The Hard Tackle brings you an exciting summary of Matchday 6 in the 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign as a series of surprising results unfolded this weekend.
If you are a hardcore Bundesliga fan, who is used to Bayern winning the league every year, then Matchday 6 will surely provide you with a boost. Following a strenuous midweek schedule, this weekend saw Bayern Munich taste their first defeat of the season, thanks to Hertha Berlin. But, this wasn’t the only reason why this was arguably the most interesting game-week of the season so far.
With Bayern dropping four points in two matches, Borussia Dortmund managed to dethrone them at the top of the table by pulling off an extraordinary comeback against Leverkusen. Dortmund’s arch-rivals Schalke also registered their first win of the campaign, beating Mainz while RB Leipzig bested Hoffenheim.
Wolfsburg kept their winless run intact, drawing with Monchengladbach while both Stuttgart and Nurnberg emerged victorious against Werder Bremen and Fortuna Dusseldorf and surprisingly so, given their awful form going into this weekend.
On Sunday, we witnessed a goalfest as Eintracht Frankfurt trounced lowly Hannover 4-1 before FC Augsburg, coming on the back of securing a draw against Bayern, destroyed Freiburg with a similar scoreline to wrap up an exciting week.
Friday: Bayern Munich suffer first defeat of the campaign
Hertha Berlin pulled off the biggest upset of the season when they bested Bayern Munich 2-0 at the iconic Olympiastadion. The club from the capital were coming on the back of a disappointing defeat to Werder in midweek. But, they showed excellent zest and defended diligently throughout the game to prevent the mighty Bavarian attack whilst also netting two goals against Manuel Neuer.
The likes of Valentino Lazaro, Fabian Lustenberger and Karim Rekik were extraordinary in defence, blocking almost everything while new signing Javairo Dilrosun and Slovakian trickster Ondrej Duda provided them with the ideal spark going forward.
But, credit should be given to Vedad Ibisevic for brilliantly leading the line as his confident penalty kick resulted in the opener for Berlin in the 23rd minute before Duda doubled Hertha’s lead with an unstoppable striker from inside the penalty area just before halftime.
Bayern, on the other hand, were left frustrated with Berlin’s defensive solidity as they failed to find any real openings and when they did, their conversion were absolutely horrendous. The likes of Renato Sanches, James Rodriguez and Arjen Robben were ineffective in attack, which might be a cause for concern for Niko Kovac, especially with the midweek fixture against Ajax looming large.
Saturday: Dortmund make extraordinary comeback; Schalke grab first win; Leipzig beat Hoffenheim and much more
Wolfsburg continued their winless run as they drew with Borussia Monchengladbach 2-2 at the Volkswagen Arena in a game that witnessed four amazing goals. Alassane Plea opened the scoring with a sizzling strike, which could easily go down as one of the goals this week. The former Nice front-man has now netted four goals in just six matches since arriving at Gladbach this summer.
However, Gladbach’s lead didn’t last long as Renato Steffen made an excellent interception in the Gladbach half and produced a clinical finish to put the ball past Yann Sommer for Wolfsburg’s equalizer. Gladbach once again managed to take the lead in the second half through Thorgan Hazard, largely thanks to Patrick Herrmann’s ingenuity.
But, Wout Weghorst came up with the second equalizer just before the hour mark to score his second goal of the campaign. The Dutchman was definitely the star of the show, putting in a valiant and tireless effort throughout the game. Certainly appears to be a smart signing for Wolfsburg.
Ron-Robert Zieler pulled off one of the biggest goalkeeping blunders of the season when the former Leicester City star ignored and later miscued Borna Sosa’s throw to grant Werner an equalizer in the second half. Thankfully for him, however, Gonzalo Castro came to the rescue, scoring a 75th-minute winner to help Stuttgart grab their first win of the campaign.
In the other game, 1.FC Nurnberg defied all odds to secure a fairly comfortable 3-0 victory against fellow promoted club Fortuna Dusseldorf. They were coming on the back of a humiliating 7-0 defeat against Dortmund in midweek but strikes from Hanno Behrens, Mikael Ishak and Federico Palacios Martinez guided them to an easy victory over Die Flingeraner.
Schalke, on the other hand, registered their first win of the campaign by securing a narrow victory over FSV Mainz 05. Their attacking woes continued, however, as they often lacked the end product in the final third. In fact, aside from Alessandro Schopf’s early winner, the Royal Blues managed only one shot on target throughout the entirety of the game, underlining their lack of attacking thrust.
However, a win will surely boost their morale as Domenico Tedesco looks forward to upcoming games. As for Mainz, coach Sandro Schwarz definitely needs to rectify his side’s dreadful defending.
RB Leipzig continued their winning run by dismantling a spirited Hoffenheim 2-0 at the Rhein-Neckar Arena. Yussuf Poulsen was excellent, scoring a brace in the second half. The opening goal was highly controversial with Hoffenheim players accusing Timo Werner of fouling Stefan Posch before providing the assist. However, their claim was denied by referee Deniz Aytekin.
Andrej Kramaric, ineffective throughout the game, scored a last-minute penalty to find the consolation goal for Hoffenheim, who will be disappointed with the defeat for obvious reasons.
And finally, in the Topspiel, Borussia Dortmund made an extraordinary comeback to trounce Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at the BayArena. The Black and Yellows, much like Bayern this weekend, were losing 2-0 at halftime thanks to goals from Mitchell Weiser and Jonathan Tah.
However, Lucien Favre’s side looked unstoppable in the second half, tormenting the Leverkusen defence with a series of attacking moves. Favre deserves a lot of credit for using his subs very wisely as all of his second-half substitutes in Jadon Sancho, Paco Alcacer and Mahmoud Dahoud made a huge difference in Dortmund’s overall gameplay.
Sancho, in particular, in Dortmund’s equalizer combining well with Marco Reus, who made no mistake in putting the ball in the back of the net after Jacob-Bruun Larsen had initially pulled one back for the Black and Yellows. And after a series of relentless attacking surges, the visitors found their deserved lead when Achraf Hakimi produced an astonishing low-cross for Paco Alcacer.
The Barcelona man then doubled his tally in the late minute when Leverkusen were exposed on a counter-attack, which included Lukas Hradecky as Alcacer easily found the back of the net thanks to a clever long ball from Sancho. It was a comprehensive second-half display which underlines Dortmund’s ethos under new coach Lucien Favre.
Sunday: Augsburg down Freiburg; Hannover remain winless
Ante Rebic once again proved his mettle in the German top flight, starring for Frankfurt in a comprehensive 4-1 win over lowly Hannover. The Croatian World Cup hero scored SGE’s second and provided the assist for the third goal as the hosts sealed a much-needed win. But, at the same time, Hannover now remain the only side yet to secure a win this campaign and the clock is certainly ticking for coach Andre Breitenreiter.
And in the final game of the week, Alfred Finnbogason made an extraordinary return to full fitness by registering the first hat-trick of the season. The Icelandic striker was simply untouchable and also roared into the record books as he is now Augsburg’s leading scorer in the German top flight with 25 goals, overtaking Tobias Werner. His return to full fitness will surely provide a huge boost for Augsburg, who are already flying high in this early part of the season.