It’s been another action packed start to the Bundesliga weekend. Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund all picked up the wins they were looking for, so no drastic changes in terms of the Bundesliga title race this week. Let’s get to the results.
Bayern Munich 3 – 0 St. Pauli
They were never going to lose this game in my opinion, even without Mario Gomez leading the line. Hamit Altintop opened the scoring with Bayern Munich’s first shot of the game, but they deserved it after long periods of pressure. Bayern Munich didn’t score again until late, with their second coming from the penalty spot. Kessler went in hard on Thomas Mueller and was sent off and a spot-kick was awarded. The sending off was harsh and Thomas Mueller was really over-dramatizing the foul, but I suppose Kessler was last man and he was denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Lahm stepped up and smashed the ball past second-choice goalkeeper Mathias Hain and it was all but over for St. Pauli. Franck Ribery topped it all off with ten minutes left after rounding the goalkeeper and sliding the ball into an empty net. The highlight of the afternoon though, for Bayern Munich fans, would have been Schweinsteiger’s announcement of that he had just signed new long-term deal with the club. The result lifts Bayern to sixth, just a handful of points short of the third Champions League place.
FC Koeln 1 – 0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Finally, a Koeln win. Despite the result, the home side remain in the relegation zone but they’re edging closer to an escape, and they might be able to pull it off before the winter break comes depending on St. Pauli’s form. An encouraging first Bundesliga goal for youngster Christian Clemens won the match for the hosts, but Koeln fans will be concerned with the ankle injury Lukas Podolski sustained early on. The loss knocks Frankfurt out of the running for a European place, at least for the time being.
Hamburg SV 2 – 4 Bayer Leverkusen
Armin Veh’s position at the Hamburg helm has got to be under serious scrutiny after this result. Sidney Sam (obviously) put Leverkusen ahead on the half hour mark, and the sides went into the break at 1-0. After half-time, the game exploded with goals. Arturo Vidal put the ball past his own keeper just minutes after the half, and that could really have shaken Leverkusen’s confidence. Fortunately for them, they kept their resolve and pressed on for more goals. They were rewarded for their efforts on the hour mark by Arturo Vidal who made up for his mistake at the other end. Renato Augusto hit an excellent brace to effectively kill the game off despite Eljero Elia’s goal just before the 80 minute mark. The result keeps Leverkusen in second, but they’re still a whole eleven points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund. Hamburg, on the other hand, are the embodiment of mid-table mediocrity, and occupy ninth place.
Kaiserslautern 0 – 0 VfL Wolfsburg
How much longer will Steve McClaren be in the job? Things just aren’t going to plan for the English tactician at his new club, but I guess three points at Kaiserslautern was never going to be easy. Still, more would have been expected. Like at least one goal! It’s unbelievable that Wolfsburg can field some of Europe’s most talented strikers, but can’t get them to score any goals. Problems in midfield much? Kaiserslautern won’t be bothered at all by this result, because they still picked up a point. As long as they keep getting a positive result, they’ll stay up. Wolfsburg need to make a couple of smart purchases in the winter transfer window! Both sides had chances, but they were few and far between. Tolga Cigerci looks like he’s going to be the real deal for Wolfsburg, but he needs top players around him if he’s going to develop into the kind of midfielder he looks like he has the potential to be. Both sides sit on 18 points after 16 games, which is fine for Kaiserslautern who are just looking to survive, but for Wolfsburg it’s pretty much a shambles.
TSG Hoffenheim 1 – 1 Nurnberg
This is another pretty drab result. Hoffenheim did themselves no favors in not winning this one, but they haven’t looked great lately in all fairness. Nurnberg will probably end up fighting for survival again this season, so an away point is nothing to be worried about for them. Marvin Compper scored for Hoffenheim just before the hour mark, but Nurnberg stole the equalizer just minutes before time through Christian Eigler. Hoffenheim are still in the race for a European spot, but based on the form of Hannover and Freiburg, they still may have quite a bit of work to do. Mainz is in there too!
Borussia Dortmund 2 – 0 Werder Bremen
It’s hard not to love them at the moment. When Nuri Sahin looped that free-kick over the wall, but still put enough power behind it to beat Tim Wiese, the smile that spread over Jurgen Klopp’s face said it all. The team spirit and togetherness being shown at Dortmund is really something to see. Kagawa – who has been a revelation – scored their second and the would be champions are edging ever closer to the Bundesliga title. Werder Bremen were probably under no pressure to get a win here, but they didn’t play well at all.