The return to Bundesliga action was gratefully received by most German football fans on the back of the national team throwing away a 4-0 lead against Sweden.
FORTUNA DUSSELDORF 0 BAYERN MUNICH 5
Before kick-off Bayern were the fourth side in Bundesliga history to start the season with seven straight wins – Kaiserslautern, Mainz and Bayern themselves the others. The strange thing is that none of those sides lifted the title come May, but this Bayern train appears ready to keep on rolling.
Two up at half-time against a Fortuna side that had impressed with their stinginess up until this point, a confident almost celebratory Bayern team put on a show that the hosts could not live with. It may have finished up as five, but if anything that flattered the hosts.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1 SCHALKE 2
Even stranger than the fact that those previously mentioned unbeaten sides failed in their quest to become Bundesliga champions, is that on all three occasions it was Borussia Dortmund that ended up with the crown at the end of the season. After this reversal in the Revierderby though, they already sit 12 points off the top and a quest for a third successive title looks over before it has even begun.
It was an awful performance from Dortmund, made even stranger because they tried three at the back for the first time – a tactic Lukasz Piszczek revealed afterwards they had not even practised before the game. For the first time in the last two years, the lack of depth behind the first choice defence was exposed and Klopp seemed scared by it, attempting something completely untried to cover it up.
HOFFENHEIM 3 GREUTHER FURTH 3
If, in the end, Furth do find life in the Bundesliga too tough to handle, it will not be for a lack of fight or belief. Three times Hoffenheim took the lead, including making it 3-2 in the last minute, yet the Cloverleaves kept going with belief and no lack of attacking flair and fully deserved the point they grabbed with basically the last kick of the game.
Joselu’s performance was the best news for the home fans, grabbing two goals and hitting the bar with a terrific volley as the Stuttgart-born Spanish Under-21 international produced his first truly top drawer performance since his summer move from Real Madrid.
WOLFSBURG 0 FREIBURG 2
So the Wolves hit the bottom as they fell to an extremely disappointing home defeat to Freiburg. However, the biggest telltale sign that all is not well in Wolfsburg is that this defeat was not even a shock. Felix Magath’s side looked ready for a push towards the European places with the squad assembled and the mercurial Diego allowed back in the fold.
But they looked like a lost ship with no plan and the structure of the club falling apart. The perfect metaphor for their season so far came with ten minutes to go, as Ivica Olic threw himself at a ball which fizzed across the goal about a yard out, missed it, injured himself in the process, and got up just in time to see Freiburg poke holes in the Wolfsburg backline almost without trying and make it 2-0.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 3 HANNOVER 1
Armin Veh’s side chalked up another impressive win against a top side to remain Bayern Munich’s closest challengers. While any side can have a good start, it is getting positive results against the likes of Leverkusen, Dortmund and now Hannover which means they are starting to look like this year’s Borussia Monchengladbach.
Having ripped Hannover to shreds in the first 20 minutes, it was the defence that was the star of the second half show. Mohammed Abdellaoue had halved the deficit but the backline came out after the break to not even give the visitors a sniff at goal before Alexander Maier scored his fifth of the season to seal the win.
WERDER BREMEN 4 BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 0
Pressure once again grows on Lucien Favre as his side were comprehensively outplayed by a little more than average Bremen.
While most fans of the Foals would be understanding over the comedown after last season, particularly with the loss of three players who were the spine of the team, the huge financial outlay made to bring in Alvaro Domiguez, Granit Xhaka and most costly, Luuk De Jong, might trigger the board to act.
A relegation battle coupled with failure to negotiate a tricky tie against Dynamo Kiev and make the Champions League may be reason enough to dismiss a coach who has brought them so far in such a short space of time.
BAYER LEVERKUSEN 2 MAINZ 2
One point separated both these sides before kick-off and at full-time it was still the same, although Mainz will feel they should have claimed a victory that would have put them up into the Champions League spots.
Firstly because Stefan Kieβling’s opener for Bayer was so close to the line that it would have needed Hawkeye for clarity, but having recovered to take the lead, sloppy defending of slapstick proportions by the entire Mainz team allowed an equaliser from Gonzalo Castro with just three minutes left.
HAMBURG 0 VFB STUTTGART 1
A Hamburg win in this one would amazingly put them into the top six and kept Stuttgart in the relegation places, a state of affairs diametrically opposite to what would have been expected in pre-season.
What it highlights is the impact that Rafael Van Der Vaart has had on Hamburg. However, this game played out much more like the pre-season formbook as Hamburg played like an away side in their own backyard, creating little and lucky to lose by just the one first half strike from Vedad Ibisevic.
NURNBURG 0 AUGSBURG 0
A poor clash between two sides which embodied everything that makes them relegation candidates this term. While Augsburg looked a more confident side on the back of gaining four of their five points in the two games before the international break, the two Bavarian sides looked like the joint second lowest scorers in the division and so it proved.
Tags: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Bundesliga, Hoffenheim, Joselu, Lucien Favre