By Brian Sanders
The meaning of life started up again in Germany as we welcomed RB Leipzig to the party and welcomed back SC Freiburg. Lets dive into the goings on in the Bundesliga with the weekly round up.
Champions Bayern Munich started off their title defense against longstanding rival Werder Bremen but as recent history repeated itself it wasn’t much of a contest at the Allianz Arena. The Bavarian’s came away with a comprehensive 6-0.
Traditionally the title holders open the season now on the Friday match and the struggles Werder Bremen will have during the season were on display. Bayern was ruthless with a hit of holding back. Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski both were on fine form as compared to this summers tournament. The Pole scored a hat trick awhile Frank Ribery, Xavi Alonso, and Philipp Lahm added one each. Not a bad start to the Carlo Anchelotti era.
Fun fact Aron Johansson of USMNT started for Werder Bremen after being out for three quarters of the previous campaign. Julian Green made the bench but did not feature.
Staying with a USMNT theme the debut of Bobby Wood at HSV went as splendidly as could be hoped for as he got on the score sheet for the hosts. USMNT Alfredo Morales’ FC Ingolstadt didn’t go down without a fight as they got an equalizer ending the match 1-1.
The goal for the young American was one to remember. A long forward ball from keeper Rene Adler, Wood controlled the ball with his chest and fought off defender Marvin Matip to launch a right footed shot past Orjan Nyland. A really sparkling way to start his career in the Bundesliga top division.
Slightly steering towards CONCACAF representation last season’s relegation playoff survivals Eintracht Frankfurt hosted transitioning Schalke 04 and came away with a 1-0 that the fans will savor for some time.
Frankfurt looked the better side early on with a couple decent chances before a half chance fell to Alex Meier, AKA Fussballgot, who put the ball away. Schalke breathed a sigh of relief when keeper Ralf Farhmann saved a second half Meier penalty. There seemed hope for the visitors when Jamaican Michael Hector was sent off in the 73rd. But the scoreline would stand.
Frankfurt’s CONCACAF players USMNT Timothy Chandler came on as a second half substitute and El Tri’s Marco Fabian stayed unused on the bench.
Borussia Dortmund in year two under Thomas Tuchel started solidly as FSV Mainz was dispatched with relative ease as two Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goals made sure that the visitors would not be troubling the hosts. 2-1 to BVB as the other title contender showed what they are capable of in merely gear two.
Key items on display was the first Bundesliga matches for both Andre Schurrle and Ousmane Dembele. Of the two big signings Dembele looked the brighter making runs that troubled the Mainz defence.
FC Koln started their season off in the right direction as they played host to Darmstadt. Koln has been mostly solid without losing any key pieces from their top half finish, while Darmstadt was playing with nearly a completely new squad.
The first goal was scored by local boy Marcel Risse as the defense collapsed on itself. The second was netted by last seasons top scorer Anthony Modeste as a low cross went through the Lilies defense. 2-0 and the mascot of Koln, a goat called Hennes, was grazing comfortably knowing his side was the best in this opener.
After not finishing in any European places Wolfsburg spent the summer shopping, and with hosts FC Augsburg under new management there seemed to be the perfect opposition to showcase the “new” Wolfsburg.
First goal was scored by recent signing Daniel Dadavi scoring a peach of a goal from the top of the box, and the early efforts of Augsburg seemed wasted. The scoring wasn’t done from the Wolves as a free kick just outside the box was put in by specialist Ricardo Rodriguez. A comprehensive win for the visitors for the new season.
The Saturday game of the week pitted rivals Bayer Leverkusen and hosts Borussia Monchengladbach, together both clubs in this season’s Champions League. A nice matchup for the Bundesliga fan to consume, as the season gets underway.
Gladbach was the better of the two teams and capitalized on Javier Hernandez being absent due to injury. As the first half ended, Andre Hahn popped up to break the deadlock and change the momentum of the match. Leverkusen was on the back foot, but still managed a goal as Joel Pohjanpalo headed home a Bellarabi headed cross from the line. Despite the goal of the week nominee USMNT Fabian Johnson assisted in Lars Stindel’s game winner. The Foals will be taking this one to the bank.
SC Freiburg has returned to the welcoming arms of the Bundesliga as they and their fans made the Berlin trip with the sunshine. Hetha meanwhile is still smarting from falling out of the Europa League qualification stage. An ideal first match up for each team.
After a rather droll first half, Berlin broke the deadlock as Vladimir Darida scored a right footed shot having received the ball from St Louis native Vedad Ibisevic. The match seemed to be all but over when Nicholas Hofler headed home a ball from a corner after three minutes of injury time. Freiburg seemed happy with the point but with a goal mouth scramble Julian Schieber ended up putting the ball in to give the capital club the full three points.
Debutante RB Leipzig, the first club from former East Germany in nearly a decade, has been called a plastic club and against Hoffenheim the match was called El Plastico.
With RB fans singing loudly all match long it seemed that goals were only a matter of time. Each team was full of goals as the match ended 2-2 with Lukas Rupp and Mark Uth for Hoffenheim and Dominik Kaiser and Marcel Sabitzer for Leipzig.
Player of the Week: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his two goals it is rather hard to find a player more deserving of the honor
German Football Word: Abwehrreihe – Backline