Bundesliga wrap: Former Liverpool star impresses for Bayern Munich
Bundesliga wrap: Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has impressed for Bayern Munich, writes Barrie White
Good week, bad week!
Before Mirko Slomka became the first managerial casualty of the 2014/15 season, Jens Keller was the most under-pressure boss in the Bundesliga. *THOMAS TUCHEL KLAXON* The Schalke boss was permanently shadowed by the former Mainz boss, with many suggesting it was only a matter of time before Keller was replaced in Gelsenkirchen. But with a fighting 2-2 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt, with only nine men, on match-day four, the Royal Blues backed that up with a crushing win in Bremen and the ultimate boosting win, a Revierderby victory over fiercest rivals Borussia Dortmund, means the situation is a lot simpler for Keller. However, yet again, it’s not been the best week for Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund. Defeat at Mainz was one thing, but going two down to a poor Stuttgart side, albeit with a brilliant fightback and 2-2 draw, was near unforgivable. The only way BVB could give their fans something to shout about was a win over Schalke. However, for the third straight game, they went 2-0 down and couldn’t pull back. The only positive is the return of skipper Mats Hummels. The only positive.
As you were then
The newly-promoted teams both received their baptism of Bayern this week. The league leaders Paderborn went to Munich and were well and truly handed their bums back to them as the champions ran out 4-0 winners. Then Pep Guardiola took his charges to Cologne and went home with a comfortable 2-0 win under their belt before heading off to Moscow. The champions are top without finding anything like their third gear while the rest of Bundesliga are stuttering without picking up the points. Xabi Alonso was the star of the show, with the former Liverpool man taking team-mate Thiago Alcantara’s record of number of touches, taking 204 or 206, depending on who you listen to. While Munich are missing a number of top stars, the Spaniard is proving to be an excellent addition as he provides a calming influence.
Foals on a consistent ride
Borussia Monchengladbach have a long name. They also got beat by Everton in a friendly in 1992, as well as by Liverpool in the 1977 European Cup final. Potted history there. But Lucien Favre’s men are unbeaten in all competitions so far in 2014/15, and picked up seven points in the space of seven days with a derby draw against Cologne, a tight win over Hamburg and victory at Paderborn. Add to that excellent Europa League form, the Foals can’t be ruled out of a Champions League charge, provided they keep up their form. Wolfsburg made a winning return after midweek defeat, while Stuttgart finally got a win under their belt against previously high-flying Hannover. Hamburg have a goal, still don’t have a win, losing 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Results: Mainz 0-0 Hoffenheim, Schalke 2-1 Borussia Dortmund, Cologne 0-2 Bayern Munich, Stuttgart 1-0 Hannover, Freiburg 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen, Paderborn 1-2 Borussia Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg 2-1 Werder Bremen, Augsburg 1-0 Hertha Berlin, Hamburg 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
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