After the first round of midweek European action is was back to domestic action for Germany’s finest this weekend with another full round of Bundesliga fixtures.
RB Leipzig stayed top after a comfortable win at Werder Bremen, while Bayern also strolled to victory at home to Köln to kick off the Oktoberfest in style. Dortmund dropped points at Frankfurt, while the basement battle at the Olympiastadion went the way of Hertha.
We had the usual goals, excitement, controversy and dram you expect from the Bundesliga, so just who were the winners and losers of matchday 5?
It really seems like there is a space permanently reserved for Robert Lewandowski in this season’s ‘Winners’ section. Hardly a matchday goes by without the Bayern striker making the headlines with his goalscoring feats.
Against Köln this weekend, bagged a brace taking his season tally to nine Bundesliga goals in five games. He opened the scoring in just the third minute profiting from an incisive pass from Joshua Kimmich before he added his second three minutes into the second half with a brilliant header from a Kimmich corner.
The prolific Pole even had the chance to complete his second hat trick of the season, but magnanimously allowed Philippe Coutinho to take over penalty taking duties after Bayern were awarded a spot-kick on the hour mark.
“It was a spontaneous decision. It means a lot for Philippe to score his first goal,” Lewandowski told Bild after the game. “I’m really happy for him. It’s very important for his confidence. We have to help each other as players,” he added.
Last season was one certainly to forget for Schalke 04 and just as much so for Amine Harit. On Friday night against Mainz the Moroccan attacker capped a fine individual resurgence with an assist and then a stunning late winner for the Königsblauen.
Harit, having scored twice on matchday 4 was once again the main man for Schalke as they beat Mainz at the Veltins Arena. His vision set up Suat Serdar for the opener, before his curled effort with the outside of his right boot right at the end of the 90 minutes sealed an important win for David Wagner’s side.
Hertha Berlin/ Javairo Dilrosun
Much as a lot of attention was on the top of the table this weekend, there was also a fair bit of focus on the clash between 17th place Paderborn and 18th place Hertha with both sides looking for a morale-boosting first win of the season.
In the end Hertha ran out 2-1 winners, although the stats show that it was anything but a routine win for the Alte Dame. With only 38% ball possession and six shots on goal compared to the visitors eighteen, Ante Covic’s side can consider themselves a little fortunate to have climbed off the bottom of the table.
The star of the show was undoubtedly Javairo Dilrosun, who scored a stunning solo effort to open the scoring and then provided the assist for Marius Wolf to score Hertha’s second.
“I feel I’m back at 100 percent,” he told reporters after the match. “The goal was important. I hope the season really starts now. You can’t plan a goal like that. I just looked at the defenders and started running at them.”
For much of the match against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Sunday there was an air of lethargy and tiredness about Borussia Mönchengladbach and it looked like a bad week (a 4-0 loss in the Europa League) was about to get a whole lot worse.
With the Foals 1-0, coach Marco Rose sent on Marcus Thuram in the 67th minute and was rewarded with a match-winning performance from his substitute.
He was quicker and hungrier than Kaan Ayhan when Stefan Lainer put in a cross in the 74th minute and Gladbach were level as he finished well. Three minutes from time he was on hand to score the winner after a flurry of action inside the Fortuna penalty box had seen Raffael hit the bar and Matthias Ginter denied by Zack Steffen.
Leipzig’s great start to the season continues and they remain top of the Bundesliga following a 3-0 victory over an injury-ravaged Werder Bremen. The old adage is that you should take one game at a time, and that is just what de Roten Bullen are doing right now. It helps that they are winning the majority of them!
Following their midweek Champions League exertions, Julian Nagelsmann made a few changes with Matheus Cunha, Christopher Nkunku and Dayot Upamecano coming into the side. Goals from Willi Orban, Marcel Sabitzer (with an exquisite free-kick) and Marcello Saracchi sealed the three points for the Saxony side.
Leipzig face Schalke next week at home as they look to cement their place at the top of the Bundesliga.
Niklas Füllkurg/ Werder Bremen
Just what has Florian Kohfeldt done to bring on the amount of bad luck he’s currently enduring? How many ladders must he have walked under? How many black cats’ paths has he crossed.
The injury situation at Werder Bremen is now entering stupid numbers with Yuya Osako and Niklas Füllkrug the latest names added to already long list of absentees. Japanese forward Osako is set to miss six weeks after suffering a thigh injury in training.
Worse news arrived on Friday with the revelation that striker Niklas Füllkrug had suffered a torn knee ligament, which would see him out of action for months. It is a real blow to the summer signing after being ruled out for five months last season with cartilage damage in his knee.
Borussia Dortmund’s game management
It is no shame to only come away from the Commerzbank Arena with a point (and plenty of sides will leave empty handed), but Borussia Dortmund will be kicking themselves to have dropped points late on from a winning position.
There are questions over the club’s mental strength following the defeat to Union Berlin and now this draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. The teams that win championships are the teams that can see out a game in the final fifteen minutes- regardless of how pretty it is (or isn’t).
Here is a summary of Sebastian Polter’s contribution for Union on Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen: one touch, 0.35km ran, one red card.
The Union substitute had only been on the field a matter of minutes before being sent-off by referee Robert Hartmann for a foul on Julian Baumgartlinger. Originally seen as a yellow card by the official, VAR was consulted and on viewing the incident on the small screen, Hartmann changed his decision to a straight red.
In their five Bundesliga matches so far this season, Union have now already seen three red cards.
All the stats look good for Paderborn following their basement clash with Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion. They out shot the hosts with eighteen shots to Hertha’s six, played 510 passes compared to 325. They had 62% ball possession, forced eight corners to the home side’s one and ran 3km further overall.
The one stat that wasn’t in their favour however was the scoreline- 2-1 in Hertha’s favour. It is a tough pill to swallow, but Paderborn now find themselves bottom of the league and are the only side without a win.
Next week doesn’t get any easier with Bayern Munich the visitors to the Benteler Arena. Chin up!
It’s fair to say referee Tobias Stieler didn’t have the best of games as he officiated Werder Bremen at home to RB Leipzig. He failed to punish Davy Klaasen for an elbow into the face of Nordi Mukiele in the 24th minute. It should have been a red card, but the Dutch midfielder didn’t even see yellow.
He then sent off Konrad Laimer in the second half for a second booking following a hand-ball. The fact that he was pushed into the ball by a Werder player was lost on the official and the RB midfielder was off for an early shower.
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