Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund & Leverkusen suffer worrying defeats
A quick look back at a pulsating weekend of Bundesliga action, which saw defeats for Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund
New start, new you
This column gave Mirko Slomka very little time left in his Hamburg job when match-day three was covered. He didn’t even make it to publication. The former Hannover and Schalke boss was on borrowed time the moment he took the job, such was the underwhelming nature of his appointment, and with rumours of fallings out, it was the best decision all around for him to leave. However, it was not Thomas Tuchel who took the reigns at the Imtech Arena (and actually, no one thought he would do), but Under-23 coach Josef Zinnbauer was promoted instead. Nice easy start to his reign? Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich came to town but didn’t rule the roost as normal. The ‘Dino’ showed passion, power and composure on the ball, and while Bayern dominated as Bayern do, there was more potential in this debut match than Slomka’s 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund nine months ago. As for Munich, a rotated side failed to take its chances, and with a flurry of games over the next weeks, Guardiola won’t be too worried by his side’s start just yet.
Defeats do worry
Jurgen Klopp likes to smile. Roger Schmidt is known to have a smirk. But both the Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen bosses will have struggled to raise a smile after abject defeats at the hands of Mainz and Wolfsburg respectively. Dortmund will be most disappointed after wowing the hipster crowd of Europe with a perfectly-executed plan of pressing against Arsenal. Seems you can’t do that twice in one week. Klopp’s side looked tired and Mainz took full advantage with one brilliantly taken goal from the main Japanese man in the Bundesliga….Shinji Okazaki. Luckily for BVB, there’s an instant chance to make amends with a home game against Stuttgart. This week will be the first real test of Schmidt’s management in Leverkusen. A six-goal thriller with Bremen, defeat to Monaco in the Champions League and a thrashing by Wolfsburg (who they themselves were hammered by Everton) means Leverkusen have to rediscover their early-season verve.
What’s to come?
The Bundesliga table-toppers will run out at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, facing their biggest test as a club. No, not Bayern, but the baby of the league SC Paderborn. The new boys sealed their place at the top with Moritz Stoppelkamp’s 82-metre finish and could take another giant step by claiming any sort of result in Munich. The stand-out fixtures for match-day five ,include Wolfsburg’s trip to the capital as Hertha look to grab their first win after coming back to grab a late point against Freiburg. Hamburg travel to Gladbach, who are unbeaten in all competitions, looking to not only grab their first win, but finally get on the scoreboard with their first goal. Under-fire Schalke boss Jens Keller will take his side to Bremen hoping for more relief after an excellent fightback from 2-0 down with only nine men. However, defeat to the northerners means we’ll get to trot out the Tuchel line again!
Results: SC Freiburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin, Hamburg 0-0 Bayern Munich, Schalke 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Augsburg 4-2 Werder Bremen, Stuttgart 0-2 Hoffenheim, Mainz 2-0 Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayer Leverkusen, Cologne 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach