Two ridiculous penalty decisions condemned Bayer 04 Leverkusen to a 3-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena, but the scoreline nowhere near reflects the game.
The 52nd Bundesliga season finally got underway last weekend, and threw up some interesting stories. For Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a 2-1 comeback victory at the BayArena against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim saw old and young score the goals. Stefan Kießling and Julian Brandt secured the points for die Werkself, and for Kießling it was a particularly significant strike. His equaliser on the stroke of half time was the fourth year in succession that he has netted on the opening day, setting a new record. Schalke 04 hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar also achieved this feat in his side’s 3-0 win at Werder Bremen. Kießling has now scored seven goals in his last six appearances against Hoffenheim.
Thomas Tuchel’s reign as Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Borussia Dortmund started in spectacular fashion, with a stunning 4-0 victory over last season’s third place finishers Borussia Moenchengladbach. Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the star of the show, scoring twice. Wolfsburg – last season’s runners-up and tipped by many to close the gap to the champions this year – toiled to a 2-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt. If the Wolves are to mount any kind of serious challenge to Pep’s Bayern, they need to rebuff Manchester City’s advances towards their star asset Kevin de Bruyne.
The star team of week one, though, has to be Ingolstadt. This is their first ever season in Germany’s top flight, and they started off with a single goal win at Mainz 05. Mainz have lost some key players over the summer, most notably striker Shinji Okazaki to Leicester City, and they could well struggle this season if this result is anything to go by. The other promoted club, Darmstadt, got a respectable 2-2 draw at home to Hannover 96, who are expected to be involved in the relegation battle too.
Recent overachievers Augsburg, who finished sixth and fifth in the last two seasons, lost 1-0 at home to Hertha Berlin, and FC Köln won 3-1 at Stuttgart.
And as for Bayern Munich? Well, they won 5-0 against hapless and hopeless Hamburg, and are top after week one. Might as well start as you mean to go on!
This article will be published in Bracknell Town’ match day programme this weekend.
German football now goes on its customary five week hiatus, leaving fans to ponder their club’s first seventeen matches. It has been an exceptional hinrunde, with overachievers and underachievers alike, and a side so dominant they look unstoppable. Continue reading Bundesliga Half-Season Review