundesliga giants this weekend. Both the teams were looking for their first win of the campaign, prior to the game.
Hosts Leipzig started the game on a positive note with the likes of Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg looking extremely dangerous. And their impressive start paid off when Yussuf Poulsen tucked away from close range to give his side the advantage within eight minutes.
However, Niklas Fullkrug came to the rescue for Hannover, as usual, when the German forward struck a delightful volley into the back of the net just minutes after Leipzig’s opener. But, the hosts continued to pile up the pressure on the visitors and were eventually rewarded when Timo Werner scored his first goal of the season just minutes before the half-time whistle, thanks to a well-timed through ball from Forsberg.
And the duo played a key role throughout the rest of the game, combining once again for Leipzig’s third in the second half. Head coach Ralph Hassenhuttl will be definitely happy with the performance though his side did concede a second goal in the 65th minute. It will be interesting to see how they fare against their sister club RB Salzburg this midweek in the highly anticipated “Red Bull derby”.
As for Bayern, they were in an excellent mood this weekend, demolishing Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 to maintain their impressive start to the season and to also retain their place at the top of the table. Arjen Robben and Thiago Alcantara were the most influential performers, as the duo constantly piled the pressure on the opposition, largely thanks to Thiago’s neat passing and Robben’s sharp movements.
Robert Lewandowski failing to score will be the only downside from a comprehensive display that saw Corentin Tolisso, Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez all find the back of the net. However, Tolisso’s injury in the first half could serve as a huge worry for the Bayern fans.
Elsewhere, newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf arguably delivered the biggest of the upset of the week, downing TSG Hoffenheim 2-1 at the ESPRIT Arena. Strikes from Alfredo Morales and Dodi Lukebakio were enough for Die Flingeraner in a game that saw Arsenal loanee Reiss-Nelson score his first goal in the Bundesliga.
FSV Mainz, on the other hand, produced an extraordinary comeback to seal a 2-1 win over FC Augsburg. The Bavarians initially found the opener in the 82nd minute, thanks to Ji Dong-Won. But, the introduction of Alexandru Maxim in the 86th minute saw the game turn on its head.
The Romanian international made a huge impact as Mainz found the equalizer just a minute after his substitution and as the injury time kicked in, it was his stunning strike that helped the Zero Fivers secure their second win of the campaign.
And finally, in the Topspiel, Borussia Monchengladbach maintained their impressive start to the season by defeating FC Schalke 2-1. The Foals were off to a flying start as former Dortmund boys in Jonas Hofmann and Matthias Ginter combined to score the third-minute opener. And despite Schalke’s attempts to get back into the game, Gladbach remained solid and doubled their lead in the 76th minute through Pattrick Herrmann.
Breel Embolo scored for Schalke in the injury time, in what turned out to be a mere consolation goal. The Ruhr giants are now in serious trouble having lost all of their opening three matches this season. It will be intriguing to see how they prepare for their big game against Bayern next weekend, especially with an important clash against FC Porto pending in midweek.
Nurnberg remain winless, Stuttgart & Freiburg play out exciting draw
In the Sunday afternoon game, newly promoted Nurnberg failed to register their first win of the campaign against Werder Bremen. On the contrary, Der Klub were on the verge of suffering a disappointing defeat had it not been for the last minute equalizer from Virgil Misidjan. It was, for the most parts, a boring game, however, with both teams combining just four shots on target.
While Bremen and Nurnberg disappointed the onlookers with a relatively boring draw, Freiburg and Stuttgart made sure they stay at the edge of their seats as they played out an exciting 3-3 draw. Jerome Gondorf starred for Freiburg, who came back from behind twice to seal one point against a competent Stuttgart side.
The former Darmstadt midfielder initially scored the opener in the first minute, which was cancelled out by a brilliant strike from Emiliano Insua in the 44th minute. Freiburg, in fact, went on to trail 2-1 when Mario Gomez found an easy opportunity to hand his side the lead in the 48th minute. But, soon after that goal, Gondorf fired back with an excellent curling freekick restore parity.
However, Stuttgart still managed another quick response as vintage Gomez scored from a blazing header in the 56th minute. And just when Die Schwaben looked like snapping all three points at Freiburg, Luca Waldschmidt produced a thunderbolt in the 81st minute to make it 3-3 and save his side’s blushes.