With the champions stuttering yesterday away to Hamburg, some of the league’s stronger sides had the opportunity this Saturday to take a lead over Die Roten and confirm their title aspirations. Also, the relegation dogfight got a little bit scrappier as some of the league’s less fortunate sides were condemned to further defeats. Here are the results.
Borussia Monchengladbach 1 – 4 Werder Bremen
Gladbach will definitely be disappointed with their lack of a cutting edge in front of goal, because they could have easily secured a point here. Werder Bremen put the hosts 0-2 down after just 12 minutes through Marko Marin and Wesley, but Gladbach wouldn’t lie down. Marco Reus, Thorben Marx and Mohamadou Idrissou were causing Werder Bremen constant problems, but a plethora of great saves from young goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz kept Werder Bremen in charge. After the break, Aaron Hunt put Werder Bremen out of touching distance with a long-range effort. Gladbach finally did get themselves on the scoreboard, but it was through a Per Mertesacker own-goal. Werder Bremen sealed the win through Claudio Pizarro, who blasted home from very close range with just 15 minutes remaining. Gladbach are now bottom of the league with just six points from nine games, and the end is probably very near for head coach Michael Frontzeck. Next weekend, Werder Bremen host Nurnberg, while Gladbach travel to Kaiserslautern.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0 – 0 Schalke 04
Schalke have not won a Bundesliga match since they beat Freiburg on September 22nd. They have one win in nine, and they’re not offering much up in terms of hope. We’re nearly a third of the way through the season, and Schalke are still nowhere near where they should be. It’s a decent result for Frankfurt, because the most important thing for them is remaining unbeaten and continuing to pick up points. If they can hold firm and deny sides like Schalke or Wolfsburg or Stuttgart, then they can really start thinking about pushing for a Europa League spot. Next weekend, Frankfurt travel to St. Pauli, while Schalke lose to host Bayer Leverkusen.
Hannover 96 2 – 1 FC Koln
Koln’s dire losing streak continues, with today’s disappointment being the third in a row. Koln haven’t won a match since September 12th, and that’s obviously a big problem for Zvonimir Soldo, who I can imagine will be sacked sooner rather than later. Didier Konan got Hannover off to a great start with goals on the 4th and 15th minutes, and Koln were only able to find a consolation through Martin Lanig with five minutes left on the clock. It has to be said, Koln had a massive amount of possession and 11 corners, but they found it very difficult to break their hosts down. Next weekend, Hannover travel to Hoffenheim, while Koln host Hamburg.
Nurnberg 2 – 1 VfL Wolfsburg
The worst stat coming out of this match is that Nurnberg had more than two times the amount of shots that Wolfsburg had. 17 to 8. Wolfsburg only had two on target! That’s shocking, coming from a team with so much alleged creativity and flair. Diego, Dzeko, Grafite, Kahlenberg, Mandzukic, Dejagah… and two shots on target? That’s woeful. This is the shock of the weekend in my book. You’d expect a side filled with that calibre of attacking talent to be able to outscore any opponent if they were up against it, but they couldn’t. Steve McClaren’s Bundesliga experiment is certainly not going as planned. Just because he got a little bit of culture in the Netherlands doesn’t mean he’s ready to step into another foreign country and work that old northern magic. Wolfsburg have won just ten points from their first nine matches, but are still only six points away from third place and Champions League qualification. However, if Wolfsburg continue to be this inconsistent, McClaren’s side will never bridge that gap. Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring for Nurnberg after 11 minutes, but Grafite equalized for the visitors just before the half-hour mark. Mike Frantz hit the winner for the hosts on 63 minutes, and Wolfsburg are now winless in three. Next weekend, Nurnberg visit Werder Bremen, while Wolfsburg host Stuttgart.
SC Freiburg 2 – 1 Kaiserslautern
Freiburg continue their impressive early season form with another three points, this time against Kaiserslautern. Jan Moravek put the visitors ahead after just eight minutes, but Freiburg fought back in front of their home crowd. Goals from the prolific Papiss Demba Cisse and Stefan Reisinger on the hour mark condemned Kaiserslautern to their fifth defeat in a row. After starting the season so strongly, they’ve really burnt out. On this form, I can see them going right back where they came from. Next weekend, Freiburg travel to Bayern Munich, while Kaiserslautern host Gladbach.
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