• Monday, 20 September 2010

    Derby disaster for Schalke: Bundesliga reviews

    Eintracht 0-1 Freiburg
    Bayern 0-0 Cologne
    Bremen 0-2 Mainz
    Stuttgart 7-0 Monchengladbach
    Wolfsburg 2-0 Hannover
    Kaiserslautern 2-2 Hoffenheim
    St Pauli 1-1 Hamburg
    Schalke 1-3 Dortmund
    Leverkusen 0-0 Nurnberg

    Let's not beat around the bush here. Schalke got boned on their own midden in the Ruhr derby. 3-1 is bad enough, but it could and probably should have been twice that. Dortmund had a perfectly good goal wrongly rubbed out by an over-eager offside flag early in the first half and BvB created chance after chance throughout. They'd rattled the woodwork as well before Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring with a dipping shot from range. Kagawa got the second after great work from the impressive Kuba Blaszczykowski down the right and the Japanese striker poked in a flying volley. Schalke's evening got worse when Robert Plestan picked up two bookings in the space of four minutes and he had no grounds for complaint about either. Robert Lewandowski headed in a third, his first for the club, before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pulled one back. It flattered the Royal Blues. They were rubbish and being this rubbish has cost them one heck of a lot of money.

    Schalke therefore remain on no points, the only side still on that mark after Wolfsburg and Stuttgart broke their ducks, the latter spectacularly so. Pavel Pogrebnyak hit three out of seven as Stuttgart gave Gladbach the mother and father of all thumpings. Pogrebnyak got the first, third and fourth and all three were from close range after defensive or goalkeeping blunders. Georg Niedermeyer headed in from a Mauro Camoranesi corner for the second and Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Matthieu Delpierre and Ciprian Marica all got in on the act. Gladbach offered nothing. Diego got Wolfsburg's opener in the derby against Hannover ten minutes into the second half with an overhead volley but then lost him to injury after he copped a set of studs in the side. Edin Dzeko made it two as the keeper went AWOL to give Steve McClaren his first Bundesliga win. The other derby saw honours shared in Hamburg, Mladen Petric with a stunning late equaliser from a mile downtown after Fabian Boll had driven St Pauli ahead.

    Hoffenheim were held by near neighbours Lautern and needed new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson to rescue them. It looked like being an easy day when Gustavo put the Villagers ahead late in the first half, but two goals from Erwin Hoffer turned it round. He headed the first in under a worryingly small amount of pressure while he just threw a foot out for the second and made enough contact with a wayward header to turn it in. They led for just two minutes though as Sigurdsson bent a free-kick round the wall and in the far corner. Those dropped points saw Mainz go above them as they maintained the only 100% record in the league by beating Bremen who can't string two results together. Marcel Risse lashed the first in from an angle ten minutes into the second half and young hot-shot Andre Schurrle - snapped up by Leverkusen for next season - finished off a sweeping move.

    Mainz's neighbours Eintracht are struggling a bit, beaten by Freiburg. Both keepers were in outstanding form - Oliver Baumann shading it on points with a string of excellent saves in the Freiburg goal - but Oka Nikolov was finally beaten in the last minute as Freiburg found an extra man in attack, Jan Rosenthal getting upfield to finish a quick counter. Elsewhere, Bayern were held to a goalless draw by Cologne as were Leverkusen at home to Nurnberg.

    There's a midweek round of fixtures - an English week - with Bayern's trip to Hoffenheim the pick. Wolfsburg go to Hamburg in another tasty clash while Nurnberg will hope that Stuttgart punched themselves out at the weekend. Schalke go to Freiburg and it's still hard to see them get that elusive win.

    Mainz v Cologne
    Hoffenheim v Bayern
    Hannover v Bremen
    Leverkusen v Eintracht
    Dortmund v Kaiserslautern
    Hamburg v Wolfsburg
    Monchengladbach v St Pauli
    Freiburg v Schalke
    Nurnberg v Stuttgart

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