With the pressure mounting, Bayer Leverkusen finally showed their true colours with a deserved 3-0 win at Mainz to secure their first points of the season following three consecutive defeats.
Three goals in the fifteen minutes before half-time stunned the home side and put the Werkself in control of the game. The first came on the half hour mark when Exequiel Palacios fired in a shot from the edge of the box, which took a deflection off of Jonathan Burkardt to beat Robin Zentner.
The second two goals were all about pace. First Moussa Diaby robbed Maxim Leitsch before sprinting forward and feeding the onrushing Jeremie Frimpong with an easy set-up. Frimpong then created and finished the second himself as he outpaced Alexander Hack and Leitsch before rounding Zentner and sliding home.
“We managed to show a different face, to show a different energy” Leverkusen coach Gerardo Seoane said after the win. “The game started well for us. We then managed to defend compactly and didn’t allow much depth, and we were also able to switch quickly. We have to try to increase our self-confidence through the positive result.”
Borussia Mönchengladbach continued to prove to be Bayern Munich’s bogey team with a hard-earned 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena. Marcus Thuram was the scorer of the goal in the first half that put the Foals in front, but the key to the point was undoubtedly keeper Yann Sommer.
The Gladbach goalkeeper set a new Bundesliga goalkeeping record with 19 saves to deny Bayern Munich a win their attacking fervour probably deserved. Time after time Sommer pulled off a top save to deny the hosts before he was finally beaten by Leroy Sané.
After 90 minutes of almost perfection in terms of shot stopping, the praise was understandably quick to arrive. “We know what a great goalkeeper we have in Yann Sommer, so we can afford to let them have the odd shot” Christoph Kramer explained. “He put in an extraordinary performance today.”
Coach Daniel Farke was equally impressed saying: “It was a world-class performance from Yann Sommer tonight. That’s exactly what you need in order to take points away at Bayern München. Together with Manuel Neuer, Yann is one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga, as well as internationally. We’re very glad to have him as our number 1.”
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) August 27, 2022
The great start to the season continues and quite remarkably die Eisernen find themselves level on points with champions Bayern Munich at the top of the table. People keep expecting the Union bubble to burst, but their performances are consistently excellent, and they deserve to be where they are.
Schalke were ruthlessly put to the sword at the Veltins Arena, which held no fear for the visitors. A goal in first half stoppage time and one twenty second s into the second half put Urs Fischer’s side firmly in control.
Sheraldo Becker scored twice, Morten Thorsby scored on his first start for the club, and Janik Haberer fired in a stunning goal. Substitute Sven Michel then came on and scored two excellent efforts to cap a fantastic trip to the Ruhr for Union.
Sheraldo Becker & Sven Michel
The hero for Union was the team, with two goals apiece Sheraldo Becker and sub-Sven Michel bagged a brace apiece. Becker now has four goals in as many games and joker Michel proved that Union have more than just Becker and Jordan Pefok to worry about in attack. Michel’s second goal was arguably the pick of the bunch as he raced forward and blasted past Frederik Rönnow after seeing him slightly off his line.
The Adler grabbed their first win of the season in a highly entertaining game at the Weser Stadion. Goals from Mario Götze, Kolo Muani, and Jesper Lindström gave them a 3-2 lead at halftime after goals from Anthony Jung and Leonardo Bittencourt had cancelled out their opener.
They added a fourth through Djibril Sow, but Werder just do not lie down this season and a Niclas Füllkrug penalty right on fulltime set up a frantic finish. Frankfurt however succeeded where Schalke and Borussia Dortmund had failed and resisted the Werder late surge- just.
After an opening weekend loss to Köln, Schalke had recovered slightly with successive points against Mönchengladbach and Wolfsburg. They were however given their first rude awakening to life back in the topflight with a 6-1 home mauling at the hands of Union Berlin.
The visitors were impressive, but some of the Königsblauen’s defending was comical. If Malick Thiaw was trying to impress potential suitors Milan, he did an appalling job.
Coach Frank Kramer was not impressed with what he saw, and neither were large sections of the fans, who vented their displeasure. ““This defeat is very painful” Kramer said after. “The scoreline for one, but also how it came about. We have to defend and assert ourselves better – in front of both our own goal and theirs. We had some good chances in the first half, but we conceded too easily.”
Piero Hincapie & Mitchel Bakker
The only blot of Bayer Leverkusen’s first win of the season were the two unnecessary red cards that Piero Hincapie and Mitchel Bakker picked up meaning that Gerardo Seoane will have some selection issues next week against Freiburg.
Hincapie was yellow carded very early in the game after clearing out Karim Onisiwo after he had cleared the ball on the edge of the box. He did well throughout the rest of the match to keep his nose clean before receiving a second harsh caution for the slightest of tugs on Silvan Widmer.
Bakker was also dismissed for two bookable offences. The first was totally unnecessary as he looked to stop keeper Robin Zentner from sending the ball up field. He then picked up a second booking from referee Christian Dingert in the 94th minute with the game won and the final whistle imminent. He lashed out at Onisiwo with an elbow and rightly saw a second yellow card.
Are you getting a sense of déjà-vu Wolfsburg fans? Mark van Bommel came in last year and then was gone after 13 games and eight games without a win. Nico Kovac has come in this season and overseen the worst start to a season in 21 years- no wins from four.
The 2-0 loss to RB Leipzig did contain some positives in the second half and the efforts put in probably deserved a goal, but it just wasn’t to be and the wait for the first win goes on. It’s probably too early to be talking about a crisis, but that is what Mark van Bommel must have though last season. Kovac needs time but die Wölfe aren’t famed for being overly patient with their coaches.
Luca Pfeiffer & Pellegrino Matarazzo
With Sasa Kalajdzic left out of the squad at his own request ahead of a rumoured move to Wolves in the Premier League, Pfeiffer was selected to lead the VfB Stuttgart frontline in their away trip to Köln. A decent first half was however soon forgotten with a nasty tackle on Timo Hübers. It was a definite straight red as it was a potential ankle-breaker.
Quite remarkably coach Pellegrino Matarazzo complained vehemently against the decision and was booked. The VfB coach was then set off later in the second half for once again complaining too much to referee Harm Osmers.
The umbrella seller at Freiburg
The umbrella seller who sells umbrellas from the umbrella stall outside Freiburg’s Europa Park stadium will be regretting his decision to take the night off on Friday. A killing was to be made after a huge downpour of biblical proportions hit the first half of Freiburg’s clash with VfL Bochum.
Christian Streich may have stood stoically on the touchline like it was mere drizzle, but with rumours of someone building an arc on the Rhine at Breisach. others were looking to protect themselves from the torrential deluge.
Not the night for the umbrella selling fella to not be selling umbrellas. (Apologies to the gullible, but to my knowledge there is no Freiburg umbrella seller).