Bundesliga Week Four Review – Woe is Gladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach
Borussia Monchengladbach /

Week four of the Bundesliga has been and gone and, as ever, it rained goals in Germany. I managed to catch two games on the box this weekend and reviewed them below, as well as running my eye over another pulsating round of Bundesliga results.

Woe is Gladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hamburg- two teams struggling for points/wins and morale opened the weekend’s fixtures on Friday night at Borussia Park. Both teams needed to win this game and unfortunately for Gladbach that’s just what Hamburg decided to do.

Gladbach didn’t help themselves when a careless Tony Jantschke’s back pass perfectly played Pierre-Michel Lasogga in and he rounded Sommer to put Hamburg one up. The pass was a horrible error but the anticipation and gamble by Lasogga should be credited, this is the type of behaviour you want from your attacking players.

Despite having the majority of possession the hosts couldn’t conjure an equalizer and on the stroke of half time found themselves two down. It was that man Lasogga again with the goal this time coming from a powerful header at a corner.

The marking by Gladbach and especially Havard Nordveit will need questioning in the team debrief. The game was settled on the 51st minute when Nicolai Muller raced onto a humongous pass from his keeper Drobny to beautifully lob the on rushing Sommer and seal the points for Hamburg.

There will be serious pressure on Lucien Favre now to try and stop the rot. One of Europe’s most highly thought of coaches will have his work cut out for him and with their return to the Champions League kick starting on Tuesday in Seville he doesn’t have much time to fix it.

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Dortmund Delight Again

The early pace setters are thoroughly enjoying the reign of new Head Coach Thomas Tuchel and the swagger is back at Dortmund. On Saturday afternoon they travelled to Hannover for what turned out to be a routine win in the end however it didn’t start that way.

The first goal of the game came from the home side on the 18th minute when Artur Sobiech finished off a sublime move that started on the Hannover 18 yard line and consisted of seven passes. The best of these was the gorgeous through ball by Hiroshi Kiyotake that took three Dortmund players out of the game and left Leon Andreasen with the simple option of laying the ball across to Sobiech. If you get a chance you should check that goal out.

Dortmund levelled on 35 minutes when Felipe clumsily gave away a penalty which was to set the tone for his performance. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extended his run of scoring in every game by tucking the penalty away. The equalizer sparked Dortmund into action and on the 44th minute went ahead when their Renaissance man Henrikh Mikyataran fired home a thunderous half volley after a wonderful cut back from Mattias Ginter on the right hand side.

That’s the talented Armenian’s ninth goal in all competitions this campaign and we are only in September. The second half started much the same with Dortmund looking very comfortable, in fact too comfortable, and a lack of concentration followed by a half-hearted attempt to head clear a cross by Matts Hummels let Hannover back into the game.

It was Sobiech again who produced the finish, powerfully lashing the ball into the bottom right hand corner. The class clown of the afternoon Felipe heaped more misery on himself by prodding home past his own goal keeper on 66 minutes after Ginter once again made things happen for Dortmund.

The final goal of the game came on the 85th minute when once again Felipe gave it away. This time it was from a hand ball after Kagawa had chipped a ball into the box. Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang this time decided he would Panenka this spot kick and it delightfully floated into the Hannover net.

As I previously mentioned, this is Dortmund’s 4th win from four in the league, but it is also their 9th win out of nine games in all competitions. A tremendous start by BVB after last season’s failures.

Remaining fixtures round up

In the rest of Saturday’s games Bayern Munich collected the routine three points, although once again they had to come from behind and were also helped out by another dubious penalty. It won’t surprise anyone that this was tucked away by Thomas Muller, winning the game on the 90th minute after Augsburg had stunned the Allianz arena in the first half to lead through Alexander Esswein’s goal. The German champions had equalized on the 77th minute through a Robert Lewandowksi goal.

Eintracht Frakfurt set a marker down by thumping FC Koln 6-2 at the weekend with the status of Alex Mair soaring after he bagged himself a hat trick.

Hertha Berlin heaped more misery on Stuttgart winning 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium and leaving the away side stranded with Gladbach on zero points.

There was a shock at the Bayer Arena as one of the new boys took down one of the bigger boys. Darmstadt taking the lead on the 8th minute through Aytac Sulu and then parking two buses to come away with the points. Wolfsburg were left frustrated when they were held to the weekend’s only scoreless draw on Saturday by Inglostadt.

The remaining two fixtures were played on Sunday. In the early kick off Werder Bremen condemned Hoffenheim to their worst ever Bundesliga start by despatching of them 3-1. The sucker punch goal coming in the 92nd minute from Anthony Ujah, scoring to make it 2-1 before Zlatko Junuzovic sealed all three points 30 seconds later. The weekend was drawn to a close with Schalke beating Mainz 2-1 thanks to the obligatory Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

No change at the top or bottom of the Bundesliga after this weekend’s action and there will be plenty of German interest in both European Competitions during the week. For the fans of Gladbach who take on Sevilla it will be nice to be away from the horrors of their league start.

Philip McCullough @thesidelineview