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Bundesliga Sunday Round-Up: Shocking Schalke Remain Pointless

The Ruhr and and Hamburg derbies came and went this weekend and were full of action. Schalke hosted Borussia Dortmund in what is known as the Ruhr derby and Felix Magath’s Konigsblauen were once again condemned to defeat. St. Pauli hosted Hamburg in the Hamburg derby, and were unfortunate not to come away with all three points against much stronger opposition. Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen hosted Nurnberg in a drab goalless draw.

Schalke 1 – 3 Borussia Dortmund

The pressure on Felix Magath continues to mount, with Schalke succumbing to yet another defeat. Schalke remain pointless and are rooted to the bottom of the table, and there appears to be little sign of things turning around at the Veltins-Arena. The visitors took a 1-0 lead into the break after Shinji Kagawa poked the ball home from close range. Kagawa popped up again to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark, and minutes later Nicolas Plestan received a second yellow card for a bad challenge on Lucas Barrios. Robert Lewandowski made it 3-0 with four minutes left to full-time, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pulled one back for Schalke with just one minute left on the clock. A disastrous result for Schalke accompanied by a shocking performance, particularly in defense. Manuel Neuer was excellent between the posts, and if not for him Dortmund may have scored six. Schalke have now lost five games in a row in all competitions.

St. Pauli 1 – 1 Hamburg SV

St. Pauli put on a great performance in front of their home crowd but lacked the killer touch in front of goal for most of the match. The introduction of Gerald Asamoah 15 minutes from full-time gave St. Pauli the edge they needed, and some excellent work around the edge of the Hamburg 18-yard box created St. Pauli’s opener just two minutes after Asamoah was introduced, which found the back of Frank Rost’s net through Fabian Boll who scored from just outside the area. Hamburg would have expected to win against their recently promoted opponents, but only managed to grab a point at the death through Mladen Petric, who took the ball down on his chest and volleyed it home from nearly 25 yards.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 – 0 Nurnberg

Bayer Leverkusen had to do without Michael Ballack after the veteran midfielder fractured a bone in his leg last weekend. Both sides were poor, and there was very little in terms of goalscoring opportunities for either side. Leverkusen controlled the match, but Nurnberg were determined in defense and soaked up the pressure well. Leverkusen have only managed one win in their first four matches, and will host Frankfurt on Wednesday afternoon in a game they really should come away with three points from.

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  1. David

    September 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Hoffenheim will definitely finish less than 55 points behind the winner of the Bundesliga, as Espanyol did in La Liga last season!

  2. FCB02062

    September 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

    The Bundesliga has got to be the most “even” league in Europe. By “even” I mean that it’s almost an any given Sunday type of thing – anyone can be beaten on any day. And, unless Bayern’s on some incredible run, that’s usually the case. And, I think I read somewhere that Germany has the most turnover in European participants. It’s a shame that Germany’s Bundesliga will never get the credit it deserves, even though it will (barring a complete collapse in Europe – hear me Schalke?) gain the fourth Champions Leauge spot, overtaking Italy. It’s the lack of an additional “glamor” team. EPL has the big four, Spain has Barcelona and Real, and Italy has Inter and AC Milan. There’s no second club in Germany that can rank with those aforementioned clubs. There’s no “solid second” in the Bundesliga – it may be Schalke one year, then Bremen, then Stuttgart, then Bremen, then Leverkusen, then Schalke.
    As a Bayern supporter, I’m shocked at the amount of times they drop points to bottom table clubs. But in scoreboard watching I see the other top of the table teams in Germany dropping points to bottom sides. Happens all the time in the Bundesliga. It speaks to the quality of the mid to bottom table (say 7th through 15th) teams in Germany. If you put Hoffenheim against Stoke, Espanyol, Fiorentina (the other 11th place finishers from last year), the German club would win two legged ties against most of them.

  3. David

    September 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Well, Marc, you can’t do any better than Kaiserslautern, and you can certainly do a lot worse! Whatever you do, don’t let it be Bayern. It’s OK to want them to win the Champions League, but apart from that it’s best to hate them, or at least not like them very much. Regardless, take your time, think about it bit, then choose Kaiserslautern. You’ll be glad you did. Probably.

  4. Marc

    September 22, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I started wathching the Bundesliga again this season, since I finally got Goltv, and I am loving it. The atmospher of the supporters is fantastic. Now I have to pick a team to support.

    • FCB02062

      September 22, 2010 at 11:48 am

      If you’re in the USA and you want to actually be able to follow the club (watch it on TV every week and not on some terrible internet stream), you should choose Bayern Munich. For the last three or four years just about every Bundesliga game of theirs has been available on television in the US – GolTV, ESPN Deportes, or espn360/espn3 (yes, I know, it’s a stream, but it’s good quality). I was in a similar position a few years ago. I was a huge footy fan (German Nats) in the 80s, but got away from it. Then in 2006 I got swept away by the World Cup and got into soccer again. I still loved Die Mannschaft, but I wanted to find a club to follow.
      Miroslav Klose was coming off a great World Cup, so I figured I’d follow his club (Bremen, at the time), but they were NEVER on TV. I think they were on once or twice, and it was very difficult to get into it if I couldn’t watch the team. I noticed that Bayern was on every weekend, and I started watching them in 06-07. They weren’t particularly good that year (4th), but they had a decent Champions League run (lost to AC Milan in quarters, but knocked out Madrid in first knockout). I was able to watch this team every week, and became a fan of theirs. I don’t consider myself a front runner – I just chose the easiest team to follow. This is why there’s a huge contingent of people in New England who are New York Giants fans – before the Patriots existed the NY Giants were on TV every weekend in the Boston area…

  5. David

    September 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I love to smother Schalke with a wet blanket as much as the next guy, but there’s just no way they can be this bad for much longer. And even if they are, surely Magath will buy defenders in January. They could make a late charge up the table. I don’t think much of 112-year-old Raul, but he must still have the vision to make goals for Huntelaar. Of course, if you’re piss-poor at the back, everyone further up gets antsy, fearing that one mistake could lead to a costly counterattack.

    St. Pauli did themselves proud, even if they couldn’t hold on. I hope that gives them confidence rather than dropping their heads.

    I’m not sure if I keep saying this here or elsewhere, as I tend to repeat myself, but I love that WW2-era bunker just outside the Millerntor. I wonder how many people watching on TV, or even Germans at the ground, know the history of that indestructible monstrosity? At least they’re using it for something, rather that just letting it crumble, though it won’t crumble much over the next 500 years or so.

    Kaiserslautern! You said elsewhere that Hoffer is on loan. I didn’t realize he’s on Napoli’s books. Napoli have enough firepower up front, though, not to need him. I hope FCK can raise the funds to buy him, and start playing him from the opening kickoff.

    Yeah, so Schalke, Bremen, Leverkusen — this can’t go on much longer, can it? After so much good work last year (not to mention his entire career) Magath is in danger of chucking his reputation out the window if he can’t make this work. But FCB02062, I have to say they are burned toast in the Champions League. Magath doesn’t have the squad to do both, so I’m guessing he’ll put all his eggs into the moving up the table basket, and not worry so much about the CL.

    Regardless, the Bundesliga continues to show it’s the most competitive league of the Big 5. And now thanks to a faster internet connection + 2 laptops, I can watch pretty much every match. Life is sweet…

  6. FCB02062

    September 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    OK, Schalke is DEAD last in the table. I’m not a supporter of theirs, but I am a strong supporter of the Bundesliga and I am terribly afraid that the Konigsblauen are going to embarrass the league in the Champions League. They have Benfica home coming up in a week – a match in which they SHOULD get three points and give their hopes of advancing a shot of adrenalin. I can see dropping points away to Lyon, but if you want to play with the big boys in Europe (get to the knockouts) you need to get maximum points home to Benfica, and Hapoel, get one away to those sides and steal another two points. That SHOULD be their formula. That would give them 10 points, which could likely get them through given the weakness of this group.
    I thought (and kind of still think, although Bremen F-D themselves dropping points home to Spurs) this might finally be a year in which the Bundesliga might get someone other than Bayern out of the groups. Yes, I know Stuttgart got through last year, but they got destroyed in leg 2 4-0 in Barcelona. I’m hoping someone can get out of the groups with Bayern (assuming they do; if they don’t they should have their UEFA credentials rescinded given their group) and have a solid chance of going through a knockout round. This means avoiding the usual suspects – Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid. Bremen/Schalke cannot match them – Bremen because their back line is shite more often than not and Schalke because they are punchless. With their offseason moves I honestly thought Schalke would cruise into the knockout stages; now it looks like they won’t even be in Europa Cup.

    • Dylan Thomas

      September 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      Agreed. I’m going to do a big editorial piece on Magath and Schalke probably tomorrow night, look out for it!

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