Matchday five of the Bundesliga has come to a close and we have seen some real story-lines emerge, as the challengers for the Bundesliga crown show themselves, and the Bundesliga stragglers right their sinking ships.
Bayer Leverkusen 2 – 1 Frankfurt
Leverkusen head coach Jupp Heynckes had to deal with a series of key injuries heading into this match, but his team performed admirably despite their heavy losses. Stefan Kiessling, Patrick Helmes and Michael Ballack all missed out, and it was their replacements that ended up making the difference. Young midfielder Lars Bender netted after just nine minutes, but Frankfurt pulled one back through Theofanis Gekas nine minutes later. With the match proceeding fairly evenly, no one would have seen a late, dramatic winner coming. Patrick Ochs received a second yellow card and was sent off after tackling Arturo Vidal inside the penalty area, and a penalty was awarded. Arturo Vidal stepped up to the spot and slotted it past the goalkeeper, sealing a dramatic three points for Leverkusen.
Borussia Dortmund 5 – 0 Kaiserslautern
Borussia Dortmund continued their high-flying form with an emphatic win over promoted side FC Kaiserslautern. Goals from Lucas Barrios and youngster Kevin Grosskreutz made it 2-0 before half-time, and second-half strikes from Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski and Lucas Barrios’ second sealed an impressive win for Jurgen Klopp’s young side. If they can keep it up, they will certainly press the Bundesliga’s elite for a Champions League spot this season. Kaiserslautern will be well aware that points on the road will not come easy this season, but this result will definitely deflate the squad.
Borussia Monchengladbach 1 – 2 St. Pauli
Gladbach succumbed to yet another defeat, and this time at the hands of promoted side St. Pauli. Gladbach took the lead through attacking midfielder Juan Arango, but second-half strikes from Gerald Asamoah and a Florian Bruns rescued three points for St. Pauli. Mohamadou Idrissou was sent off late on after hitting Markus Thorandt. Gladbach have now conceded thirteen goals in three matches, and have only managed to score one. Dire stuff from the home side.
Hamburg SV 1 – 3 VfL Wolfsburg
Steve McClaren’s Wolfsburg side look on the up despite a disappointing start to the season. Three points away to one of the Bundesliga’s strongest clubs is certainly something the English manager and his side can be proud of, but consistency counts so they’ll need to keep their form up if they have any hope of mounting a challenge for a European spot. Edin Dzeko opened the scoring after 15 minutes, but youngster Maxim Choupo-Moting equalized for the home side after smashing a header into the back of the net from close range. Two late goals from Brazilian international Grafite sealed the win, and Hamburg will rue missed opportunities.
Nurnberg 2 – 1 VfB Stuttgart
After Stuttgart’s 7-0 thumping of Gladbach on the weekend, Christian Gross said he would not let his side get carried away with the result. Certainly, complacency crept into the squad and it got the better of them against a Nurnberg side that they really should have beaten. Nurnberg took the lead through Julian Schieber after just three minutes, but went down to ten-men just after the hour mark with Andreas Wolf’s dismissal. Cacau equalized five minutes from time, but a last-minute strike from Javier Pinola rescued the day for Nurnberg. Christian Gross will be extremely disappointed with his side’s inability to defend on the counter-attack, and it certainly cost them here. Nurnberg will be delighted with their first victory of the season, especially against strong opposition.
SC Freiburg 1 – 2 Schalke 04
No game has more significance than this one. Schalke were on a five-game losing streak until tonight, and I don’t think anyone would have put money on them taking three points here against what has been a resilient Freiburg side this season. But, against all odds, they did it. No man in football will be more relieved than Felix Magath is right now. An early goal from Ivan Rakitic put the visitors ahead, but Papiss Demba Cisse equalized for the hosts with 20 minutes left on the clock. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came to Schalke’s rescue right at the death and hit a dramatic winner which will have delighted Schalke fans and cooled the nerves around the club. Let’s hope the Konigsblauen can keep it up! Ivica Banovic was sent off minutes before time after a bad foul on Peer Kluge.
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