The Winners and Losers of Bundesliga Matchday 2

Hot on the heels of matchday 1, we had another another round of exciting Bundesliga action this weekend with plenty of talking points- both good and bad. Borussia Dortmund survived their first real test of the season at Köln, while Robert Lewandowski inspired Bayern to their first win of the season at Schalke. Leverkusen went on another goal blitz, while Leipzig and Wolfsburg maintained their perfect starts.

At the other end of the table Werder Bremen made it two defeats from two, while Union Berlin were the only promoted side to gain a point. So who were the winners and losers from matchday 2?

The Winners

Robert Lewandowski

Yes again! After scoring twice last weekend in the draw with Hertha Berlin, the prolific Pole went one better with a superb hat trick to help send Bayern Munich to a 3-0 victory over Schalke at the Veltins Arena in the late game on Saturday.

He opened the scoring with a penalty after Jonjoe Kenny had fouled Kingsley Coman. Lewandowski has now only missed two penalties for Bayern in 21 attempts! His second came via a sublime direct free kick, which he curled over the wall to perfection, and his third arrived after a stunning first touch saw him control the ball, bamboozle Salif Sane, before firing past Alexander Nübel.

It was Lewandowski’ ninth Bundesliga hat trick, and he now scored all Bayern’s goals thus far this season.

“In and around the box he has qualities like hardly anyone else,” coach Niko Kovač said after the match. “It’s crucial for us to set him up. The qualities he has aren’t very common in the Bundesliga or on an international level. Lewy needs players who feed him. That’s what they did today, and I hope they’ll do it in the upcoming weeks too.”

Jadon Sancho

The BVB youngster like Lewandowski just can’t seem to keep his name out of the headlines and it was no different on matchday 2. Dortmund were 1-0 down to Köln on Friday with just half-an-hour to play, and it was the English winger who once again stepped up to make an impact.

His goal, a sublime curled effort from the edge of the box following a corner, brought the Schwarzgelben level and broke a long-standing record in the process.

His goal in the 3-1 away win was the 15th league strike of his nascent Dortmund career beating a record which has stood since 1967. Aged just 19 years 151 days, Sancho has become the youngest player ever to hit 15 Bundesliga goals. The previous record was held by former West Germany international Horst Koppel – set in 1967.

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Lucien Favre’s substitutions

Jadon Sancho grabbed most of the headlines, but BVB coach Lucien Favre deserves a lot of credit for the key substitutions he made just after the hour mark, which helped turn the game. Off came Julian Weigl and Nico Schulz, who had both not overly impressed, and the Swiss coach sent on Julian Brandt and Achraf Hakimi.

A change in formation followed with Axel Witsel going to the sole defensive midfielder role and Dortmund pushing Brandt into an advanced number 10 role. Hakimi was given licence to attack down the flank at will.

Brandt immediately added attacking thrust and impetus to Dortmund’s game, while Hakimi was on hand to get forward and head in BVB’s second. Two master strokes by Favre.

SC Freiburg

Talking about league positions after just two games is a little pointless (like Werder!), but in the case of SC Freiburg we will indulge them a little. You would expect to see Dortmund and Leverkusen with a 100% record after matchday 2, but joining them at the top are Christian Streich’s side.

The Breisgauer followed up their opening day win over Mainz, by travelling to promoted Paderborn and coming away with a 3-1 win thanks to a Luca Waldschmidt penalty, a first of the season from Nils Petersen, and a goal from late South Korean  substitute Kwon.

Enjoy the view from the top while it lasts Freiburg fans. Next up Köln, can Freiburg go three from three?

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Timo Werner

News filtered through before Sunday’s kick-off at the Red Bull Arena that Timo Werner had finally signed a new contract with RB Leipzig ending weeks of speculation as to the German international’s immediate future.

Reports say the 23-year-old has signed a new deal with die Roten Bullen until 2023 ending speculation of a move to Bayern Munich (at least for now).

On his new contract, Werner said: “I’m glad that I signed with RB Leipzig and thus extended my contract. Of course, this process has been going on for a very long time, but I really wanted to be completely sure that I could take the next steps in the development of this club.”

The script was perfectly written for Werner to score against Eintracht Frankfurt, which he duly did opening the scoring in the 10th minute to put Leipzig on their way to a 2-1 win.

The Losers

Johannes Eggestein

Werder Bremen’s 21-year-old became the first player to be sent-off this season when he received two yellow cards from referee Sascha Stegemann in the Grün-Weißen’s 3-2 away defeat to Hoffenheim.

Booked just ten minutes previously for a foul, the brother of Maxi picked up a second booking on 77 minutes for a tactical foul when he pulled back a Hoffenheim player as they looked to launch a quick counter-attack.

He was the first sending off of the new season, but he was quickly followed by Union Berlin’s Keven Schlotterbeck, who saw a straight red card against Augsburg.

Lewis Baker

After the joy of their opening day win, it was certainly a case of ‘down to earth with a bump’ for Fortuna Düsseldorf against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. The Englishman scored an own goal at the Esprit Arena after just six minutes, which put a rampant Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 up.

To be fair, had he not connected, Kerem Demirbay was on hand to stab home Kevin Volland’s dangerous ball across the six-yard box. On the bright side, at least Baker managed to do what Werder Bremen couldn’t do last weekend- put the ball past Zack Steffen!

The 0 from 6 club

Such is the quality of the Bundesliga that one of the main targets for any club is to start well to avoid having to play ‘catch-up’. That sadly for four clubs has not been the case and they lie pointless after the opening two games of the season.

Werder Bremen, Paderborn, Köln and Mainz all have two defeats from two and will be desperately looking for a positive reaction on matchday 3. Mainz have the seemingly impossible task of Bayern at the Allianz Arena, while Paderborn travel to Wolfsburg.

Werder are at home to Augsburg, while Köln face an in-form Freiburg at the Schwarzwald Stadion. Nought from nine sounds even worse, and will bring the ‘c’ word out- Crisis!

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 Steffen Baumgart 

SC  Paderborn were denied their first points this weekend by Freiburg, but they did earn another unwanted first. Their coach Steffen Baumgart became the first Bundesliga trainer to be shown a yellow card.

Under new rules, trainers will now not only receive a warning from referees, but can be yellow carded, before the more serious sending off. Baumgart incurred the wrath of referee Tobias Welz for his angry reaction (throwing his cap to the floor) and over-complaining.

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Referee Marco Fritz

The new handball rule this season is sure to cause more than a few controversial moments, as is VAR which strangely is supposed to reduce the controversial moments. Bayern Munich ran out comfortable winners against Schalke on Saturday, but the Königsblauen were not without their moments.

They will feel particularly agrieved by two handball incidents that were not given in their favour by referee Marco Fritz. The main bone of contention was the second incident where the ball from Daniel Caligiuri’s free-kick struck Ivan Perisic on his outstretched hand.

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A clear penalty? Not according to Fritz. Worth a review by VAR? Not according to the officials in Cologne. To make matter so worse, Fritz came out on Sunday and admitted  if he had seen a replay, he would have given it!

 

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.

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