GERMANY: Bundesliga Matchday 9 review

Germany

TSG Hoffenheim 1 Bayer Leverkusen 2

A fantastic game of football was marred by a simply outrageous goal that had to be seen to be believed on Friday night.

The game was always due goals, the home fans had seen 19 goals in their four home matches so far, and we looked to be heading for more early on, as Salihovic’s free-kick had to be blocked on the line within 10 minutes, to keep the scores level.

Sidney Sam was playing like a man possessed, and with his recent form, who would blame him. He mustered two attempts on goal early, before breaking the deadlock for the visitors, with a well placed effort from 20 yards.

With 10 goals in four home games, the match was never going to be safe at 1-0, and after Firmino’s shot was deflected over, Kevin Volland thought he’d leveled proceedings only for the linesman to flag for offside.

Modeste and Volland had collected a combined 11 goals already this campaign, but Modeste was guilty of wasting a glorious chance heading straight at Leno before the hour mark.

As Gisdol’s team pushed for the equaliser, Leverkusen tried to pick a second goal on the break, but Kießling and Castro couldn’t beat a spirited Casteels in the home net.

Kießling again failed to beat Casteels again on 70 minutes, but this time, a goal was given, in calamitous circumstances. The strikers header hit the side-netting, but entered the net via a hole in the net, leaving both teams perplexed, and the goal was given, to no complaints, both sides presuming their eyes were playing tricks.

If the home side weren’t convinced that their luck was out on Friday, they were 10 minutes later. Firmino was felled in the area, and his spot-kick was saved by Leno, before both Firmino and Toprak saw their rebounds come off the woodwork before being cleared.

They were to get a consolation though, when Schipplock rose highest to head home on 88, but there was to be no late equaliser, as Sami Hyypia’s side completed a seventh win in just nine games.

Bayern Munich 4 Mainz 1

Mainz came into this match on the back of just one point in their last five matches, but Munich’s first-half demons were playing havoc with them again – they had failed to score in the opening 45 during their last three home games, and the leaky away defence kept firm at the Allianz, limiting the European Champions to a few half-chances, as Dante and Schweinsteiger saw their efforts fly over the bar.

The home fans may not have been surprised by their lack of punch up front, but they were on 44 minutes, as Boateng missed his clearance, and allowed 20-year old Shawn Parker to beat Neuer and put the visitors ahead at the break.

Summer signing Mario Götze came on at the break, and it was his ball to Arjen Robben that finally opened the defence, and the Dutch winger was lft to cut inside, and fire home the equaliser.

It then took just two minutes for the Bavarians to take the initiative, as Robben turned provider, finding Müller inside the area, who slotted home with aplomb.

The home side then defended well against a succession of corners, before the game was finally put to bed with Mandzukic slotting home his fifth of the campaign, followed by Müller converting a penalty for his second, and Munich’s fourth of the match. The win took above Dortmund and Leverkusen at the summit of the Bundesliga table, with 23 points from their nine games.

Borussia Dortmund 1 Hannover 0

Mirko Slomka and his Hannover team had to destroy all records to overcome Dortmund on Saturday, coming into this game losing all of their away games without scoring, while Dortmund had a 100% home record.

The Reds didn’t make it easy for themselves either, Henrikh Mkhitatyan nearly opened the scoring inside the first minute, before they gave away a penalty almost immediately after.

Erik Durm found his way into the area, before Sakai clumsily took the full-back down, and Marco Reus slotted home with ease, despite Zieler guessing the right way.

Klopp instructed his side to keep the tempo up, but for all their pressure, Zieler was rarely tested in a scrappy half, with a couple of efforts flashing wide, while Sobiech looked most likely at the other end.

Leo Bittencourt entered the fray against his old club at half-time, and the change looked to have buoyed the visitors, Sobiech going close before Weidenfeller pulled off a superb save from Edgar Prib’s audacious effort.

Despite continued pressure from the home team, they couldn’t fathom a way through some dogged defenders, and despite totaling six second-half corners, Slomka’s side kept the score at 1-0.

The impressive Deniz Kadah had replaced Sobiech midway through the second period, and he was to have the golden chance to equalise, but again Weidenfeller pulled off a smart save, and the Prussians sealed another victory and a third clean sheet in five at home.

Braunschweig 2 Schalke 3

Newly promoted Eintracht Braunschweig twice let leads slip as they fell to an injury time goal to remain rooted at the foot of the table.

The home fans were confident of building on their first win last week at Wolfsburg, especially with the visitors missing the likes of Farfan, Huntelaar, and Hildebrand, and they had more reason to celebrate when Dogan found Orhan Ademi, who finished from close range to make it 1-0.

The lead was to last less than ten minutes though, Schalke pressed forward, and when Szalai’s header came back of the ‘keeper, Meyer was first to it and equalised for the Royal Blue side.

There was only one side that looked like scoring again though, Ademi and Caligiuri went close before the break, and the latter had three chances after the break to give the Lions the lead again, before Bellarabi finally beat Fahrmann between the sticks.

Schalke themselves had pushed forward in numbers, and when the home side countered, Boland’s ball found the on-loan forward, who smashed in his first goal for last years 2. Bundesliga runners-up.

Adulation turned to despair though, as this lead lasted just five minutes, Leon Goretzka finding too much room in the area, to level things at 2-2.

The game only seemed to be heading in one direction after the equaliser, but it took until injury time for Schalke to take the three points. Julian Draxler’s great ball into the box was steered home by Neustädter, leaving the home side looking despondent, as they faced up to the reality of top-flight football, with just four points from their nine games.

Eintracht Frankfurt 1 Nurnberg 1

With Frankfurt without a win at home, and Nurnberg without one away, this game was always going to be a close match, and that duly delivered.

The first-half was absent of any clear cut opportunities, though the home side always looked more likely to open the scoring, with Tranquillo Barnetta the pick of a very average bunch.

Highly-rated Hiroshi Kiyotake was Nurnberg’s shining light, he shot off target late in the first-half to give the visiting fans something to shout about.

The visitors had only won once in eight meetings at the Commerzbank-Arena, and another looked very unlikely just after the restart, as the impressive Meier sent Kadlec racing clear, and he duly obliged to open the scoring, slotting past Schafer.

Nurnberg finally woke up, and with 6 of their 9 goals coming away from home, they looked like adding to that, Stark came closest when his effort pinged back off the crossbar with the ‘keeper stranded.

With time running out, second-half substitute Robert Mak squared the ball for Drmic, who made no mistake in leveling the match, and a draw which was Nurnbergs fourth in five away games.

Werder Bremen 0 Freiburg 0

A first goalless draw of the campaign came in a game which deserved no more, the sides combining for just six shots on target all game at the Weserstadion.

Freiburg have been in some dreadful form this season, after qualifying for Europe last year, they were yet to win in eight games, and this was to become the ninth, despite being the side that created more.

Streich’s side nearly took the lead within two minutes, Mehmedi’s strike flying off target from range.

The first big chance of note came shortly before the hour mark, when Freiburgs Sebastian Freis cleared a corner off his own post.

The game seemed to be petering out into a 0-0 draw, but there was to be a great chance for either side late on.. Firstly Matthias Ginter headed a ball against the woodwork with Mielitz beaten in the Bremen goal, then Nils Peterson was denied while one-one-one at the other end.

In truth, the draw was a fair result, and it meant the visitors stayed in the relegation slots, and are now four points adrift of safety.

Hertha 1 Moenchengladbach 0

Hertha Berlin survived an onslaught from Moenchengladbach on Saturday evening as they collected their fourth home win from five games.

The newly-promoted side has hit the ground running this season, but were nearly behind when Juan Arango’s audacious effort had to be palmed away, before Kruse went close.

It was the home side that broke the deadlock though, a free-kick from Per Skjelbred was floated into the danger area, and Ramos was there to beat ter Stegen with a fine header.

The Foals threatened early on in the second period, as Stranzl and Raffael went close, but they couldn’t create a clear-cut chance.

Hertha managed that though, Allagui was set free of the defence, and the home crowd rose, but ter Stegen was equal to it.

However, 10 minutes later, ter Stegen was well beaten, but fortunately for him and his Gldbach team-mates, Nico Schulz managed to put wide from inside the six-yard box.

The visitors had scored in every match until this point, but a sturdy defence was to end that run, but it wasn’t to be the end of the action, Martin Stranzl collecting two bookings in injury time to give himself an early shower – just a minute before the full-time whistle.

Hamburg 3 Stuttgart 3

Goals were the order of the day on Sunday as Hamburg looked for back-to-back wins for the first time this season, as they hoped to inch away from the drop zone.

However, their original plans went out the window as Maxim combined with Ibisevic before slotting home with just three minutes played.

The home side didn’t let that put them off though, and after Kirschbaum made a smart save, Lasogga made sure of his effort after 22 minutes – boosted by his hat-trick last weekend – and leveled the game.

Stuttgart then had quarter of an hour camped in their own half, but resisted superbly, before Maxim turned from scorer to provider, as The Reds took the lead against the run of play, Gentner heading in the cross.

Beister entered the battle at half-time, and didn’t take long to make an impact. Some good work from Arslan set Jansen clear, and his cross was coolly converted by Beister, after just 10 minutes on coming on.

It looked as though van Marqijk’s side would then push on for a winner, three chances came and went, and then yet again, Stuttgart made the home side pay for missing chances. Traore whipped in a dangerous cross, and ex-Arsenal defender Johan Djourou steered the ball past his own keeper.

Hamburg were not put off by falling behind again though, and Dutch international van der Vaart was the man to equalise, with his fifth goal of the season, and ensured Hamburg kept in touch with the sides above them, while Stuttgart made it six unbeaten after three straight losses.

Augsburg 1 Wolfsburg 2

The Wolves tasted away-day glory on Sunday after four straight losses on the road, and condemned Augsburg to their fifth defeat of the season.

Tobias Werner got things underway, firing home to give the home side the lead after just 10 minutes. Things could’ve, and should’ve got worse for Wolfsburg, but chance after chance was squandered, before a 25 yard thunderbolt from Arnold leveled proceedings just after the half-hour.

The game then turned on its head, Brazilian playmaker Luiz Gustavo placed a header into the corner from a Rodriguez cross, sending the away side into the break 2-1 up, despite Augsburg totaling 10 first-half shots, with eight hitting the target.

The turnaround had visibly shocked Weinzierl’s side, and they were not at the races at all second half, managing just one shot in the remaining 45 minutes, while Manninger performed miracles at the other end to deny Diego.

There was no final push from Augsburg for the equaliser, and Wolfsburg’s solitary away victory couldn’t have come much easier, as they entered the top half of the table.

STANDINGS

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