• Tuesday, 31 August 2010

    Lautern's great start continues: Bundesliga reviews

    Kaiserslautern 2-0 Bayern
    Schalke 1-2 Hannover
    Bremen 4-2 Cologne
    Wolfsburg 3-4 Mainz
    Eintracht 1-3 Hamburg
    Nurnberg 1-2 Freiburg
    St Pauli 0-1 Hoffenheim
    Leverkusen 3-6 Monchengladbach
    Stuttgart 1-3 Dortmund

    Bayern have been slow starters in recent seasons, but nobody predicted that promoted Lautern would roll them over this week but that's what transpired. Bayern dominated the opening half hour, Bastian Schweinsteiger blazing over and Thomas Muller putting it wide when one-on-one with the keeper. Profligacy will be punished and how. Ivo Ilicevic rattled one in from 20 yards ten minutes from half time. He then sprang the offside trap to set up Srdjan Lakic for the second barely a minute later. A stunned Bayern just couldn't react and even Ivisevic's second booking in second half stoppages couldn't spoil the Lautern party.

    Lautern are one of five sides with two wins from two. Leading the way are Hoffenheim, but they left it late against St Pauli, an 87th minute corner ending with Isaac Vorsah's bullet header for a 1-0 win. Schalke look short of goals which the capture of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar may help with, but they went down again, losing at home to Hannover. Konstantin Rausch got the first just after the half hour, some nice footwork giving him the opening as Schalke's leaky defence was tested again. Only three of the back four stepped up five minutes after the break which allowed Mohammed Abdellaoue free rein to grab the second and all Schalke could get in response was a late headed consolation from Jermaine Jones. Hamburg came from behind to beat Eintracht for whom Patrick Ochs deflected the opener past Frank Rost. The second half was all Hamburg. Joris Mathijsen headed in the equaliser on the hour, Ruud van Nistelrooy tapped in the second from about a foot out and Paolo Guerrero grabbed a third, showing great strength to shrug off his marker. Mainz are the other side on six points after coming out on top of a seven-goal thriller with Wolfsburg. Three goals in seven minutes put Die Wolfe into what looked a comfortable lead and a rout looked on the cards. Edin Dzeko, inevitably, got the first two, taking it round the keeper for the first and starting and finishing the move for the second. Diego, back in the Bundesliga and on his Wolfsburg debut, played in the killer pass for that second one and Dzeko returned the favour moments later and also provided a good foil as the Brazilian opened his Wolfsburg account. So what happened? Difficult to say in the nine minutes it took for Mainz to get on the board. Wolfsburg only half cleared a corner and Morten Rasmussen drove it home from eighteen yards, but it didn't look terminal. Three minutes after the break, Lewis Holtby broke down the right and crossed deep for Elkin Soto to tap in and Andre Schurrle levelled it up ten minutes later with a shot from range that somehow made it's way to goal despite looking tame. Four minutes from time, Adam Szalai stunned the home crowd with a winner.

    Bremen also hit four in beating Cologne. Marko Marin's tricky footwork drew Petit into blocking him off in the box on the half hour and Torsten Frings - one of the best out there - smashed home the penalty. Marko Arnautovic opened his Bremen account with a header after good work from Claudio Pizarro, but Lukas Podolski got one back with the most delicate of headers from a free-kick a minute later. Hugo Almeida restored the two-goal cushion with quarter of an hour left, Arnautovic with the pinpoint cross and the Austrian capped a man of the match display with his second in the last minute, fed in by Frings. There was enough stoppage time for Cologne to get one back, Kevin McKenna bundling it over the line as Bremen failed to deal with a corner. Stuttgart are bottom after losing to Dortmund and their cause was hardly helped by Khalid Boulahrouz diverting Marcel Schmelzer's cross into his own net just five minutes in. Kevin Grosskreutz set up Lucas Barrios for the second and it was 3-0 by half time, Boulahrouz's afternoon not improving as his defensive lapse allowed Mario Gotze to sneak in. All Stuttgart could muster in response was Cacau's 69th minute consolation. Freiburg beat Nurnberg despite going behind early on to Julian Schieber who headed in as Nurnberg summarily failed to deal with a routine free-kick. Papiss Demba Cissé got both Freiburg goals, one each side of half time, the first a fine penalty and the second a header from six yards.

    One game left then, but nine goals as Gladbach got the better of Leverkusen in a bizarre game of football. Patrick Hermann got the opener for Gladbach on 20 minutes, Mohamadou Idrissou with a strong tackle and inch-perfect cross for Hermann to tap in from close range. The lead lasted just three minutes before Gonzalo Castro's deep cross was headed in by Eren Derdiyok, but three goals in the ten minutes either side of half time turned it back Gladbach's way. Five minutes from the break, Rene Adler couldn't hold a long range shot and parried it to Roel Brouwers who couldn't miss from three feet and, on the stroke of half time, Hermann slapped in his second from 20 yards. Juan Arango made it 4-1 moments after half time with a stunning 25-yard free-kick which left Adler shaking his head. Arturo Vidal pulled one back from the penalty spot a couple of minutes later after he himself had been fouled. Another long shot not held by Adler gave Gladbach their fifth, a deserved goal of Idrissou who was a nuisance all afternoon. 5-2 and there was still half an hour left. Marco Reus made it 6 nine minutes later, a really nice finish from just inside the box, Adler again questioning his defence's role in the move. And Stefan Kiessling got the ninth and final goal of the game with twenty minutes left, pressuring Logan Bailly into dropping it and poking it in to the most muted of celebrations. Crazy, crazy game.

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