Five things we learnt from the Bundesliga


Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich remain the only team in Germany’s top flight with a perfect record, Borussia Dortmund keep on scoring and Hamburg sacked Bruno Labbadia — for the second time.

Here are five things we learnt from the fifth round of matches in the Bundesliga:

– Ancelotti’s record start 

Bayern’s 1-0 win at Hamburg means Carlo Ancelotti has won all eight of his first matches as head coach, a new club record.

He preached the virtues of rotation ahead of Wednesday’s tough Champions League group match at Atletico Madrid.

“Rotation is important for two reasons: the players stay fresh and they are highly motivated,” he told magazine Kicker.

Ancelotti started with Jerome Boateng, Xabi Alonso, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Arturo Vidal on the bench in Hamburg.

Having come from behind to beat Ingolstadt last Saturday and floored Hertha Berlin 3-0 on Wednesday, Bayern ground out another workmanlike win in warming-up for Madrid.

But they are waiting on the fitness of Mats Hummels who limped off with a knee injury.

– Goetze’s relief

Germany’s World Cup-winner Mario Goetze was pleased with the reception he got for his first Borussia Dortmund home game since his return from three years at Bayern Munich.

Goezte’s superb pass led to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring Dortmund’s first goal in a 3-1 win over Freiburg on Friday before making way for Raphael Guerreiro who scored Dortmund’s third goal.

“I am very, very relieved, very happy with the three points, the win, and with the applause I got when I came off,” he said, 1248 days after his previous home Dortmund game against Real Madrid in the 2013 Champions League semi-finals.

“I had previously already had one or two thoughts about how it would go…”

– Chicharito delights, annoys

The love for Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen knows no bounds after ‘Chicharito’ scored a hat-trick, including the 92nd-minute match winner, in Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Mainz.

It was the ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid striker’s second treble in Germany’s top flight and a confidence-booster for Tuesday’s Champions League match at Monaco.

Leverkusen’s director of sport Rudi Voeller bear-hugged Hernandez after his match-winning goal.

“He certainly doesn’t win every battle, but he won the important one,” enthused Voeller.

Germany forward Kevin Volland was equally impressed: “I’ve never seen a player who is so good in front of goal” and in turn ‘Chicharito’ courteously thanked his team-mates for helping him bag his first hat-trick since December 2015.

But he fell offside with reporters by skipping man-of-the-match interviews, apart from broadcasters Sky, and left fuming journalists waiting for an hour in vain.

– Hamburg sack Labbadia, again 

Just five league games have been played, but Bruno Labbadia became the second coach fired this season after Hamburg on Sunday sacked him for the second time.

Despite his team’s battling display in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to leaders Bayern, the 50-year-year-old was shown the door.

He spent less than 12 months as Hamburg in the 2009-10 season.

Having returned to the Hanseatic City’s main club in April 2015, four straight defeats this season meant he was shown the door 529 days later.

Labbadia was the second German league coach sacked this season Bremen fired Viktor Skripnik last week.

– Schalke’s record woes

Schalke 04 poached coach Markus Weinzierl from Augsburg and sports director Christian Heidel from Mainz, but the pair have steered the team to the worst start in the club’s proud history.

Their 2-1 loss at Hoffenheim on Sunday was Schalke’s fifth straight league defeat to leave them bottom of the table on zero points.

The disasterous start leaves Weinzierl in danger of becoming the third coach sacked this season after Labbadia and Skripnik.

Schalke host RB Salzburg in their next Europa League group stage match on Thursday, then face Champions League side Borussia Moenchengladbach next Sunday at home in the Bundesliga.

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