The Bundesliga is never dull, but some weeks there seems to be an abundance of talking points both positive and negative. There are plenty of teams and individuals ready to be praised for their brilliance, while others make the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Bayern suffered their first defeat of the season, while both Dortmund and Leipzig were held. The top of the table sees a whole host of teams within three points of each other, but it is Borussia Mönchengladbach, who surprisingly sit on top of the table. We had heroes this weekend and we also had villains.
Matchday 7 provided a whole host of candidates from both groups. So, just who were the winners and losers from matchday 7?
The Foals stunning first half display against Augsburg fired them into a 4-0 lead and paved the way for their ultimate 5-1 victory at the Borussia Park. Marco Rose’s side thus took over from Bayern Munich at the top of the table- the first time Mönchengladbach have solely held the pole position since 1985!
Granted, Augsburg were pretty (very) abysmal defensively, but goals from Denis Zakaria, Patrick Hermann (two) and Alassane Plea stunned the visitors and had the game decided by half time. Florian Niederlechner pulled one back in the second 45 minutes before substitute Breel Embolo got in on the scoring act.
Gladbach’s win takes them to 16 points and sees them with a one-point lead over VfL Wolfsburg in second and a two-point advantage over Bayern, Freiburg, RB Leipzig, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen, who all have 14 points.
It is tight at the top, but it is die Fohlen who are at the top.
Hoffenheim/ Sargis Adamyan
Bayern have been given a few scares in the past few seasons by Hoffenheim, but the Sinsheim club did more than scare the Bavarians on Saturday- they beat them for the first time at the Allianz Arena and inflicted a first defeat of the season on Niko Kovac’s champions.
Alfred Schreuder’s side had been under a lot of pressure prior to kick-off having picked up just five points from their opening six matches. The hero for them was striker Sargis Adamyan, who was making his first Bundesliga start for the club after two previous substitute appearances.
The summer signing from Jahn Regensburg took both of his second half goals really well beating Manuel Neuer with powerful and well-placed shots. Hoffenheim showed great character not to buckle after Robert Lewandowski had equalised, and it is hard to argue they didn’t deserve their win.
There are five teams tied for second place after matchday 7 with 14 points, but the fact that one of them is SC Freiburg will come as a shock to some observers. The Breisgauer hosted Borussia Dortmund on Saturday and secured a share of the spoils with a last-minute goal helping them to a 2-2 draw at the Schwarzwald Stadion.
Christian Streich’s side are more used to scrapping for the points for survival, but after seven matches this year they already have more points than they secured in the first 12 games last season. Luca Waldschmidt was in dangerous form (scoring his fourth of the season) and Freiburg kept going right until the end and were rewarded with a Manuel Akanji own-goal right at the end.
Bayern may have lost but Robert Lewandowski kept up his fantastic record of having scored in every one of the Bavarian’s games this season (Bundesliga and Champions League).
The Pole headed in an equaliser from Thomas Müller’s cross to take his tally to eleven Bundesliga goals in seven matches with a further three in two in Europe. It ultimately proved academic with Hoffenheim winning 2-1, but we are running out of superlatives to describe his potency in front of goal in the opening weeks of the campaign. There is just no stopping him right now.
Crisis? What crisis? Ante Covic has proved the critics wrong with a third win in a row for Hertha Berlin on Friday night. Having notched up previous victories over Paderborn and Köln, die Alte Dame came back from conceding a penalty to beat Fortuna 3-1.
Vedad Ibisevic grabbed the equaliser, Javairo Dilrosun produced another beauty of a goal, while Vladimir Darida added the third. After matchday 4 Hertha were bottom with just one point. Three games and three wins later and they are 10th with ten points
Fortuna Düsseldorf may have lost on Friday at the Olympiastadion to Hertha Berlin, but that doesn’t take away from the marvellous achievement of their coach Friedhelm Funkel, who was taking charge of his 500th Bundesliga match as a trainer.
The cult figure has guided Bayer Uerdingen, MSV Duisburg, 1FC Köln, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Fortuna in the German topflight. Funkel took charge of his first Bundesliga match back in 1992 against Hertha and nearly 30 years later faced the same opponent for his 500th match. Curiously, he lost both encounters.
Augsburg/ Tomas Koubek
To say it was a bad day at the office for Augsburg and their keeper Tomas Koubek would be a huge understatement. Martin Schmidt’s struggling side were simply blown away by Mönchengladbach, but it has to be said, they did contribute massively to their own plight.
Czech goalkeeper Koubek was once again the fall guy producing an atrocious blooper to hand Alassane Plea the Foals’ fourth goal. Back on matchday 1, the summer signing from Lille had a torrid time against Borussia Dortmund when he was at fault for three of BVB’s goals. This howler however was on a different level of absurdity altogether. He nutmegged himself with a simple back pass and was left looking hopeless as Plea took full advantage.
Words can hardly describe the madness. Watch and feel sorry for him.
Niko Kovac had spoken prior to the match of the danger of Bayern dwelling too long on their fantastic midweek Champions League thrashing of Tottenham. They had to be totally focussed on Hoffenheim he said. Bayern didn’t play badly, but the visitors played well above the level they have shown so far this season.
Corentin Tolisso will be disappointed with the possession he gave away for Hoffenheim’s first, while Thomas Müller will be disappointed, he didn’t make the starting line-up.
It was a first league defeat for the Bavarians and will give the rest of the Bundesliga hope that they are not infallible.
For the second match running BVB conceded a late equaliser that saw victory snatched from them and potentially vital points dropped. Last season saw them miss out on the Bundesliga title by the smallest of margins and needless dropped points this season from winning positions may come back to haunt them come the end of the season.
It happened on matchday 6 against Frankfurt and again this weekend, they were unable to see out the final minutes against Freiburg to take all three points. It wasn’t a defeat, but it sure as hell must have felt like it in the BVB dressing room at the Schwarzwald Stadion on Saturday (especially with Bayern losing and RB Leipzig being held).
The promoted sides
As is stands after seven matchdays, the Bundesliga bottom three is comprised of the three sides promoted from the second-tier last season. Poor Paderborn prop up the table with just a solitary point, while Union Berlin and Köln have four apiece thanks to notching up one win each this season.
Promotion brings the elation, but then August and September bring the reality of life in the topflight. Somewhere and somehow, the new boys are going to have to start picking up the points, otherwise playing catch-up is going to prove a joyless task for them. Yo-yo anyone?
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