Four rounds down in the Bundesliga, and this week was not short of surprises. Let’s round it all up…
– GUYS. YOU GUYS. PADERBORN ARE TOP. The new boys beat Hannover 2-0 on Saturday to ascend to the Bundesliga summit. Center-back Uwe Hünemeier assisted on the two second-half goals, scored on 71′ and 90′ by Elias Kachunga and Moritz Stoppelkamp, respectively. The 2. Bundesliga runners-up haven’t lost yet (two wins and two draws) and lead everyone with a +5 GD. It’s very, very early, but Paderborn have been a massive surprise thus far.
– Under new management, Hamburg held champions Bayern 0-0. The visitors played an intense match against Manchester City midweek and were without Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, while Xabi Alonso, Mario Götze, and Robert Lewandowski started on the bench. Bayern were held despite 74% possession and 15 total shots to Hamburg’s four. HSV keeper Jaroslav Drobny was strong, as was the Johan Djourou – Heiko Westermann pairing at CB (cue Arsenal fans being stunned at this.) That duo combined for 15 clearances, and Westermann made five interceptions. U.S. international Julian Green played only 14 minutes and managed 15 touches for the hosts.
– Fresh off a mid-week dismantling of Arsenal, you’d expect Dortmund to have few problems with Mainz, right? Wrong! Dortmund traveled south and provided little resistance losing 2-0 in the battle of Shinjis. Like Paderborn, Mainz got its goals in the second half (maybe thanks to the cessation of stuff like this), first as Shinji Okazaki finished off a nice chance created by substitute Jairo six minutes after the hour. A Matthias Ginter own goal eight minutes later sealed the three points. More bad news for Dortmund: Henrikh Mkhitaryan faces a month out after he sustained a foot injury late on.
– Leverkusen had been in-form up until last week’s dud in Monaco, but even then, the team hadn’t been dealt a loss in league play, with nine goals scored and two wins in three games. That changed Sunday, when Wolfsburg pasted Leverkusen 4-1. Ricardo Rodríguez (remember him from the World Cup?) notched a double (one via penalty) in a brilliant performance: 110 touches, four shots, four clearances, three key passes, three take-ons, one assist, one interception, and one tackle. Vierinha and Aaron Hunt also got on the board for the hosts, who bossed possession to the tune of 64% and limited Leverkusen to one shot on target. Good response from Wolfsburg after a heavy defeat in Merseyside on Thursday–by the same scoreline.
– Unlike Wolfsburg, Schalke impressed midweek, going to London and securing a point against Chelsea. The Miners were looking to reverse some early-season league woes, and sort of accomplished that in a wild 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. Frankfurt scored twice (Marco Russ, or Marco Reus doing undercover work?) inside 25 minutes before Eric Choupo-Moting converted a pen and birthday boy Julian Draxler scored a rare headed goal. After the hour, Kevin Prince-Boateng saw red for a repeat offense, and ten minutes later, Draxler was shown a straight red. Finally, five minutes from time, Slobodan Medojevic received a second yellow (his first led to Schalke’s first goal). Spoils shared, somehow.
– Other results: Freiburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin, Augsburg 4-2 Werder Bremen, Stuttgart 0-2 Hoffenheim, Köln 0-0 Mönchengladbach.