Five Talking Points from Matchday 7

Yet another goals-galore-Bundesliga weekend started with an exciting draw between combative FC Augsburg and homesick Borussia Mönchengladbach, then concluded with a dominant display from VfB Stuttgart, seeing off  hapless Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday afternoon. The top three teams kept their distance from the rest of the league while 1.FC Nürnberg, SC Freiburg and Braunschweig will have to wait at least another week for their first win of the season. Finally, Vedad Ibišević, Robert Lewandowski, Anthony Modeste, and Nicolai Müller all scored and lead the top goalscorers category with six goals apiece.

Three-horse Race?

The 2011-12 Bundesliga season saw Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich fight for the salad bowl until the campaign’s end, as the Black and Yellows finally snatched the title after beating their rivals thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s famous back-heel strike. Last season, the Bavarians were untouched, as far as the chase for the domestic title was concerned with Jupp Heynckes getting a proper farewell with Bayern’s unprecedented treble-winning season. However, going by the seven matchdays of this season’s Bundesliga action, we’re maybe on course for a three way title clash.

In pre-season, most pundits predicted the title race would be between last year’s Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Of course, both clubs have lived up to this expectation by maintaining their perfect home records. But, to their credit, Bayer Leverkusen are performing at an excellent level and their comfortable win against Hannover 96 on Saturday saw them maintain a one-point gap going into next week’s crucial fixture against the defending champions, Bayern Munich. The fixture between the 2nd and 3rd teams will hopefully indicate to how far die Werkself can push on the title race, because having as many title challengers as possible is always welcome.

Luiz Gustavo’s Return to Allianz Arena

After playing 100 matches in all competitions for Bayern Munich, Luiz Gustavo decided to join fellow Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg in the final weeks of the summer transfer window in pursuit of regular playing time. The Brazilian international returned to familiar territory in his fourth appearance for the Wolves as Dieter Hecking’s side took on Bayern Munich. Wolfsburg suffered their fourth defeat in as many away matches this season, thanks to Thomas Müller’s solitary goal, but it was quite a day for Gustavo, who played the whole 90 minutes in Wolfsburg’s jersey for the first time this season.

Marcell Jansen Saves the Day for HSV in van Marwijk’s Debut

Bert van Marwijk, who coached the 2010 World Cup finalists (the Netherlands), stepped into the dugout as Hamburg’s manager for the first time against Eintracht Frankfurt. Hamburg started the season on the back foot, as it has been the case for the past two or three years, and parted ways with coach Thorsten Fink following a heavy defeat at Dortmund (2-6). Caretaker coach Rodolfo Cardoso was unable to celebrate derby glory last week as they crashed to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen. The Red Shorts recovered in midweek by progressing to the Third Round of DFB-Pokal and picked up a valuable point away from home courtesy of a late deflected effort from Marcell Jansen.

Eintracht Frankfurt took the lead when summer signing Johannes Flum scored his first goal for the Eagles, but Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s powerful header on the stroke of halftime sent the teams to the dressing room all-square. Marco Russ’ second goal in as many matches restored the host’s lead, but there was some time left for the German international to earn his side a second point on the road. Van Marwijk will have to wait until mid-October for his home debut, as Hamburg’s next match is also away from home, this time against the king of draws, Nürnberg.

Who’s In-form, Now? Mainz or Stuttgart?

After the first three matchdays of the Bundesliga season, Mainz 05 was among the top clubs in the table with nine points from three matches. It all began in the season opener, a 3-2 success against VfB Stuttgart in which Shinji Okazaki scored against his former club. The Swabians started the season in a totally different way – losing all three matches.

Fast forward to Matchday 7: Mainz is still stuck on nine points as the promising start has suddenly disappeared. Even though Nicolai Müller returned to goalscoring duty at the weekend against Hertha Berlin, 2nd half goals from the capital club handed Mainz their fourth consecutive league defeat, fifth in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Stuttgart have turned their fortunes to the better by picking up ten points from its last four league fixtures under Thomas Schneider following Bruno Labbadia’s departure. They dismantled lowly Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday for their second win in a row away from home. The midweek exit from the DFB-Pokal might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Reds, who have performed below par in the past few seasons, as now they only have the league to concentrate on for the whole season.

Goals Everywhere

The last few season, the Bundesliga has been Europe’s top goal-scoring league, and its goal tally is even better this season. So far, 212 goals have been scored through the first 63 matches of the season – an astonishing average of 3.36 goals per match. Last year, we witnessed 180 goals through Matchday 7, which means that, so far this season, the league has delivered 0.5 goals per match more than a season ago so far.

Finally, Matchday 7 was the 2nd highest goal-scoring set of fixtures for the season – one less than Matchday 1 – as goalkeepers were forced to take the ball out of the net 36 times in 9 matches. Furthermore, all of the 63 Bundesliga matches played this season have produced at least a single goal, as at this point last season, we had already endured five goalless draws.


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Eskender born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Despite the geographical differences, he's interested in every detail of German football, if not any kind of football. Wolfsburg's industrious away win at Hamburg started his Bundesliga obsession back in 2005. You can also follow him on Twitter @eskeBMG

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