Bundesliga Recap from Week 1
The German Bundesliga season kicked off this past weekend with plenty of goal scoring and surprises to start the new season. I will take a lot at the match-ups and results before I break down what’s ahead for week 2 along with the goal of the week.
Bayern Munich: 2 Hertha BSC: 2
Recap: The opening match was between defending champions Bayern Munich and a team in Hertha BSC that has struggled in recent seasons finishing below 10th place. The match started with a familiar goal scorer as Robert Lewandowski finished off a beautiful pass from Kingsley Coman to make it 1-0 at the 24th minute. Hertha BSC came on strong at the end of the first half as new transfer player Dodi Lukebakio (from Fortuna Dusseldorf) scored off a strong deflection to beat Manuel Neuer and tie up the game. Two minutes later a defensive breakdown by Bayern Munich gives Marko Grujic a breakaway and he makes no mistake as the Serbian gives Hertha BSC the surprising 2-1 lead heading into halftime. Early in the second half a bad foul in the box by Marko Grujic gives Bayern Munich a penalty opportunity and Robert Lewandowski makes no mistake tying the game. Bayern Munich continued to dominant possession in the game but Hertha manages to hang on for the draw.
What’s Next? : Bayern Munich travels to take on Schalke 04 while Hertha BSC plays at home against Wolfsburg (1-0)
Goal of the Match: Robert Lewandowski’s opening goal was the goal of the match as the beautiful ball movement and timing on the cross lead to a perfect finish by the 30 year old Polish striker.
SC Freiburg: 3 Mainz 05: 0
Recap: This was set up to be a close match-up as Freiburg and Mainz finished the 2018-19 season in 12th and 13th place respectfully. The game had an entertaining first half but neither team was able to get on the score sheet and late in the second half it seemed like this game would end as a draw. In the 81st minute a solid first touch by Nils Peterson gives substitute Lucas Holer an opportunity for a chance and Holler makes a beautiful move around the defender before finishing on Florian Muller to give Freiburg the 1-0 lead. Only a minute later Freiburg settle in the offensive zone with Jonathan Schmid when the right back suddenly makes a move and take a shot from outside the box to perfection to give Freiburg the 2-0 lead. Schmid was acquired this offseason from Augsburg and the 29 year old defender has already made a big impact with a superb goal. Then at the 86th minute Freiburg are awarded a penalty and Luca Waldschmidt makes no mistake hammering it in the opposite corner to put a statement on a crazy ten minutes. The final score would remain as Freiburg wins 3-0.
What’s Next?: SC Freiburg hope to continue their success from the second half against SC Paderborn (0-1) while Mainz 05 needs a better showing next week against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Goal of the Match: Jonathan Schmid’s laser shot to give Freiburg the 2-0 lead is easily the goal of the match and it’s even better since this was his opening game with his new club.
Dortmund: 5 Augsburg: 1
Recap: The runner-ups last year Borussia Dortmund hope to start the season off strong as they take on last years 15th seed FC Augsburg. The game started off surprising as Augsburg maintained position and made quick passes to get in offensive zone before Florian Niederlechner was spotted for a tap in goal. The former Freiburg forward opens the scoring just 30 seconds into the match for his new club as Dortmund are stunned. A couple minutes later Jaden Sancho saves a play that almost goes out of bounds as he finds Paco Alcacer for the easy goal to tie the game 1-1. The rest of the first half is surprisingly scoreless as the score at halftime is tied but early in the second half Dortmund are on the attack when Jaden Sancho gets a good rebound opportunity and finishes it to make it 2-1 Dortmund. Only six minutes later at the 57th minute Jaden Sancho plays the ball in for a cross and goalkeeper Tomas Koubek makes another bad play as he can’t control it and Marco Reus scores an easy goal to make it 3-1 Dortmund. Only two minutes later Sancho with some terrific movement before finding Paco Alcacer with a great pass as the Spanish striker strikes a strong ball to make it 4-1. The final goal was the goal of the match in the 82nd minute as Axel Witsel delivers a strong pass as Julian Brandt scores on a strong volley to make it 5-1. This was also the first game for Brandt in Dortmund as the 23 year old made the transfer this offseason from Bayer Leverkusen.
What’s Next?: Dortmund will look to continue this momentum as they face FC Koln (0-1) next week while Augsburg really needs to put together a better performance against Union Berlin next week.
Goal of the Match: Julian Brandt’s volley in the 82nd minute was a thing of beauty and it was one of the only goals that wasn’t a direct cause of a goaltending or defensive breakdown.
Wolfsburg: 2 FC Koln: 1
Recap: An always strong Bundesliga team in Wolfsburg hopes to continue improving this season as they take on a team that was promoted this season into the Bundesliga in FC Koln. The games scoring opens up in the 16th minute as long time Wolfsburg midfielder Max Arnold strikes a beautiful volley from outside the box as it curves around the defenders and into the back of the net. In the 60th minute Wolfsburg gets another after a bad turnover by Koln leads to a bit of a break for Wout Weghorst who makes no mistake making it 2-0. Late in the game Koln found life as the put more pressure on Wolfsburg until they eventually scored in the 91st minute thanks to Simon Terodde. The talented striker chased down a long ball as it dropped perfectly in front of the keeper as he finished it to cut the lead but Wolfsburg would hang on for the 2-1 victory.
What’s Next?: Wolfsburg will play against Hertha BSC in what promises to be a great game while Koln play top club Dortmund.
Goal of the Match: The Volley from Max Arnold was a beautiful strike and it really came out of nothing but the finish on it was perfect to beat a goalkeeper as talented as Timo Horn.
Bayer Leverkusen: 3 Paderborn: 2
Recap: Bayer Leverkusen are hoping to contend for the number one spot this season as they finished 4th in 2019 while Paderborn are joining the Bundesliga for the first time in five seasons. Leverkusen opened the scoring on a bit of a weird play in the 10th minute as Kevin Volland was running wide to chase down a pass while the Paderborn defender fell down trying to reach the ball giving Leverkusen a three on two break. Volland cuts back into the box and sends a strike towards goal that happens to deflect off Leon Bailey on the way to the net and while Bailey looks offside replay clearly shows he was good. Paderborn respond at the 15th minute as a terrible back pass to nobody by Leverkusen gives Paderborn a two on two break where Sven Michel keeps it all the way and strikes beautifully bottom corner passed the keeper. The first half scoring wasn’t done as Leverkusen respond at the 19th minute as a perfect throw ball by Julian Baumgartlinger leads to a breakaway for Kai Havertz and the 20 year old chips it over the goalkeeper for a great goal. Paderborn attack aggressively at the box as Christopher Antwi-Adjei sends a ball in that is stopped by the keeper then a rebound by Sven Michel is blocked. The third attempt at goal by Streli Mamba is finished as the newly acquired forward ties the game 2-2 heading into halftime. The 69th minute sees a complete breakdown defensively by Paderborn as the don’t see Wendell cutting on the outside as the defender catches everyone off guard before finding Kevin Volland wide open for the deciding goal. Leverkusen was able to dictate the action throughout the match but Paderborn proved that they are not a team to be taken lightly as the managed two goals against Leverkusen.
What’s Next?: Leverkusen faces off against Fortuna Dusseldorf while Paderborn take on Freiburg.
Goal of the Match: Kai Havertz chip over the goalkeeper was perfectly executed as the young striker read the goalkeeper very well and the pass by Baumgartlinger really adds to this goal.
Fortuna Dusseldorf: 3 Werder Bremen: 1
Recap: Dusseldorf open the scoring in the 36th minute as a bad clearing attempt by Bremen leads to an opportunity for Dusseldorf as Kenan Karaman finds Rouwen Hennings open in the box. The German striker makes a quick move to his left around the defender before finishing it top corner to give Dusseldorf a 1-0 lead. Early in the second half a poor clearance attempt by Dusseldorf leads to a perfect opportunity as Milot Rashica quickly crosses it into the box before Johannes Eggestein finishes the play with a header. Shortly after this goal at the 51st minute Werder Bremen don’t do a good job clearing it as Dusseldorf sends it in for a quick cross but instead of heading it Erik Thommy does a great job doing a touch pass to Kenan Karaman. The 25 year old takes a shot that barely beats the goalkeeper as Dusseldorf retake the lead 2-1. The 64th minute saw the first corner quick goal of the season as a great ball into the box is finished beautifully by Kaan Ayhan. Dusseldorf would hang on for the 3-1 victory but Werder Bremen really did a great job in this match-up with 10 shots on target and a 67% possession advantage.
What’s Next?: Werder Bremen plays Hoffenheim next week while Fortuna Dusseldorf plays against Bayer Leverkusen.
Goal of the Match: The opening goal by Rouwen Hennings was off a poor clearance attempt but the play by both Karaman and Hennings was great on this goal.
Borussia Monchengladbach: 0 Schalke 04: 0
Recap: The first 0-0 draw in the Bundesliga season as Monchengladbach and Schalke draw with only five combined shots on target during the game. Monchengladbach were the favourites in this match-up and they definitely controlled most of the game while having 16 shot attempts to Schalke’s 8. The possession advantage was with Monchengladbach at 61% and newcomer Stefan Lainer had a yellow card in this match-up along with Laszlo Benes and Florian Neuhaus. Schalke 04 also had carded players as Daniel Caligiuri and Benjamin Stambouli both received cautions.
What’s Next? : Monchengladbach play against Mainz 05 next week while Schalke 04 have a match-up against Bayern Munich.
Eintracht Frankfurt: 1 1899 Hoffenheim: 0
Recap: Eintracht Frankfurt were looking for another strong season in the Bundesliga after finishing 7th last year with a 15-9-10 record while Hoffenheim also had a good year finishing 9th with a 13-12-9 record. The game started off quick as Frankfurt looked to attack early with a quick cross into the box hammered home by Martin Hinteregger under one minute into the match. The 26 year old Austrian centre back found himself in perfect position and didn’t make a mistake as he is entering his first full season with Frankfurt after splitting last year with Augsburg. Hoffenheim kept attacking forward during this match as Lukas Rupp barely missed on a strike at the 13th minute mark while Robert Skov messed up a glorious pass by Steven Zuber later in the first half. At the 40th minute a bit of drama ensued as Dennis Geiger scored passed the keeper on a great shot but upon further review the shot managed to deflect off another player near the net who was offside and the call was reversed. Hoffenheim really weren’t able to muster up great opportunities in the second half and they fall 1-0.
What’s Next?: Eintracht Frankfurt are traveling to face Red Bull Leipzig for a Sunday match-up while Hoffenheim face another winless team in Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Red Bull Leipzig: 4 Union Berlin: 0
Recap: Union Berlin were a team that I was excited for entering this season as the recently promoted organization added some strong talent and experience but this opening game was a mess. Leipzig are coming off a fantastic season and they continued right were they left off as they dominated Union Berlin from start to finish in this match-up. The scoring began in the 16th minute as Leipzig as Marcel Sabitzer made a great pass across the front of the box to Marcel Halstenberg and the 27 year old midfielder made a great move around the defender before showing a great touch in his finish. In the 31st minute a bad turnover by the Union Berlin defense leads to an odd man rush for Leipzig and Halstenberg sets it up on a platter for Marcel Sabitzer as he returns the favour and Sabitzer makes no mistake hammering it home. The 42nd minute saw Leipzig on the attack again as Timo Werner excites the crowd with a stunning shot over the keeper to make it 3-0 as all three goals by Leipzig were stunning. The second half was more of the same for Leipzig as they continued to attack Berlin and goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz was making a lot of key saves early in the second half. The 4th goal at the 69th minute was just great football as Halstenberg spotted Sabitzer down the right side and he quickly chipped it over the defenders to an open Christopher Nkunku who had an easy header in his first game for Leipzig. I will say that Berlin had their moments in the first half of success but Leipzig clearly outplayed them and this was a big test for the new Bundesliga team.
What’s Next?: Union Berlin face off against the other team that was blown out during week one as they take on Augsburg while Leipzig will take on Eintracht Frankfurt.
Goal of the Match: Any of the goals could be nominated during this match for Leipzig but I’m going with Marcel Sabitzer’s second goal with the left foot and beautifully placed around the keeper off a great pass by Halstenberg.