The Bundesliga served up yet another weekend packed with action, goals, and excitement as Union Berlin kept hold of top spot with a win over Borussia Dortmund. Under-pressure Schalke lost to Hoffenheim, while trainer-less VfB Stuttgart got their first win of the season.
So, who were the winners and losers of Bundesliga matchday 10?
It was Bayer Leverkusen last week and this week it was Stuttgart’s turn to get a hugely impressive win after sacking their coach. In contrast to the Werkself the Swabians didn’t install an immediate successor but entrusted internal solution Michael Wimmer to oversee the matchday 10 clash with Bochum.
A performance like no other they have produced this season saw them achieve their first win and climb out of the bottom two. Silas was the star of the show with two goals and an assist in the 4-1 win with the other goals coming via Naouirou Ahamada and Wataru Endo.
Wolfsburg’s Gerhardt has never scored more than two goals in a single league campaign before, but the 28-year-old former Köln midfielder has now scored three in as many games this season. He equalised against Borussia Mönchengladbach after Marcus Thuram’s opener to follow goals in both previous league outings after his return from injury.
“He’s a very intelligent player who converts everything immediately one-to-one” Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac said after the match. “His experience helps in the Bundesliga. He is far under the radar and not so much in focus because he sacrifices himself for the team.
“When the strikers are blocked, you need the players who create the majority with their deep runs. Yannick does that exceptionally well.”
Losing to bottom side Bochum last weekend and them going down to Tottenham in the Champions League would not have filled Frankfurt with a whole lot of confidence going into their encounter with Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen.
They need not have worried as they blew a poor Werkself side away 5-1 at the Deutsche Bank Park. Daichi Kamada dispatched a retaken penalty after Kolo Muani had missed the initial spot kick. After Leverkusen equalised, the Adler scored four unanswered goals via Jesper Lindstrom with a delightful chip, Kamada with another penalty, Kolo Muani and a first goal of the season from Lucas Alario against his former side.
“It’s a richly deserved win over the full 90 minutes” coach Oliver Glasner said after the win. “The boys backed up what they’d shown me in training: they expressed themselves with nice combinations going forward. They attacked at pace and caused Leverkusen problems.
“For me, the best goal was the last one. Rafa Borré, who himself hasn’t had many minutes or goals this season, was in a promising position and he squares it for Lucas Alario to score against his former club. That speaks volumes about the togetherness in the whole squad. Everyone wants success for each other.”
Two goals from Marcus Thuram against Wolfsburg helped Gladbach to a 2-2 draw at the Volkswagen Arena. His first saw Alassane Plea play the ball in from the left, and the Frenchman cut inside with pace, before dribbling past Lacroix and firing the ball into the back of the net. His second came three minutes into the second half after Jonas Hofmann’s corner was headed towards goal by Thuram. It bounced back off of Paulo Otavio for the Gladbach hitman to strike the rebound past Casteels into the corner. He now has seven goals for the season.
His performance was called ‘world class’ by Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer after the match.
Köln found themselves in a real sticky patch after Augsburg took the lead at Rhein-Energie Stadion on the back of consecutive defeats to Borussia Mönchengladbach and Partizan Belgrade. Up stepped the striker tasked with replacing the goals of Anthony Modeste with a brace to turn the game in the Billy Goats’ favour.
Steffen Tigges fired in the equaliser just three minutes into the second half before blasting in the winner in the 81st minute. “The home win feels really good. I think that was really important after the last few games£ Tigges said afterwards.
“In terms of performance, we don’t have to hide from the last few games, it’s just that the results weren’t that great. We always got a lot of what we set out to do on the pitch. We had difficult phases in the game again today – the early goal we conceded out of nowhere. And also the 2:2 out of nowhere.
“But the team never gave up, kept fighting and then we simply have quality up front – with all the players who come in or play from the start. I’m just really happy for the team that the negative run has been broken.”
For once it wasn’t the strike duo of Sheraldo Becker and Jordan Pefok amongst the goals, but Janik Haberer, but Union fans won’t be bothered who scores as long as they keep winning.
The first was an absolute gift after Gregor Kobel’s howler, while his second was an excellent drive that flew like a bullet into the bottom corner leaving the BVB keeper no chance.
The honeymoon is certainly over for Xabi Alonso as he watched his side crumble at the Deutsche Bank Park days after they were beaten in Europe by Porto. Defensively it was a horror show in the second period and there will be plenty to work on next week in training. At least their DFB elimination in the first round to Elversberg gives them an extra week off to try and sort the many issues they have.
What must poor Pellegrino Matarazzo be thinking? No sooner has he lost his job than his former team produces their best display of the season to secure their first win and move out of the bottom two. Had he been given another week; would he have been the one to turn things around?
He will be back in somebody’s technical area soon as a head coach, but it must be galling to watch your side click days after your departure.
It seemed inevitable that Schalke would go down to a defeat at the hands of ex-coach Andre Breitenreiter and it was a typical Schalke display that lacked so many things. That coach Frank Kramer has thus far survived the chop is a surprise, but after facing Hoffenheim again in midweek in the DFB Pokal, it could be his swansong.
After coming back last week from injury to reclaim the number one jersey, Gregor Kobel showed more than a little rustiness with a calamitous howler against Union to gift them the lead in Sunday’s clash in Köpenick.
He inexplicably slipped trying to take a simple back pass allowing Janik Haberer a free run in on goal. He was however man enough to face the interviewers after the game saying, “With the first goal when I slipped it looked pretty bad, and I can tell you it feels even worse. After that we were 0-1 and it’s a tough place to play.”