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Wednesday’s Pokal Review: Bundesliga Giants Crash Out

Is He Sure He's German? Helmes Misses Twice From The Spot.

What a round! Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen have all been knocked out of the DFB Pokal tonight after some shocking results. Germany’s lower league sides certainly have shown that they can battle the best of them, but Bundesliga supporters will be dismayed by the night’s events. Let’s take a look at a few matches and the repercussions of the results.

Eintracht Frankfurt 5 – 2 Hamburg SV

I didn’t see this one coming at all! Earlier in the season, Frankfurt lost at home to Hamburg by a score of 1-3, and I thought that with Hamburg playing well in the league, that they would be able to advance to the next round after winning this match against an opponent they’ve already beaten this season. Well, if ever there were a more opposite outcome, this was it. Both sides played strong, first-choice lineups, and that’s what’s most shocking and worrying about this result. Do Hamburg have a real problem between the sticks? Because in defense they don’t look shabby at all. I’d have to say that Heiko Westermann and Joris Mathijsen have looked an excellent pairing so far this season, and Marcell Jansen and Guy Demel on either side of them are not bad at all either. Within twenty minutes, Frankfurt were two-nil up thanks to goals from Caio and Theofanis Gekas, but Mladen Petric put his side back into it on 23 minutes. Gekas and an Mladen Petric own goal made it 4-1 on 64 minutes, but two minutes later Petric made up for his mistake and put Hamburg back in with a shout. Three minutes before time, Halil Altintop sealed the win from the penalty spot. I feel like Hamburg were dominated in midfield, and that’s what led to this really crushing defeat. Only having Tomas Rincon in there to hold the midfield is a big problem against Schwegler and Kohler who were battling for possession all night.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1 – 1 Bayer Leverkusen (5-4 on penalties)

Another shocker. Gladbach are by far the worst team defensively in the league, yet they held on against a Leverkusen side who have some top quality goalscorers in their side. Unfortunately, one of those goalscorers showed himself to be in some serious need of a reversal in form after missing two penalties in one game. Two penalties? One game? He might as well be denounced as a German. Patrick Helmes, what on earth has gotten into you? Helmes missed just after the hour mark, a goal that would have won the game in normal time for his side, and the match entered extra time. Eren Derdiyok drew first blood for Leverkusen, but Idrissou equalized two minutes later to tie it up and force penalties. Everyone scored their spot-kick except Patrick Helmes, whose shot was saved by Christoph Heimeroth. Helmes is going to be really short of confidence for quite a while after this one.

Kickers Offenbach 0 – 0 Borussia Dortmund (4-3 on penalties)

It’s the end of the world as we know it! This one I just can’t understand. A goal-less draw forced penalties, and Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski were denied by Kickers goalkeeper Wulnikowski, who won the match for his side. Dortmund could have won this competition, but now they’ve been knocked out by completely inferior opponents. Jurgen Klopp will have insomnia for weeks.

Elsewhere, Mainz lost 2-1 to Alemannia Aachen, Stuttgart defeated Chemnitz 1-3, Nurnberg thumped Elversberg 3-0, and Hoffenheim advanced over Ingolstadt 1-0.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Diriye

    October 28, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Wow, Dortmund open to Sahin deal, that is a bad news for the fans. Dortmund has a good chance of winning Bundesliga and can be competitive in the Champions League next year. Plus he helps youngesters like Götze, Bender, Kagawa refine their game. He is true leader in BVB.

  2. David H

    October 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Interesting analysis, Diriye. I was wondering what happened to Kagawa. At some point, Klopp’s just gotta let Bender sink or swim. It’s important that they rack up as many points as possible here as there will inevitably be a downturn, and possibly one worse than a bigger club’s with a larger squad. This is no time to be putting the reins on your attackers.

  3. Diriye

    October 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    If you take the late strike by Sahin against Cologne Dortmund has been struggling offensively. Nuri Sahin rarely join the attack in fear of exposing the defense due to the absence of Sven Bender. Götze has been on bench a lot. All these factors affect the Japanese Kagawa who is not getting the passes he needs when there is opportunity. That is another reason why Kagawa hasn’t scored for the last five games. What kept Kagawa going was the quick close collaboration between Götze and Sahin. Kuba is good but he doesn’t have the vision, speed and dribbling of Götze that gives Kagawa the element of surprise. He crosses the ball and is easy to predict. With Kagawa not getting enough support it translates directly into both strikers struggling. Although I really think Barrios needs to work on his ball control and awareness of where his team mates are when he gets the ball.

    The solution is to get Kagawa going again by suporting him with Götze on the left and Sahin behind him joining attack more. The risk though is to expose the defense since Bender, with him being young and still learning defensive positioning particulary staying put when the other CM joins the attack. But in terms of disrupting the opposition attacks Bender is excellent; hee is developing into a Mascherano type player.

  4. David H

    October 28, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Mainz lost as well? Damn. HSV was a surprise as well, but as with Dortmund, I think the real story here is lack of depth in their squads. Their players are tired, mentally & physically. 2-3 days rest is not nearly enough. I would’ve thought Mainz, with some amount of rotation lately, to not have that problem. Then again, I haven’t seen the rosters. If they played mostly 2nd string…

    Didn’t they used to assign home advantage to the lower league team? Maybe I dreamed that.

    • Luke

      October 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Hamburg, Dortmund, Leverkusen, Mainz: One of those teams got knocked out of Europe for next season yesterday, but it will be interesting to see which it is.

      To answer your question David, they do separate the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga teams into one pot and everyone else in another. The “everyone else” pot gets the home matches in the 1st round. With the 2nd round though, you have an imbalance because there are always more 1st and 2nd division teams left than lower division ones. So, once that lower division pot is exhausted, they’re drawing both teams out of the same pot, which is how you get matches like Frankfurt-HSV, Bayern-Bremen and so on.

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