Another exciting week of Bundesliga action brought plenty of highs, but also some lows for Germany’s finest. Champions Bayern maintained their 100% start to the season at the expense of Schalke, who maintained their pointless start to the campaign.
Surprise package Hertha Berlin continued to impress, although Wolfsburg suffered a first defeat. Following their midweek Champions League adventures, Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund shared a point. We had goals, red cards, tantrums, goalkeeping howlers and much more on a great weekend of Bundesliga action. So just who were the winners and losers from matchday 4?
Hertha’s great start to the new season continued on Saturday with an impressive home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Unbeaten in their opening three Bundesliga matches, there has been a fair amount of luck on the Old Lady’s side so far this season, but on Saturday against Gladbach, there was plenty of substance to justify their three points.
They went behind to a Thorgan Hazard penalty on the half-hour mark (they have now conceded penalty in each of their four games this season), but responded immediately with an equaliser from Vedad Ibisevic. Not content with parity, a second goal followed four minutes later via Valentino Lazaro.
A second from Ibisevic midway through the second half gave them a two-goal-cushion and when Alassane Plea pulled one back for the Fohlen, they kept their heads and added a fourth of their own from Ondrej Duda (his third of the season already).
Not since the opening day of the 2013-14 season have the capital club tasted what it’s like to sit at the top of the Bundesliga table, but prior to Bayern beating Schalke in the late game on Saturday, that’s just what they experienced.
It has been quite a week for Christian Pulisic and he capped it off with another top display. Midwee had seen him score the winning goal for Dortmund on his 20th birthday in the Champions League against Club Brugge and he was once again on the scoresheet grabbing a vital goal for die Schwarzgelben away at Hoffenheim.
Lucien Favre’s side looked to be on course for a first defeat of the season in Sinsheim after conceding a first half goal to Joelinton, playing poorly going forward and being reduced to ten men for the last fifteen minutes following the sending off of Abdou Diallo.
With six minutes left, a great ball put across by Marco Reus was met by Pulisic, who steered it home to rescue what had looked like an unlikely point for BVB. Dortmund’s very own superhero Captain America to the rescue once again.
A first win of the season put a big smile on the face of Freiburg trainer Christian Streich, who’s not had much to smile about following his back problems and the Breisgauer’s poor start.
Against Wolfsburg however, everything seemed to click and it all seems much rosier in the Freiburg camp. An early goal from newcomer Roland Sallai set them on their way and they even had a bit of luck with Nils Petersen’s missed penalty coming back out for the striker to head home Koen Casteel’s save.
When Mike Frantz added a third after successfully beating Casteels one-on-one, the points and the first win were in the bag. The only downside was the injury to Sallai, which forced him off just before half-time.
As far as home debuts go, Törles Knöll can be pretty satisfied with his. Signed from Hamburg, where he was very much in the shadow of Fiete Arp in terms of being the young prodigy, he made an instant impression for Nürnberg as they took all three points at home to Hannover.
The Niedersachsen visitors were reduced to ten men after just half an hour, but were causing the hosts plenty of problems with der Club struggling to profit from their man advantage. That was until the introduction of Knöll in the 73rd minute.
The 21-year-old was instantly in action with his dangerous ball in from the left causing Waldemar Anton to put into his own net for the opener. Two minutes later he was on hand to score his first Bundesliga goal as he fired in after counter-attacking well alongside Mikael Ishak.
Another week, another defeat and poor Schalke’s miserable run continues. Not many people would have predicted a win over Bayern and so it came to pass that goals from James and Robert Lewandowski saw the Bavarians leave with all three points. Niko Kovac’s side will have easier games this season, but once again there was little of note from Schalke from an attacking sense and the quest for the first points of the season goes on.
There was further evidence of the discontent in the Königsblauen camp with Franco Di Santo’s reaction to his substitution. The Argentine reacted badly when Domenico Tedesco opted to replace him with Amine Harit. He vented his dissatisfaction on the sidelines and was later rebuked by the club.
Schalke are back in action in the forthcoming ‘Englische Woche’ and will be desperate to finally end their barren start when they face Freiburg on Tuesday.
Oh dear, oh dear. Oh dear! The goalkeeping blooper DVD for this season has it’s first candidate with Augsburg keeper Fabian Giefer producing an absolute howler at home to Werder Bremen.
Finding themselves 2-0 down despite playing pretty well, the Fuggerstädter fought back to 2-2 with goals either side of half time. A draw would have been a fair result on the balance of play, only for Giefer’s abberation to hand the visitors the win.
With 15 minutes left a harmless looking cross from the left from Max Kruse was seemingly destined to be collected by the Augsburg custodian. Or not! The Augsburg keeper first let the ball slip through his fingers when trying to collect only to then see it disappear between his legs and into open space two yards from goal. Werder midfielder Davy Klaasen was on hand to poke into the empty net to clinch a win for the visitors. Hang your head Fabian Giefer- the newest member of the blooper club.
If Giefer cost his side a share of the spoils against Werder with his howler, then striker Ishak Belfodil cost Hoffenheim a deserved three points with an abominable miss against Borussia Dortmund. Having seen BVB claw themselves back into the game with an equaliser from Christian Pulisic, a late chance fell to the Algerian substitute, but from close range he was only able to stab the ball high and wide.
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