MATCHDAY 7 REVIEW
Hannover 96 1 Hertha BSC 1
Mirko Slomka’s Hannover team were left to rue their missed chances as they slipped to a home draw against Hertha Berlin on Friday night.
With the firepower of Mama Diouf missing for Die Roten, the buck was passed to Ya Konan and Sobiech to provide the goals for the home faithful.
However, it was left to Christian Schulz to open the scoring – his first goal at home in three years – as he pounced on a poor clearance to smash home after 23 minutes. It reality, it should’ve been two before the break, Sobiech controlling Hustzi’s pass expertly, but his finish was tame, and straight at the ‘keeper.
Hertha perked up after the restart, and Slomka’s side were nearly made to pay for their missed chances. Adrian Ramos ran through all alone, and after teeing up Ben-Hatira, the visitors looked to have equalised, only to see the Tunisians strike come back off the upright.
It was an inspired double-switch from Hertha boss Jos Luhukay that changed proceedings, Wagner and Ronny entered the fold, and within a minute, Ronny directed a free-kick passed Zieler, leveling the game up with just 10 minutes remaining.
Hannover were never going to settle for the draw though, and Artur Sobiech nearly became the hero, but stood amazed as Kraft turned over his header, which will go down as one of the saves of the season, and in turn, earned his side a share of the spoils.
Schalke 4 Augsburg 1
After shipping four against Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich last week, Schalke were out for revenge against Augsburg on Saturday, but not before an early scare in this encounter.
The Gelsenkirchen side were behind after just 10 minutes, as Molders diverted home Ostrzolek’s cross to give the away side the lead, leaving the home support baffled, and Molders delighted – it was the strikers first goal in 10 matches.
It wasn’t long before parity was restored though, Klavan bundled Szalai to the floor in the area just five minutes later, as the referee pointed to the spot, as well as sending Klavan for an early bath. It was left to Jerome Boateng to take the spot-kick, which he duly converted, despite Manninger best attempts to keep it out.
The result was only going to go one way after the red card, and Szalai took just 12 minutes to give the Blues the lead, slotting home well from Uchida’s cross.
Augsburg then sat back and soaked up Schalke pressure, and it took until the last quarter for Kellers team to make certain of the points. Szalai tapped home from six yards before Max Meyer added a fourth, and his first at professional level, to keep Schalke climbing the league table after a poor start.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 Borussia Dortmund 0
Mönchengladbach were not giving a chance pre-match, despite their 100% home record this season, but it was more luck than quality that saw them through this encounter, as Dortmund saw 27 efforts fail to hit the net, before a red card and two quick goals sealed their first defeat of the campaign.
Reus and Lewandowski both fired off target in the first 10 minutes, but ter Stegen was called into action just minutes later, somehow keeping out first Reus, then Hummels, to keep the score at 0-0.
The Foals defended in numbers though, and for all Dortmunds pressing, the home side wouldn’t budge, and even when the ‘keeper was beaten, Wendt was on hand to clear the danger.
BVB were running out of steam, and it was showing. Favre’s team pushed forward more, and when they made a rare excursion into the opposing box, Hummels inexplicably brought down Nordtveit, giving away a penalty, and earning himself a red card. Max Kruse stepped up, and slotted home his fifth goal of the season, to leave Klopp’s side in disarray.
Dortmund are never one to give up without a fight though, and almost straight away, Marco Reus curled a set-piece onto the crossbar, but the Foals dogged defensive display was serving them well.
More pressure came, but with 10 men, the gaps opened, and a swift counter-attack allowed Raffael to make it 2-0 in the final seconds to make it four wins from four at home, and make Dortmund lose points for the second away match on the trot.
VFB Stuttgart 1 Werder Bremen 1
With both sides locked on 10 points, this was always going to be a close encounter, but when Harnik volleyed home spectacularly after six minutes, Stuttgart looked like they would cruise to victory.
However, they were made to pay after missing several chances to go 2-0 up, Petersen scoring after 37 minutes to even the game before half-time from close range.
The Reds were guilty of missing more chances in the second half though; Bremen more content to settle for the draw, and 20 attempts from the home team could only muster that sixth minute goal.
Boka came closest for Stuttgart, but his two long-range efforts couldn’t find the net, as they slumped to consecutive home draws.
Wolfsburg 0 Braunschweig 2
The Wolves looked a certainty to pick up all three points after their 100% home start to the season, and after Olic came close twice within the first quarter hour, the Lions could easily have crumbled to a defeat.
However, after a Wolfsburg attack broke down in midfield, the visitors found themselves in a great position, and when Boland squared for Karim Bellarabi, the favourites found themselves behind.
The usual suspects for the home side, Diego, Olic, and Gustavo combined, but could not find a way through the unusually resilient Braunschweig defence.
With the crowd restless, Dieter Hecking ordered more men forward to rescue a draw, but it was the away side who would score the second goal.
Caligiuri ran the ball out of the defence and into the opposing half, before giving the ball to Kumbela, who wrapped up the points, and inflicted Wolfsburgs fifth defeat in just eight games.
Mainz 2 Hoffenheim 2
With Hoffenheim seeing 36 goals in their first seven matches, this encounter was always going to see goals, and after four straight defeats in the league Mainz must’ve feared the worst after Kevin Volland smashed home his fifth of the season on 14 minutes.
Just eight minutes later and the home side were staring into the abyss. A through ball sent Firmino racing away, and he finished excellently, chipping over the flailing Muller.
The O-Fives were not about to roll-over though, and Choupo-Moting looked most likely to create a comeback, twice going close but failing to test Casteels in the Hoffenheim net.
With the game increasingly looking like it would head the way of the away side, finally Mainz got the breakthrough. A cross hung in towards the back post, and that man Choupo-Moting was the one who got the goal, volleying in from close range.
It was always going to be a tense finish, and with time ticking, Heinz Muller looked to make a name for himself, coming up for a 90th minute corner.
It was Muller who got the header, and with the ball ricocheting around the area, Malli reacted fastest, poking home to spark dramatic scenes from the home support, as they picked up their first point in five matches.
Bayer Leverkusen 1 Bayern Munich 1
European Champions Bayern Munich maintained their unbeaten record this season, but couldn’t defeat a stern Leverkusen side on Saturday night.
Guardiola’s side started the game in fifth gear, and managed eight shots before taking the lead on half an hour, when Toni Kroos cracked home a shot from 12 yards, which most would’ve expected to start a rout.
Hyypia’s side were not about to roll over though, and hit back instantly. Neuer saved twice from decent efforts, but the Munich defence could only watch as Sidney Sam equalised into an unguarded net.
Franck Ribery looked most likely to put the game back in Bayern’s grasp though, he was denied well by Leno, before finally beating him, but saw his shot cleared off the line by Donati.
Leverkusen were not here to make up numbers though. Kießling was the main target, and twice Donati nearly found him with a cross, but the forward could not connect either time.
Mario Gotze entered proceedings and he along with Schweinsteiger came close, though Donati was at it again, heading clear when the keeper was beaten.
The Bavarians have proven to come unstuck away from home now, twice drawing 1-1 in their opening four games, and it is something they may well have to rectify if they want to cruise to another Bundesliga title.
Nürnberg 0 Hamburg 5
Pierre-Michel Lasogga inspired Hamburg to just their second win of the campaign on Sunday, scoring a second-half hat-trick in a five-nil battering of Nurnburg.
New coach Bert van Marwijk saw his side run away with this game, a match that pitted two sides on level pointsbefore the encounter, but who looked miles apart on the pitch.
The score didn’t tell the whole story though, Pekhart could’ve made it 1-0 to Nurnburg if he had directed his header the right side of the post early on.
That was pretty much it for the home side though, van der Vaart showing his class, volleying home to give his side the league before the 20 minute mark.
The game was to stagnate slightly from then on though, both sides probing but couldn’t find an opening, that until a frantic 15 minute spell which saw four goals flash past Schafer, including an eight-minute hat trick for Lasogga.
The first two were expertly assisted by van der Vaart, giving him chances that were harder to miss than covert. His third was down to a defensive error however. Per Nilsson made an error worthy of most blunder DVDs, allowing Lasogga to beat the helpless keeper with a strike from distance, off the inside of the woodwork.
It was a day to forget for Prinzens team, and especially for Schafer in goal. He charged out of his area to intercept a pass, but his clearance fell straight to Arslan, who couldn’t believe his luck, lofting the ball into the empty net to make it five.
Freiburg 1 Frankfurt 1
The second of Sundays games was not to live up to the first encounter, but an own goal, late equaliser and red card was enough to add some madness to the late afternoon game.
The two European teams from last season find themselves at the wrong enf ot eh table after eight games, and after this result, Freiburg remain second-bottom, and one of just two teams without a win so far.
Frankfurt started the game the brighter, Kadlec twice being denied by Baumann within 10 minutes, and it was looking like Frankfurt may be made to pay for missing those openings.
Both sides were struggling to find the net, and it was almost fitting an own goal would be how the deadlock was broken, Baumann reacted well to save a cross, but the ball cannoned back off Gunter, as they both watched the ball fly into the net.
The home side had already recorded three draws this season, and with Stuttgart coming into this on the back of consecutive draws, it was hardly surprising when Hofler reacted quickest to a corner, diverting the ball into the net with just 10 minutes left.
That was not to be the end of events though, Flum turned events sour late on, as he was given a second-yellow against his former club, as we saw four yellow cards handed out in stoppage time.
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