Hot on the heels of the midweek action came another round of Bundesliga action and there was no let-up in the action despite the games coming thick and fast.
Bayern lost their 100% record and their top spot with a defeat at Hertha, being replaced in pole position by a Borussia Dortmund side that staged a fantastic comeback against Bayer Leverkusen. Schalke finally got their first points of the season, while Nürnberg recovered from their midweek mauling.
We had shocks, more goalkeeping howlers, goals flying in all over the place and even a press conference faux-pas. So just who were the winners and losers from matchday 6?
‘Die Zukunft gehört Berlin’ (The future belongs to Berlin) is the new motto for Hertha this season and while that claim can be debated, what can’t be argued is that the present very much does belong to Pal Dardai’s side.
A disappointing midweek defeat away at Werder had taken a little of the wind out of their sails, but a great display at home to Bayern on Friday restored more than a little pride. Hertha managed their visitors well and never really allowed them to get into their groove.
They opened the scoring midway through the first half from the penalty spot. Manuel Neuer did well to save a header from Vedad Ibisevic, only for Jerome Boateng to needlessly fell Salomon Kalou who was chasing the loose ball. Ibisevic duly stepped up to score from the spot.
A crucial second arrived just before the break when Kalou combined well with Valentino Lazaro down the right and the latter’s pull-back was put away superbly by the in-form Ondrej Duda to double the lead.
Bayern didn’t cause too many problems for the capital club in the second 45 minutes and a well deserved victory was secured.
Ralf Rangnick/ Yunus Poulsen
The battle between RB Leipzig’s current trainer and their future coach was won by Ralf Rangnick on Saturday as die Roten Bullen came away from the Rhein-Neckar Arena with all three points from their clash with Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim. The win sees Rasen Ballsport rise to sixth in the table and also saw Rangnick get one over on his former boss, Dietmar Hopp, with whom he famously fell out with when he left the club seven years ago.
Rangnick had his Danish forward Yunus Poulsen to thank after his two second-half goals sealed the win. He fired home his first after Timo Werner had outmuscled Stefan Posch to set him up, and he doubled his tally when he bundled in from close range following a cross from Kevin Kampl.
“We did have a lot of good chances in the first 45 minutes, but in the second half we had clear cut chances unlike Hoffenheim” Rangnick explained at the final whistle. “Therefore on balance, we deserved to win the match. Not too many teams win here in Hoffenheim, which is why winning away is a bonus.
After five matchdays of misery, there is finally something for Schalke fans to smile about after their first win of the season at home to Mainz. The tension was palbable at the Veltins Arena as the Königsblauen faced the Nullfünfer, but an early header from Alessandro Schöpf went some way to calming the nerves.
A second goal however evaded Domenico Tedesco’s side, who once again had Naldo and Sebastian Rudy starting on the bench. Yevhen Konoplyanka and Amine Harit were their brightest players going forward with the Ukrainian twice hitting the Mainz crossbar.
Despite allowing the visitors to take more of the initiative in the second half, Schalke held on for their first points of the season- much to the relief of fans, players and trainer. Following a midweek Champions League clash with Lokomotiv Moscow, they will be looking to build on their first victory when they travel to Düsseldorf next weekend.
Wednesday’s 7-0 humiliation at the hands of Borussia Dortmund must still have been smarting for Nürnberg as they went into the weekend, but they produced the perfect reaction to that debacle with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Hanno Behrens dispatched a penalty for his first Bundesliga goal just before the half-hour mark. He then started the move on 64 minutes which led to Mikael Ishak bagging Nürnberg’s second. His skill saw him escape the attentions of Matthias Zimmerman before launching a long ball forward. After Adam Bodzek inadvertently headed on, Ishak was through one-on-one and made no mistake.
Substitute Federico Palacios added a third in the 78th minute to seal the win and put a little gloss on what had previously been a pretty depressing week for der Club.
So we might just get a title race after all! Following their 7-0 demolition of Nürnberg in midweek and Bayern’s loss to Hertha, the chance to take over at the top of the table was there for Borussia Dortmund in the late game on Saturday when they travelled to face Bayer Leverkusen.
Things however looked far from rosy after the first 45 minutes with the Werkself generally on top and going into the interval with a 2-0 lead thanks to a screamer from Mitchell Weiser and rare goal from Jonathan Tah.
The second half though belonged to BVB, who came out showing a completely different face. Jacob Bruun Larsen scored on 65 minutes to reward their pressure and from then on it was one-way traffic.
The introduction of both Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcácer paid instant dividends with Sancho setting up Marco Reus for the equaliser with his first involvement and the Spaniard making it 3-2 in the 85th minute. Sancho then turned provider again in stoppage time teeing up Alcácer once again.
It was a tremendous second-half turnaround from the Schwarzgelben, who sit pretty at the top of the table with six games played. What a difference an Englische Woche makes!
‘Velkomin til baka’ as they say in Icelandic, or in English- Welcome back! Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason made quite the comeback in his first game back this season following injury. A patella tendon injury had kept the 29-year-old out of the side, but brought in against Freiburg, he showed their was no rust with an impressive hat-trick.
After Caiuby had handed the Fuggerstädter the lead, Finnbogason produced a fantastic back-heeled finish to double their lead. A 68th minute penalty doubled his tally before a great afternoon was crowned with a third strike seven minutes from time when he applied a simple finish to an Andre Hahn pass.
The opening weeks of the new season were a little quiet on the comedy goalkeeping front, but past two weeks have seen things warming up. Fabian Giefer on matchday 4 and Rune Jarstein on matchday 5 were this season’s first entries for ‘Blooper of the Year’, but matchday 6 may just have given us our season winner already.
Hang your head in shame Ron-Robert Zieler.
Having taken a first-half lead through Anastasios Donis, the Stuttgart keeper did his best to throw the win away with an absurd mistake midway through the second period. A seemingly innocuous throw-in inside their half was taken by Borna Sosa back to his goalkeeper. Zieler however misread it and allowed it straight into his net.
The rules state that you can’t score direct from a throw-in, so Zieler’s blushes would have been spared had he not got the slightest of touches on the ball. Luckily for him Gonzalo Castro managed to restore the Swabians’ lead fifteen minutes from time to secure the win- no thanks to Zieler’s muppetry.
It is an incredibly rare occurrence that Bayern make an appearance in this section of ‘Gute Woche/ Schlechte Woche’ but their first defeat of the season sees them rightfully taking their place amongst the other sinners from matchday 6.
Just three days after dropping their first points against Augsburg at the Allianz Arena, Niko Kovac’s side were deservedly beaten by Hertha Berlin on Friday evening. A needless penalty conceded by Jerome Boateng gave Hertha the lead after some 20 minutes and a second half Ondrej Duda strike sealed the three points for the Alte Dame at the Olympiastadion.
Niko Kovac’s side astonishingly only managed four shots on target throughout the 90 minutes! Midfielder Thiago was unusually poor and Bayern failed on all levels to react to what Hertha were throwing their way. It was rare to see the Bavarians so idealess as they succumbed to a first season defeat.
Maybe this season won’t be a stroll in the park after all.
With Werder looking to potentially move to the top of the table (!) following Bayern’s defeat to Hertha, their trip to Stuttgart was eagerly anticipated by the Grün-Weiß faithful. However, having a key defender sent off after just 36 minutes was definitely not in the script.
Serbian central defender Veljkovic was shown a first yellow card after just 10 minutes after losing the ball to Daniel Didavi before taking the VfB midfielder down. He clearly didn’t learn his lesson as referee Tobias Welz had little choice but to hand out a second caution with the Werder defender once again having to resort to foul play to stop the marrauding Didavi.
1-0 down and a man down, it was always going to prove extremely difficult for Werder and so it proved with Florian Kohfeldt’s side slumping to a 2-1 loss at the Mercedes Benz Arena.
Hannover went into their Sunday clash with Eintracht Frankfurt bottom of the table with three successive defeats behind them, and they finished the weekend bottom of the table with four losses on their record.
The Niedersachsen side are now the only side in the league without a win after a 4-1 loss and they have now gone 16 away games without a win. The elusive victory was never really on the cards at the Commerzbank Arena with just four shots on goal all game and a very late consolation goal from Florent Muslija their only glimmer of positivity on a grim afternoon.
Hannover’s survival last season was built on a good Hinrunde– something that simply isn’t happening for Andre Breitenreiter this time around. The heat is on.
Domenico Tedesco’s Verb Conjugation
wechseln: (verb) to change gewechselt: past participle
Schalke trainer Domenico Tedesco is a talented linguist, who fluently speaks five languages but he unfortunately had an embarrassing slip of the tongue during his post-match press conference following his side’s 1-0 win over Mainz on Saturday.
Trying to explain that ‘changes’ were made at half-time , poor Domenico got a bit tongue-tied in his choice of words. Rather than using ‘gewisser Wechsel’ (certain changes) he came out with ‘gewichst’ which means…… (what is the best way to put this?)……to pleasure oneself manually!
“We w***ed at half-time” What goes on in the locker room stays in the locker room, but maybe we have found the secret to the Königsblauen’s change in fortunes!
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