The final weekend of Bundesliga action before the international break certainly didn’t disappoint with all the excitement, drama and goals you’d expect from Germany’s top flight.
We saw Bayern going on the rampage against Mainz (who remain pointless), Dortmund getting a shock at Union Berlin, while RB Leipzig maintained their 100% record. So just who were the winners and losers of matchday 3?
After signing his new Leipzig contract last week and celebrating with a goal against Frankfurt, Timo Werner was back amongst the goals on Friday as he bagged his first-ever Bundesliga hattrick.
Having his future sorted looks to have unleashed the beast and Borussia Mönchengladbach certainly couldn’t live with his pace at the Borussia Park. He opened the scoring as he placed the ball through the legs of keeper Yann Sommer, while his second was an outstanding effort as he raced away from the entire Fohlen defence before slotting home.
Breel Embolo briefly gave Gladbach hope before Werner clinched his hat-trick in injury time on a swift counter-attack.
Union Berlin/ Marius Bülter
Having been soundly beaten by RB Leipzig in their first home game, only the most optimistic of Union fans would have seriously thought they could comfortably beat Borussia Dortmund, but that is exactly what transpired.
Two goals from Marius Bülter and one from Sebastian Andersson didn’t tell the whole story as Union, buoyed on by their passionate fans gave BVB a really hard game and didn’t allow the joint title favourites as easy ride.
The opening game against Leipzig was a reality check, this however showed that they certainly have what it takes to upset a few teams at home and can be confident of picking up the necessary points to survive.
There would have been quite the party in Köpenick on Saturday night.
Schalke/ Jonjoe Kenny
Two games without a goal this season, and then three come along at once. Königsblauen fans were goal-starved last season and weren’t exactly spoilt in the club’s opening two fixtures.
Granted David Wagner’s side were helped by not one, but two own goals handed to them by Hertha, but there was no arguing with the third which clinched the first three points of the season.
New summer signing from Everton Jonjoe Kenny must have still been seething over the penalty he conceded last weekend against Bayern, but he put that firmly to bed with a stunning drilled goal from the corner of the penalty area.
Messers Burgstaller, Uth, Kutucu…..watch and learn!
The mistake Mainz made on Saturday was taking the lead too early. John-Paul Boetius’ header after just six minutes stunned the Allianz Arena and it the home side until the 36th minute to get on level terms through Benjamin Pavard.
David Alaba’s stunning free-kick sent the Bavarians in 2-1 up at the interval, after which they cruised to victory with further goals from Ivan Perisic, Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski (of course) and Alphonso Davies with his first for the club.
A good day became a very good day a few hours later when news filtered through of Dortmund’s debacle in the capital.
With news filtering through that Ante Rebic had excused himself from the matchday squad to finalise a transfer to Milan, there was a murmur of negativity around the Commerzbank Arena as they hosted Fortuna Düsseldorf on Sunday.
New signing Bas Dost was on the bench, but he wasn’t to remain there. When he did come on in the second half, he made an instant impact and made all the woes regarding Rebic disappear.
It took the Dutchman just 12 minutes to power home an unstoppable header to equalise Rouwen Hennings’ first half opener. The Adler went on to win 2-1 with a goal from Goncalo Paciencia. No Jovic, no Haller, no Rebic….no worries.
All than glistens is not gold and Borussia Dortmund were brought crashing down to the ground with a bump by promoted side Union Berlin on Saturday. After seeing Bayern thump Mainz 6-1 in the earlier match and having seen Leipzig triumph o Friday, the pressure was on BVB to maintain their 100% start.
The Schwarzgelben may have invested heavily in the likes of Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz, but their fragile underbelly was exposed by Union in their 3-1 loss and will give Lucien Favre plenty of food for thought and the fans a reality check.
Defensive weakness as well as a poor second half, where they lacked the character to turn things around are concerning. Captain Marco Reus didn’t mince his words at the final whistle.
“We were simply completely stupid the whole game. In between, we had a few good situations, but then were a little sloppy in the final third. After the 1: 1 we were in control and well in the game. Overall, it was not enough.
“We sometimes believe that you can win this sort of games on our quality alone. This has to stop! We simply have to show the same virtues that distinguished us last season
The own-goal brigade
There were plenty of goals across this weekend, but not all of them were scored by the right team in the right net. At the Veltins Arena, Hertha Berlin took pity on Schalke’s mis-firing strikers and provided the opening two goals for the Königsblauen with both Niklas Stark and Karim Rekik putting through their own net.
Köln then joined in the defensive mayhem with Rafael Czichos scoring the own goal that handed Freiburg the lead shortly after the Billy Goats had seen a goal ruled out via VAR. Luckily for Czichos, it didn’t prove too costly with his side ultimately running out 2-1 winners.
Xaver Schlager/ Koen Casteels
Wolfsburg’s new midfielder Xaver Schlager suffered a fractured ankle in the early stages of his side’s 1-1 draw with Paderborn on Saturday. The 21-year-old will require surgery and be out of action for the foreseeable future.
Goalkeeper Koen Casteels will als be unavailable after suffering a hairline fracture to his right fibula in the same game. He will also require surgery and has understandably pulled out of Belgium’s forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.
The 0 from 9 club
This is now a club of just one. Sorry old Mainz sit at the foot of the Bundesliga table with zero points from their opening three matches. This won’t come as much of a surprise as they had the unenviable task of going to the Allianz Arena in search of their first points of the campaign on Saturday.
They did take a shock lead, but then Bayern tore them to shreds. Trainer Sandro Schwarz summed it up nicely by saying: “We totally fell apart. To lose 6-1 is incredibly frustrating, especially when you consider how the first 20, 25 minutes went.”
After the international break, the Nullfünfer host Hertha Berlin. They don’t want to be forming a new club called the 0 from 12 club.
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