Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern Munich trail league leaders Leipzig

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On an action-packed matchday, Borussia Dortmund dazzled at home but the surprise was in Leipzig as Bayern Munich somehow failed to win. The rest of the matchday saw big wins for sides lower down the table.

Good week for: Dortmund, Jadon Sancho, Mainz, Gladbach, Augsburg, Christian Streich, Schalke

Bad week for: VAR, Berlin teams, Cologne, Hoffenheim

The lowdown:

— Bayern’s draw with Leipzig was a game of two very different halves. The first half Bayern should have won by two or three goals. The second ended goalless – only because of some brilliant goalkeeping from both Manuel Neuer and Peter Gulacsi respectively. In truth, a draw was probably a fair result looking at the game as a whole but Bayern will feel aggrieved to only come away with one point. What they will have been grateful for was Jerome Boateng, the man who so nearly left on loan near the end of the window. He jumped in at the last minute to replace David Alaba, who injured himself in the warm up. Boateng looked pretty good, perhaps sending a reminder that were it not for him Bayern might be really thin in defence. Leipzig sit top of the table by one point above Dortmund, two above Bayern. The title race is on!

— After hammering Hoffenheim away from home, Freiburg have made their best-ever start to a Bundesliga season. Nine points from four games with the same goal difference as league-leaders RB Leipzig is so impressive for a side that just keeps overachieving. Head coach Christian Streich deserves so much credit, again. A new season, more reasons to appreciate the work being done by Streich in Freiburg. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, are struggling without Julian Nagelsmann.

— Borussia Dortmund dealt with a potential slip up early on in the season, eventually dispatching of Leverkusen by a four-goal scoreline. The most important part of the win for Lucien Favre was probably how convincing Dortmund look, both in attack and at the back.Leverkusen applied pressure early, but were thereafter kept at bay. Julian Brandt started but didn’t impress – that was Jadon Sancho’s job (of course).

— Augsburg and Mainz got their first wins of the season, both by a 2-1 scoreline. Augsburg edged past a Frankfurt side that got started too late, while Mainz led for a long time before canceling out an 83-minute equalizer to seal a much-needed victory against Hertha Berlin. The side from the capital are left bottom of the table, still without a win this season.

— Union against Bremen was one of the more bizarre games of the day, and perhaps the season. Three penalties were given, two were controversial and only two were scored. There were also two red cards for two former Borussia Dortmund players, as Neven Subotic and Nuri Sahin both left the field of play before the end of the game. The hosts wanted a penalty late on but were denied. In many ways it felt like three games in one.

The quotes:

“It was a positive that we were only 1-0 down at halftime.”
RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban about the halftime score of 1-1 against Bayern Munich

“Clemens Fritz and Frank Baumann are training in the background.”
Werder Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt on their current injury/suspension crisis

“We’ll go home, I’ll sit on the couch, maybe have a beer and then we’re on to Thursday.”
Marco Rose after Gladbach’s derby win against Cologne

“Towards the end, we weren’t a team anymore.”
Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz after the 4-0 loss in Dortmund

“I’ve never had it curl in like that before, and it probably won’t happen that often again.”
Augsburg’s Florian Niederlechner on his goal in the win over Frankfurt

 

The stats:

— Paco Alcacer has scored in all eight games he has played so far this season, for club and country. Talk about consistent.

— Jadon Sancho (19) has made 50 Bundesliga appearances.

— Gulacsi saved 6 of 7 shots against Bayern, while Neuer saved 4 of 5. On the night, the keepers proved the difference.

— Eight points after four matchdays is the worst start to a Bundesliga season for Bayern Munich since 2014-15 (also 8 points).

The fans: In a show of solidarity, Union Berlin fans reacted to the death of football fan Sahar Khodayari, who died of her injuries after setting herself on fire outside a court after learning she’d been handed a 6-month prison sentence for trying to enter a stadium in Iran to watch her favorite football team, Esteghlal. Khodayari was known as the #BlueGirl on social media.

Before the derby between Gladbach and Cologne, butanoic acid and horse manure was thrown on the entrance to the guest block. The visitor fans were left with a strong smell to deal with for the game. Towards the end of the game, 12 stewards, photographers and volunteers were injured by a firecracker thrown from Cologne’s south stand.

The weird:

Three penalties in Berlin was strange, especially given how the first decision could have gone the other way, but on Friday night in the build up to Fortuna Düsseldorf’s opener something very odd happened. The ball was controlled by Matthias Zimmermann on the right-hand side but the ball appeared to cross the line while it was being controlled. No throw in was given though, and instead play went on, the cross came in and Niko Giesselmann hammered in a goal. The VAR didn’t step in and everyone, particularly Wolfsburg’s players, were left confused.

DW

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