MATCHDAY 6 REVIEW
Borussia Mönchengladbach 4 Eintracht Braunschweig 1
Mönchengladbach got the weekend underway in style on Friday night, as they put four past newly promoted Braunschweig, keeping them bottom of the league with just one point from six games.
After beating Bremen and Hannover at home this season, The Foals, were always going to be good value for the win, and showed that after just 22 minutes, with Swedish defender Oscar Wendt scoring a rare goal with a fabulous strike. They didn’t have to wait long for a second, two summer signings combined, as Max Kruse’s cross was met by Raffael to make it two-nil with barely half an hour played.
After 28 years out of the top flight, Braunschweig look like they are in for a long season, but they were determined not to give up without a fight, and pulled a goal back that they probably deserved just before the hour mark. After winning the ball from Wendt in midfield, the young Karim Bellarabi produced a pinpoint cross that Boland smashed home to half the deficit.
The Lions were to be dealt a killer blow though just 15 minutes later, the referee having no choice but to award a penalty for the home team, after Arango was brought down by Caligiuri. Kruse – having already collected an assist – stepped up and added a goal to his tally, making it 3 goals in 6 games since his move from Freiburg.
It was clear the goal knocked the confidence out of the visitors, and Raffael heaped more misery on Lieberknecht’s team minutes later, reacting first to a rebound to score his second of the game.
Braunschweig stay rooted at the bottom of the table, and the win takes Mönchengladbach up to fifth.
Hannover 96 2 Augsburg 1
Mirko Slomka’s Hannover team recorded their fourth straight home win this season, against a formidable Augsburg team that had won three straight coming into Saturday’s clash.
With their star-striker Mama Diouf out of the squad, it was left to Ya Konan and Sobiech to bring the goals for The Reds, but there was little to choose between the two in a cagey first-half. Andreasen went closest to breaking the deadlock from a set-piece late on in the opening 45, but former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger was equal to it.
In a game dominated by the defence, it was fitting that a penalty may be the only way we would see a goal, and the referee gave the visitors just that, when the ball struck Salif Sane’s arm on 51 minutes.
Dutch full-back Verhaegh took the spot-kick, and duly delivered the goal that would hopefully spark the match into life. That it did, and just 10 minutes later, Hannover found an equalizer through Sobiech in hilarious fashion. Augsburg failed to deal with a ball into their box, and after defender and goalkeeper clashed, the Polish forward was left with the easiest of tap-ins, to square the game up at one apiece.
With the visitors on the defensive for the remainder of the game, Hannover pressed and pressed, eventually getting the winner in the 89th minute, through a penalty of their own. After Ya Konan rose to meet a cross, his header struck the hand of an Augsburg defender, leaving the referee no choice but award the spot-kick. Huszti was the man that stepped up, and made no mistake, smashing home to give Slomka and his side all three points, and stay one of 6 teams with a 100% home record.
Hamburger SV 0 Werder Bremen 2
The North Derby was always going to be a tight affair on Saturday, both sides losing 3 of their previous four games, and desperate to get back to winning ways.
However, it was the away side that always looked like taking the points, Hamburg restricted to long-range efforts and poor ones at that. Lukimya came closest, his header defended well on the line, but they could do nothing to stop Nils Petersen on 32 minutes, ghosting into the box to slot home a cross from Fritz after some classy work on the right-wing.
Bremen struggled to kill the game off though, and should’ve been made to pay, but Beister twice failed to put the ball in the net from decent positions for the home side.
Petersen himself missed a golden opportunity to seal the points in the final stages, failing to score with just the keeper to beat. Bremen then faced a barrage of attempts by The Red Shorts, before Petersen doubled the lead in stoppage time, breaking away after the home side had pushed forward at a set-piece.
The loss leaves Hamburg in the relegation zone, and despite their being a long way to go, they will not be encouraged from the early season showings.
Mainz 1 Bayer Leverkusen 4
Mainz slipped to a third straight defeat this weekend, falling to a resurgent Leverkusen team who themselves were hit for four in Europe during the week.
The 28000 fans packed into the Coface Arena had seen their side win their opening three games, but that form was a far-off memory as they fell behind just 19 minutes into this encounter, the rapid Sidney Sam crossed in for Kruse, who slotted home to give the visitors the initiative.
Leverkusen were never going to put the brakes on, and Lars Bender found the net with a 25 yard drive on 38 after a neat pass from Kruse. The impressive Kruse got his second in first-half stoppage time when he struck into the corner from inside the area, almost sealing the points for his team.
Their attacking exploits were far from over though, Leverkusen went close numerous times before Kiessling finally added a fourth, stooping for a diving header from a cross by Rolfes’.
Fans will be aggrieved they couldn’t keep the clean sheet though, they have managed just one this season, and after struggling to clear the ball in the area, Malli volleyed home the consolation goal to muted cheers from the home support.
Nürnberg 1 Borussia Dortmund 1
Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a Champions League hangover this weekend, drawing 1-1 at Stadion Nürnberg to surrender their 100% Bundesliga record this season.
Klopp may take some stick for his team selection, several first-team regulars were left out, including Lewandowski and Mkhitaryan, but that was all forgotten when Schmelzer curled a beautiful free kick into the corner just before half-time.
Dortmund never looked comfortable with their 1-0 lead, and that told just after half-time, when a free-kick fell kindly for Nilsson, who smashed in an equaliser to the delight of the home crowd.
Klopp knew a sixth straight win was slipping away, and sent on Lewandowski in a bid to take the three points. The Polish international struggled to get into the game, and when he did, he could only shoot straight at the keeper when given the chance to score.
The home side themselves had a glorious chance to win the match, Esswein found himself in space as the clock hit 90 minutes, and his shot ended up in the stands, with Wiedenfeller beaten.
The draw was Nürnberg’s fourth in 6 games, and Dortmund maintained their unbeaten start, despite losing their winning streak.
VFL Wolfsburg 2 TSG Hoffenheim 1
The Wolves came from behind to maintain their 100% home record this season, a five-minute brace from Ivica Olic enough to take the points.
Markus Gisdol’s side had been well amongst the goals this season, only Dortmuns had scored more than them before this encounter, though it was a surprise that they took the lead with just quarter of an hour gone, with Wolfsburg conceding their first home goal of the season.
The goal was all down to a defensive error though, a backpass from Koo was too short, and Modeste pounced to score his fifth of the season. The key moment of the match came shortly after though, Wolfsburg nearly conceded a second when a long ball forward bounced over Diego Benaglio in goal, who luckily got back to save his own blushes before the ball crossed the line.
That sent the home side into life though, and managed to find the net before half-time, through the impressive Olic, who reacted fastest to a loose ball after Schafer’s shot was blocked.
The home side were determined to take the game by the scruff of the neck, and whatever Dieter Hecking said at half-time must have worked, as just three minutes into the second period, Olic scored again. Fabian Johnson’s clearance was poor, and Olic couldn’t miss for his fourth of the season.
Hoffenheim continued to press, but Wolfsburg’s defence limited them to just two shots on target, and despite a good chance late on, the home side made it nine points from three games at home this campaign.
Schalke 0 Bayern Munich 4
Buoyed on by Dortmunds’ failure to win earlier in the day, Pep Guardiola’s side returned to the summit of the Bundesliga on Saturday night, smashing Schalke 4-0 on their own turf to make it seven straight wins in this fixture.
Both sides came into the clash on the back of four straight wins, and the home side started the brighter, Neuer having to save well from Boateng, before Szalai should’ve done better from close range.
They would be made to pay for those missed opportunities though, the Bavarians didn’t need a second opportunity as Arjen Robben’s pinpoint delivery was sent into the net by Schweinsteiger, who scored his first of the season.
Schalke were obviously still in shock after the opening goal, and Guardiola’s team went for the jugular, doubling their lead just a minute later when Mandzukic headed the ball home, despite Howedes’ best efforts.
Bayern had conceded just two in their opening five games, so the result looked safe, as they limited the home side to snapshots and long-range efforts, as they struggled to break down the visitors sturdy defence.
The third goal was never going to win any awards for style, but when Ribery fluffed the ball into the net, any doubts over the score line were extinguished, and the Reds could focus on next weeks encounter with Wolfsburg.
The game was not up in Gelsenkirchen though, there was time for substitute Pizarro to add another, when Muller squared the ball to him, leaving him to tap into an open net to make it four.
The result put Bayern level on points – and goal difference – leaving all eyes looking at the November 23rd clash between the two Bundesliga giants.
SC Freiburg 1 Hertha Berlin 1
Newly promoted Hertha came away with an important point on Sunday, leaving Freiburg still without a win, and stuck in the relegation zone with three points from six matches.
The home side started well, with Mehmedi giving them a sixth minute lead, as he rounded goalkeeper Thomas Kraft before scoring.
Freiburg were unfortunate not to get a second, coming close on several occasions, while fans minds drifted back to Thursday, where they surrendered a 2-0 lead in the Europa League. They were to do similar here, the defence at sixes-and-sevens from a long throw-in, and the home side looked bewildered as Skjelbred put the ball in their net.
Hertha then took the game two the home side, looking to end their back-to-back losses with a win, but they couldn’t turn their pressure into chances, and the game was fizzling out into a draw.
There was to be one more chance in the encounter though, and what a chance it was, Fernandes found himself one-on-one with Kraft, only to see his effort come back off the post, and Fernandes still without a goal this season.
After finishing in the top six last season, Freiburg find themselves already five points adrift, and are one of just three teams without a win.
VFB Stuttgart 1 Eintracht Frankfurt 1
With identical records after five games, this match was always going to be a close encounter, but it turned out to be an afternoon of poor finishing, as the two teams mustered just seven shots on target from the 29 they attempted.
There was nothing wrong with Russ’ finish on the quarter hour though, as he got on the end of a corner to smash the visitors in front.
However, the away side had hardly kicked off again before they conceded, Werner headed home from a Gentner delivery just two minutes after going behind, to level it at one apiece.
The match failed to deliver after an exciting opening spell, but Stuttgart should’ve wrapped up the points, but Ibisevic was having the match from hell. After seeing his goal disallowed for offside, he then missed a penalty, smashing it wide with the last-kick of the game, to the delight of Rode, who had brought down Ibrahim Traore on 94 minutes.
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