The Hard Tackle presents you a summary of Matchday 5 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season, as the first Englische Woche of the campaign unfolded.
The first Englische Woche of the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign was arguably the most exciting one so far as we witnessed some interesting results and exhilarating action throughout this midweek.
Bayern Munich’s draw with FC Augsburg became the main talking point of the matchday as their perfect start to the season came to an abrupt end. Hertha Berlin failed to take advantage of Bayern’s draw, losing to Werder Bremen. But, Borussia Dortmund responded in an emphatic fashion, sealing a huge win over newly promoted 1. FC Nurnberg.
The likes of Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim also had a convincing week, recording wins against Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hannover 96 and VfB Stuttgart respectively. But, FC Schalke’s dismal start to the campaign continued with a defeat to SC Freiburg. The Royal Blues have now tasted defeats in all five of their Bundesliga matches so far this season.
In other matches, VfL Wolfsburg and FSV Mainz 05 played out a 0-0 draw while Borussia Monchengladbach wrapped up the matchday with a convincing win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Here’s a complete overview of Matchday 5 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season as it transpired this midweek.
Tuesday: Martin Harnik masterclass downs high-flying Hertha; Schalke remain rock bottom; Bayern drop points for the first time this season
Tuesday: Martin Harnik masterclass downs high-flying Hertha
Nuri Sahin made his first start for his new club as Werder Bremen sealed a shock, yet convincing 3-1 victory over high-flying Hertha Berlin. The Turkish international was very solid in midfield and looked deadly with his set-piece deliveries.
In fact, it was his free-kick which resulted in Martin Harnik’s opener while his excellent corner found Milos Veljkovic for Bremen’s second. But, Harnik was definitely the man of the match for his tremendous work ethic and commitment throughout the game.
The former Hannover striker appeared restless while attacking the Hertha defence and deservedly scored the opener, which was his first goal since his return to Weserstadion. Javairo Dilrosun scored the only goal for the visitors, which only turned out to be a mere consolation, thanks to Max Kruse’s 66th-minute penalty.
Meanwhile, Schalke continued their calamitous start to the campaign following yet another disappointing defeat, this time at the hands of SC Freiburg. The Royal Blues were unlucky, however, hitting the post twice after an early goal from Cedric Teuchert was disallowed due to offside.
And, just when it seemed like they had reached the dead end, Florian Niederlechner scored from nowhere around the 50th-minute mark to hand Freiburg the lead.
Often devoid of inspiration in the final third, Schalke also appeared nervy in defence throughout the course of the game. Head coach Domenico Tedesco now has a massive job on his hands as he looks to initiate a recovery following a nightmare start to the campaign. Schalke, for now, are rooted at the bottom of the table with zero points in five games.
If Schalke’s defeat to SC Freiburg was a surprise, FC Augsburg splurged an even bigger one by holding Bayern Munich to a draw in the Bavarian derby. Manuel Baum’s men remained brave and solid for large parts of the game, while Bayern lacked the necessary spark in attack due to the absence of Thiago Alcantara and James Rodriguez in the starting lineup.
The Bundesliga champions were left frustrated by Augsburg’s stubbornness at the back. However, they did net the opener, following a frustrating first half, thanks to Serge Gnabry’s brilliant run, as he got in behind the Augsburg defence and then unselfishly squared the ball to Arjen Robben, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
But, just when Bayern were cruising to a hard-fought and narrow win over their Bavarian rivals, Manuel Neuer made a costly error which led to the equaliser from former player Felix Gotze. The disappointing draw snapped Bayern’s seven-game winning streak, with Niko Kovac’s failing to equal Carlo Ancelotti’s record of eight straight wins during his first season in charge of the club.
Also on Tuesday, Hannover continued their winless run as Hoffenheim handed them a 3-1 loss. However, the Reds created a lot of opportunities throughout the game, with Ihlas Bebou, in particular, wreaking havoc in the final third. But, they were always lacking the end product as Hoffenheim made full use of their chances to emerge as comfortable victors.
Bayer Leverkusen, on the other hand, capitalized on their form by sealing a 2-1 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf. Kevin Volland scored twice before Rouwen Hennings scored the late consolation goal for Dusseldorf from the spot. Leverkusen are now on a three-game winning streak in all competitions.
Wednesday: Dortmund trounce Nurnberg; Leipzig & Gladbach secure wins; Wolfsburg held by Mainz
Borussia Dortmund secured the biggest win of this Bundesliga campaign, as they gave a 7-0 trouncing to newly promoted 1. FC Nurnberg at the Signal Iduna Park. The Black and Yellows appeared merciless as Marco Reus & co. found it pretty easy to run rings around the vulnerable Nurnberg defence.
In a game that saw three Dortmund players score their first ever Bundesliga goal, Achraf Hakimi was the standout performer. The Moroccan international, on loan from Real Madrid, produced a cunning display at right-back with his excellent technical ability and sheer pace. Thomas Delaney also had an solid evening, controlling the midfield alongside fellow newcomer Axel Witsel.
Former Manchester City man Jadon Sancho also found the back of the net later in the second half before playing a key role in Julian Weigl’s late goal. The English whizkid has shown tremendous promise in this early part of the season and could become a vital asset to Dortmund in the near future.
Leipzig secured their second victory of the campaign in a heated affair with VfB Stuttgart. Ron-Robert Zieler, who was coming on the back of an excellent performance against Dusseldorf, made an error which led to Willi Orban’s opener in the dying embers of the first half.
But, Timo Werner will be frustrated after failing to score his 50th goal in Bundesliga. His goal in the second half was chalked off after Yussuf Poulsen, who was offside, was adjudged to have interfered with the play. However, Jean-Kevin Augustin produced a remarkable finish in the 80th minute to add further gloss to Leipzig’s victory.
Meanwhile, VfL Wolfsburg were held by FSV Mainz 05 at the Opel Arena. Wolfsburg’s Josip Brekale came close to scoring the opener in the first half. But, his low-driven shot hit the post in the 23rd minute before he was denied by an excellent save from Florian Muller a quarter of an hour later.
However, Mainz boss Sandro Schwarz won’t be happy with his side’s lack of incisiveness in the build-up, having lost the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch more than once.
Finally, Borussia Monchengladbach recorded their third win of the campaign by dismantling Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 at the Borussia-Park. The visitors lacked the attacking thrust with star striker Sebastien Haller lacking adequate support in the final third, partly due to Matthias Ginter’s excellent performance. The former Dortmund defender was solid in defence while passing the ball well to alleviate the pressure.
After a stale first half, the match came to life as Alassane Plea continued his marvellous start to the campaign, producing an excellent finish to score the opener in the 56th minute. Thorgan Hazard added further sheen to the scoreline by doubling Gladbach’s lead in the 65th minute before an individual error from goalkeeper Yann Sommer allowed Ante Rebic to pull one back for Frankfurt.
However, a thumping 85th minute header from Swiss international Nico Elvedi sealed all three points for the home side. The Foals are now fifth on the Bundesliga table with 10 points in five matches.