The wait was finally over as the Bundesliga returned this weekend from it’s summer break and the opening round of fixtures certainly didn’t disappoint with 34 goals as well as plenty of talking points. For some it was a weekend to remember, for others one they are keen to move on from. So, who were the winners and losers from matchday 1?
Last season was one long struggle for the Swabians and they needed the play-off to secure their place in the Bundesliga, but all the doom and gloom from last season seemed a million miles away on Saturday as Sebastian Hoeneß’ side started the new season with a 5-0 thumping of VfL Bochum.
Two goals to the good in the first half via goals from Serhou Guirassy and Dan Axel Zagadou put them in control, and with Bochum’s defence increasingly going missing, they added three more goals in the second period to cap a fine display.
Having finally sealed his big money move from Tottenham, the expectation was on Harry Kane to start delivering on the huge fee paid out and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He laid on an excellent assist for Leroy Sané’s opening goal at the Weser Stadion and then fired in the second to put Bayern in full control.
His all-round play was superb, and he already looks like he gets the magnitude of the club he’s joined and the goalscoring responsibilities he has inherited.
The opening weekend match-up between Leverkusen and Leipzig saw two of the favourites to potentially challenge Bayern going head-to-head and it was the Rhineland side who prevailed in an entertaining encounter. Xabi Alonso got one over Marco Rose a week after the Roten Bullen had defeated Bayern in Supercup and perhaps confirmed the Werkself’s position as a pre-season favourite.
Goals from Jeremie Frimpong, Jonathan Tah and Florian Wirtz saw the hosts to a 3-2 win although he goals conceded will have irked the Spanish coach. In the battle for the mantle of Bayern challengers, it was a case of first blood to Leverkusen.
There was one opening weekend hat trick, but there were five players helping themselves to a brace of goals to open their scoring accounts. In Stuttgart’s 5-0 win over a hapless Bochum both Serhou Guirassy and Silas helped themselves to two goals. Over in Augsburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach debutant Tomas Cvancara scored two with his second from the penalty spot rescuing a point for the Fohlen in a 4-4 draw.
VfL Wolfsburg’s Jonas Wind got his season off to the ideal start with a double against Heidenheim. The newly promoted 2.Bundesliga champions succumbed to a brace from the 24-year-old Dane. Friday night’s game also saw Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sané score twice as the Rekordmeister beat Werder 4-0.
Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller became the first player from the Rekordmeister to appear in 16 different Bundesliga seasons when he was brought on as a second half substitute against Werder Bremen on Friday. His league debut came way back on 15th August 2008 in a 2-2 draw with Hamburg. 667 appearances and twelve Bundesliga titles later and the Raumdeuter and club legend shows no sign of letting up.
Kevin Behrens & Frederik Rönnow
Having signed Kevin Volland and David Datro Fofana this summer to add to both Sheraldo Becker and Jordan Pefok, there was some doubt as to how Kevin Behrens would fit into the picture with regards strikers at Union Berlin this season. However, given the nod to start in the opener on Sunday against Mainz, he laid down a marker and gave coach Urs Fischer every reason to start him in the upcoming matches. A hat trick of headers led the Köpenicker to a 4-1 home win over Mainz and mad him the stand-out striker in this Bundesliga opening weekend.
Union keeper Frederik Rönnow had an equally impressive game saving two penalties. No wonder the Dame is being heavily linked with a move to Lazio in Serie A.
Augsburg’s Vargas went from hero to villain at the WWK Arena in the 4-4 draw with Mönchengladbach He looked to have sealed an amazing comeback win for the Fuggerstädter with his drilled finish in the 76th minute, but then conceded a stoppage time penalty to hand the visitors a lifeline. His untidy attempt at a clearance caught Yvandro Borges Sanches and the Foals duly scored from the resulting spot kick to deny Enrico Maaßen a winning start to the season.
Perhaps somebody needs to tell the Bochum team that the summer holidays are over and that the serious business of the Bundesliga has begun. The Ruhr side were simply blown away at the Mercedes Benz Arena with Stuttgart firing in five unanswered goals. The Bochum defence offered very little in the way of resistance and the Swabians seemed to be able to slice through them with ease. Another season battling the drop is predicted, but they are going to have to buck up their ideas pronto if they are to avoid further heavy losses. They face Borussia Dortmund at home next weekend.
Scoring on your Bundesliga debut is the stuff of dreams, but his first game in the German top flight was more of a nightmare for Hungarian Attila Szalai. It was his own goal in the first half that gave visitors Freiburg the lead in Hoffenheim’s 2-1 defeat to the Breisgauer.
“I am neither satisfied with my own game nor with the result. The first goal was an unfortunate situation, the ball unfortunately bounced off Brooks, my fellow defender, and then onto me, so Freiburg took the lead”
The promoted sides
Both promoted sides got their top flight campaigns off to a losing start with Heidenheim going down to VfL Wolfsburg and Darmstadt losing to Eintracht Frankfurt. Avoiding a negative series of results at the start of the season is of paramount importance as playing catch-up from the very start too often results in an immediate return to the second tier.