Euro grades

Well the first main round of Euro action, so how has the Bundesliga done?

In the Champions League, the answer has to be “Very Well”, perhaps an A- or B+. I’m still not sure how Thomas Muller managed to miss the open net from about 6 inches, but Bayern deserved their win against Man City. A tough opponent, so a good result. Also great was Schalke’s point at Chelski, which was really unexpected, since Schalke has sucked and Chelski has been on fire, so getting a point at Stamford Bridge is quite an accomplishment. Dortmund and Arsenal you could expect to be a toss-up, but the Neons dominated that match and looked quite good doing so – despite a hospital list of injuries requiring replacements. Leverkusen managed to ruin things somewhat by losing at Monaco, otherwise the overall grade would have been a solid A.

As for the Europa-League (the one nobody cares about), I suppose the grade has to be something like D-, but so what? It’s like your grade in Art class, nobody cares. Gladbach probably threw away a win in a 1-1 home draw with Villareal, and Wolfsburg got biatch-slapped at Everton. OK, I get it, this is a worthless competition, but if you are going to play in it, you might as well give a decent effort. From the season perspective, it’s an interesting conversational aspect when you can talk about somebody “in the race for a Eurospot”, but that really is only relevant to clubs like Augsburg or Wuppertal, not serious contenders. And instead of the at least palatable knockout UEFA Cup, the Euroleague now has group stages. It’s about as relevant as those old Summer leagues, I think it was called the “Totto League” where various disinterested sides played in groups just so the betting companies would have something to put up in the offseason.

Maggot raus!

OK, only really a side show in regards to German football. But inevitably, it happened: Felix Magath was fired as boss of English 2nd division club Fulham. Considering they were relegated last season – not his fault, since they had sucked anyway, but bringing in Magath was like throwing gasoline on the fire. Then in this year’s “Championship” they are dead last, having lost 6/7 and facing the prospect of a London derby next year with Leyton Orient.

The fans have been chanting “Magath out” forever, and it sounds like the players were in open revolt. Now perhaps both are understandable, as Magath’s Special Forces training regimen would not sit well with British players pub traditions, but his revolving door hardly could have helped either. And of course, when things go badly, they *really* go bad, and you’ll never recover. In fact, at the first sign you should fire him before it’s too late. It’s a bit surprising that it’s lasted this long. The way to do it would have been to let him go when Fulham were relegated (which really wasn’t his fault), said “thank you” and then rebuild. But Fulham ownership was actually pretty patient until it was all too obvious that it wasn’t going to work here.

So what does this mean to us? Well, the ideal would be to send him over to HSV and finish them off! (I lean towards St.Pauli anyway, hehehe). HSV is in a total mess, and after denying that he was even qualified, they’ve appointed Zinnbauer (or whatever his name is) as interim boss. The thing is, the Zinn man couldn’t possibly do any worse than his immediate predecessors, and he might even get them back on track. That would suck, because the fans down in Sandhausen are looking forward to HSV visit next season, and of course the prospect of a Hamburg derby should warm the heart of all football fans! So you’ve got to pick the right manager, and who could be better than Magath?! There are other contenders in Germany too, for example, Stuttgart hasn’t gone through their “fire manager in early season” stage yet, so maybe he could show up there. He already ruined Schalke and got fired there, so even though there will be a likely opening there, it’s pretty unlikely. Nurnberg is sucking, how bout them?

3.Liga: Makeup round

Even though the German clubs did quite well in the Champions League round – especially in the Bundesliga vs EPL matchup (Dortmund dominated Arsenal, Bayern dominated Man City and Schalke managed a draw at Chelski, only Luserkusen lost at Monaco), of course all real football fans were keeping a close eye on the midweek 3.Liga matches. Not even the news that HSV appointed nobody Josef Zinnhauser from their U23 squad as interim coach could draw attention away from the Round 8 makeup matches.

And there were significant results. Chemnitz jumped to the top of the table with a solid away win at Dortmund-II, showing Arsenal how it’s done on the road. It was an effective squad, well organized and disciplined that simply was a step ahead of their hosts. Bielefeld also continued their revival, with an away win at Unterhaching, serving further notice that they look to be a contender for re-promotion. Energie Cottbus is back on track with a win at home against promoted side Aspach. And some 500 Stuttgart fans came to watch the VfB U23 side and took advantage of VfB’s special “Fan Appreciation” lottery: First prize was a pair of tickets to see VfB-A on Saturday, 2nd prize was two pairs of tickets…

16.09. 18:00 	
VfB Stuttgart II      -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	1:0 (0:0)      510
Energie Cottbus	      -   SG Sonh. Großaspach	2:0 (1:0)    7,419
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   Arminia Bielefeld	1:3 (1:2)    2,400
Borussia Dortmund II  -   Chemnitzer FC	        1:3 (1:3)    1,741 	


 1  Chemnitzer FC	  	9    6 	2  1 	  14:4 	 +10 	  20 
 2  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	9    6 	1  2 	  18:11  +7 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Arminia Bielefeld (A) 	9    5 	2  2 	  17:12  +5 	  17
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  MSV Duisburg 	  	9    4 	4  1 	  14:9 	 +5 	  16 
 5  Energie Cottbus (A) 	9    4 	4  1 	  10:5 	 +5 	  16 
 6  Stuttgarter Kickers 	9    5 	1  3 	  15:11  +4 	  16 
 7  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	9    5 	1  3 	  16:13  +3 	  16 
 8  Preußen Münster 	  	9    4 	3  2 	  15:12  +3 	  15 
 9  VfL Osnabrück 	  	9    4 	1  4 	  11:14  -3 	  13 
10  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	9    3 	3  3 	  14:14   0 	  12 
11  Hallescher FC	  	9    3 	2  4 	  12:11  +1 	  11 
12  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	9    3 	2  4 	  14:16  -2 	  11 
13  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 9    2 	4  3 	  12:15  -3 	  10 
14  VfB Stuttgart II 	  	9    3 	1  5 	  11:17  -6 	  10 
15  Holstein Kiel 	  	9    2 	3  4 	  10:11  -1 	  9 
16  Borussia Dortmund II 	9    2 	3  4 	  11:14  -3 	  9 
17  Hansa Rostock	  	9    2 	2  5 	  12:17  -5 	  8
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Jahn Regensburg	  	9    2 	2  5 	  13:20  -7 	  8 
19  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	9    2 	1  6 	   8:12  -4 	  7 
20  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	9    1 	2  6 	  10:19  -9 	  5

Slomka raus!

Didn’t take long after speculating the other day: Mirko Slomka has been fired as boss of Hamburger SV, the struggling “Bundesliga-Dino”. It apparently happened on the Monday after their lackluster 0-2 Sunday defeat at Hannover.

He becomes the first Bundesliga firing of the season, but it certainly isn’t too much of a surprise, considering he hasn’t been able to get anything going since taking over for Bert van Marwijk last February. He did manage to see HSV squeak by in the relegation playoffs on goal difference, which keeps the famed Bundesliga clock running (Counting off HSV’s role as sole remaining founder of the Bundesliga that has participated in every season – they’ve never been relegated.) Aside from not getting any results, apparently Slomka had lost control of the locker room as well and wasn’t very popular. (Of course, I’m not sure if it wasn’t that he told the players that they suck and need to work harder…)

There is speculation as to who the follow-up will be. The club is known to be in favor of Thomas Tuchel, the young ex-Mainz leader who was pushed out because he had disagreements with management. However Tuchel has stated he plans to take a year off, so it’s unclear whether he could be convinced to comeback early. Huub Stevens has been mentioned as well, having served HSV back in 2007-08.

Perhaps their best candidate however would be the old HSV legend, Felix Magath, who is about to get fired at Fulham. That way they could rebuild down in the 3.Liga and straighten things out…

BUNDESLIGA, Round 3

“The other clubs are too dumb to become champion”. That’s my all-time favorite Bundesliga quote. It’s from Bayern’s Uli Hoeness, when he was in his arrogant bastard stage gloating over Bayern’s continual success. (He’s maybe gloating a little less these days due to his tax-evasion conviction). If you’re a regular ready of my rantings, you’ve probably heard it many a time and are now sick of it. But I can’t resist to trot it out now and then. I can’t remember the context, but it was probably directed at Bayer Leverkusen. And you can certainly see how Luserksuen could get tagged with it…

The Aspirins have been playing well and needed to defend their lead. They dominated against Bremen and had enough chances in the 1st half to win two games. Instead Werder stunned them with an equalizer just before half. The Aspirins acted like they had been kicked in the balls, and Bremen sensed blood and came out sorming in the 2nd half. They took the lead, but Bayer woke up and charged back. They were on the verge of a huge win, but Bremen ruined the party with another late goal. This was one that Leverkusen should have won, despite Werder’s great effort, and given Bayern München’s ho-hum start, could have given them some momentum. But they blew it…

The champions had no problems this outing. Stuttgart basically parked the bus, not even caring about getting forward. Even after they fell behind. I guess they didn’t get the memo that a loss is zero points. Anyway, Bayern just kept probing away, and eventually Ribery got a 2nd and that was that.

Dortmund is full of injuries, so they’re a somewhat risky bet these days. But all eyes were on the return of hero Shinji Kagawa, back from a nightmare in the EPL. And the Japanese playmaker didn’t disappoint, with a well taken goal and a fine performance. If he can bring in his old form for the Neons, this would be an immense addition. (You might recall that Nuri Sahin also came back, but hasn’t been able to regain his old form). Anyway, Dortmund dominated against Freiburg, as the usually offensive guests hardly had any chances.

Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg played an entertaining match. Both sides look like they play attractive football, but in this one it was the hosts who had the edge. The Hoppers probably should have had a lead in the first period. The VWs came back into the match in the 2nd half, but it took a last minute strike by oldtimer Ivica Olic to salvage a point.

Mainz ius back on track with a nice win in Berlin. They were simply to clever for Hertha, and seemingly had things well under control. Shinji Okazaki was key, with two goals. This makes him the all-time leading Japanese scorer in the Bundesliga, which is the one Euro league that the Japanese players seem to have had decent success. His 28 strikes passes the legendary Yasuhiro Okudera, who blazed the trail back in the 1970s.

Paderborn hosted Köln in a battle of promoted side. It was hard-fought, not too much technique on display.

Schalke is a team in crisis. “Die Knappen” got their asses ripped by a rampaging Gladbach in a Ruhr/Rhein derby. The Blues defense was a disaster, much like their season. Coach Jens Keller is certainly going to be under severe pressure. The Gladbachers ran around and did whatever they pleased, ending up with a deserved thumping victory.

Augsburg showed they haven’t forgotten what has kept them up – Itchy and Scratchy football (“Fight,fight,fight…fight,fight,fight! The Itchy and Scratchy Show!”). The Fuggers smelled a chance against an uncertain Frankfurt and took it, fighting their way to a crucial away win and getting their campaign back on track.

OK, we might want to scratch the idea of sending HSV to face Gibraltar instead of Joggi Löw’s side. The Hamburgers sucked once again, in a Nordderby at Hannover. The 96ers struck in the 1st half and then retreated into a defensive shell, secure taht their guests were way too incompetant to threaten. And they were right. In the first period, when it was still an open game, HSV had some chances, but when it came down to it, they blew it. In the 2nd period, the 96ers were simply waiting for the pub to open and Hamburg had no clue what to do. So another disastrous loss for a side that hasn’t even managed to score a goal yet. I’m not sure what “Plan B” is for HSV. Maybe they should fire Slomka. He hasn’t been around a lot, but 3 wins, 3 draws and 10 losses is hardly a good track record. Besides it would be some positive news that the club is trying *something*, whatever that may be…

Total attendance this week, 393,802 (avg 43,756), sellouts in Leverkusen, München, Gladbach and Hannover

 	
Bayer 04 Leverkusen   -   Werder Bremen	    3:3 (1:1)   30,210 *

                     1:0  Jedvaj (17., Kießling)
                     1:1  Bartels (45., Garcia)
                     1:2  di Santo (60., Junuzovic)
                     2:2  Calhanoglu (63., direct freekick)
                     3:2  Son (73., Jedvaj)
                     3:3  Prödl (85., Petersen)

Bayern München	      -   VfB Stuttgart	    2:0 (1:0)   71,000 *

                     1:0  M. Götze (27.)
                     2:0  Ribery (85., Lewandowski)

Borussia Dortmund     -   SC Freiburg	    3:1 (2:0)   80,200

                     1:0  Ramos (34., Großkreutz)
                     2:0  Kagawa (41., Ramos)
                     3:0  Aubameyang (78., Kehl)
                     3:1  Sorg (90., Philipp)

TSG Hoffenheim	      -   VfL Wolfsburg     1:1 (0:0)   23,813

                     1:0  Modeste (55., Beck)
                     1:1  Olic (89., D. Caligiuri)

Hertha BSC	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05   1:3 (0:1)   42,069

                     0:1  Okazaki (36., Koo)
                     0:2  Allagui (70., Junior Diaz)
                     1:2  Ronny (86., Hand penalty)
                     1:3  Okazaki (90. + 1, Malli)

SC Paderborn 07	      -   1. FC Köln	    0:0 (0:0)   14,993

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   FC Schalke 04	    4:1 (1:0)   54,010 *

                     1:0  Hahn (17., M. Kruse)
                     2:0  Hahn (50., M. Kruse)
                     2:1  Choupo-Moting (52., Hand penalty)
                     3:1  M. Kruse (56., Raffael)
                     4:1  Raffael (79.)

Eintracht Frankfurt   -   FC Augsburg	    0:1 (0:0)   43,500

                     0:1  Bobadilla (49.)

Hannover 96	      -   Hamburger SV	    2:0 (2:0)   49,000 *

                     1:0  Andreasen (13., Albornoz)
                     2:0  A. Sobiech (24., Joselu)
	


 1  Bayer 04 Leverkusen 	3    2 	1  0 	  9:5 	+4    7 
 2  Bayern München (M, P) 	3    2 	1  0 	  5:2 	+3    7
 3  Hannover 96 	  	3    2 	1  0 	  4:1 	+3    7  
 4  Borussia Dortmund 	  	3    2 	0  1 	  6:5 	+1    6
---------------------------------------------------------------	
 5  Bor. Mönchengladbach 	3    1 	2  0 	  5:2 	+3    5	
 6  SC Paderborn 07 (N) 	3    1 	2  0 	  5:2 	+3    5 
---------------------------------------------------------------
 7  1. FSV Mainz 05 	  	3    1 	2  0 	  5:3 	+2    5
 8  TSG Hoffenheim 	  	3    1 	2  0 	  4:2 	+2    5 
 9  1. FC Köln (N) 	  	3    1 	2  0 	  2:0 	+2    5 
10  Eintracht Frankfurt 	3    1 	1  1 	  3:3 	 0    4 
11  Werder Bremen 	  	3    0 	3  0 	  6:6 	 0    3 
12  FC Augsburg	  	        3    1 	0  2 	  3:5 	-2    3
13  VfL Wolfsburg 	  	3    0 	2  1 	  4:5 	-1    2 
14  SC Freiburg SC 	  	3    0 	1  2 	  1:4 	-3    1 
15  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	3    0 	1  2 	  5:9 	-4    1
---------------------------------------------------------------
16  FC Schalke 04 	  	3    0 	1  2 	  3:7 	-4    1
---------------------------------------------------------------
17  VfB Stuttgart 	  	3    0 	1  2 	  1:5 	-4    1 
18  Hamburger SV	  	3    0 	1  2 	  0:5 	-5    1 

1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

2.Liga, Round 5: Upstarts continue to rule

The upstarts continue to rule the roost in the 2.Liga. Favored teams have been having a bit of a struggle, and some of the unfavored sides have taken advantage. FC Ingolstadt is the surprise leader, as they easily brushed aside Aalen in what should have been an even bigger scoreline.

Leipzig had a hard battle with Braunschweig, but withstood the test to get a win, keeping them in a promotion spot. Clearly this has all the makings of Hoffenheim, The Sequel as the RedBull money takes the Rasenballsportler in teh direction of the Bundesliga.

Darmstadt remains a surprise as they win again, and once again Dominik Stroh-Engel is the key, getting an assist and goal. He’s been carrying this club on his back for the past two seasons, but looks like he can do it again. I don’t expect the 98ers to challenge promotion in the long run, but gathering all these points early would seem to indicate a solid season free of worry. On the flip side, the losing Erzgebirgers are in deep trouble, having no points and desperately need a couple of results now, lest they fall out of striking distance of safety.

Kaiserslautern dominated against FSV Frankfurt, as the guests were harmless up front and insecure at the back. So FCK has to be a bit disappointed that they were only able to get one goal. However the hosts seemed nervous, especially when they had chances to score, so perhaps they are happy that they just got the points.

Bochum and Karlsruhe are two clubs with promotion ambitions, and they both wanted the points. It was a hard fought match that either side could have won, but a draw is the correct result.

Greuther Fürth is one of those favorites having problems. They certainly expected a win against struggling nobodies Sandhausen (you need Google Maps to even find them), but instead come away with egg on their faces. They had their chances – they even missed a penalty, but couldn’t take them. And Sandhausen was determined to fight for a result, and were eventually rewarded with all 3 points.

1860 is once again all over the place. Just when you think that they will continually stink (or dominate, for that matter), they turn around and get a result (or suck). This time, it was result. The Lions had a tough match at St.Pauli, who were pushing throughout, but 1860 was clever and took their chances, and let the Hamburgers run around aimlessly.

Heidenheim got a nice win over struggling Union Berlin. The guests had their moments, but overall just seemed a step slower, and Heidenheim eventually gained the upper hand.

Monday night was a huge match, as Nürnberg hosted Düsseldorf. Neither side has gotten off to a great start, so a win here was necessary to get that jumpstart needed. FCN started out brightly, but Fortuna was smarter and grabbed the critical win.


1. FC Kaiserslautern   -   FSV Frankfurt	1:0 (1:0)   27,275

                      1:0  Orban (37., Demirbay)

FC Ingolstadt 04       -   VfR Aalen	        4:1 (1:0)    6,100

                      1:0  Lex (11., P. Groß)
                      1:1  Ludwig (52., Brust, Klauß)
                      2:1  B. Hübner (62., P. Groß)
                      3:1  Leckie (82., P. Groß)
                      4:1  Hainault (90. + 2, own goal, Engel)

VfL Bochum	       -   Karlsruher SC	1:1 (0:1)   21,168

                      0:1  Torres (19., Kempe)
                      1:1  Tasaka (62., Latza)

RasenB Leipzig	       -   Eintr. Braunschweig	3:1 (2:0)   24,949
 
                      1:0  Poulsen (19., Kimmich)
                      2:0  Frahn (20., Morys)
                      2:1  Nielsen (48., Reichel)
                      3:1  Poulsen (84., Kimmich)

SV Darmstadt 98	       -   Erzgebirge Aue	2:0 (1:0)   11,100

                      1:0  Heller (42., Stroh-Engel)
                      2:0  Stroh-Engel (68., Sirigu)

FC St. Pauli	       -   1860 München	        1:2 (1:2)   27,892

                      0:1  Leonardo (21., penalty, Wojtkowiak)
                      1:1  Verhoek (31., M. Görlitz)
                      1:2  Y. Stark (45. + 1, Okotie)

SV Sandhausen	       -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	1:0 (0:0)    4,608

                      1:0  Wooten (84., Bieler)

1. FC Heidenheim       -   1. FC Union Berlin	3:1 (0:0)   11,000

                      1:0  Schnatterer (57., Heise)
                      2:0  Niederlechner (60., Schnatterer)
                      2:1  Köhler (82., penalty, Nemec)
                      3:1  Bagceci (90. + 1, Schnatterer)

1. FC Nürnberg	       -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	0:2 (0:1)   26,658

                      0:1  Hoffer (23., Schauerte)
                      0:2  da Silva Pinto (62., Benschop)


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04 	  	5    3 	2  0 	 12:4 	+8    11 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N) 	5    3 	2  0 	  7:1 	+6    11
----------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98 (N) 	5    3 	2  0 	  8:3 	+5    11
----------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern 	5    3 	2  0 	  9:6 	+3    11 
 5  VfL Bochum 	  	        5    2 	3  0 	 10:5 	+5     9 
 6  Karlsruher SC 	  	5    2 	3  0 	  7:4 	+3     9 
 7 Fortuna Düsseldorf 	  	5    2 	2  1 	  8:5 	+3     8 
 8  1.   FC Heidenheim (N) 	5    2 	2  1 	  8:8 	 0     8 
 9  SpVgg Greuther Fürth 	5    2 	1  2 	  9:5 	+4     7 
10  1. FC Nürnberg (A) 	  	5    2 	0  3 	  6:8 	-2     6 
11  1860 München 	  	5    1 	2  2 	  7:10 	-3     5 
12  VfR Aalen	  	        5    1 	2  2 	  5:8 	-3     5 
13  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	5    1 	1  3 	  8:9 	-1     4 
14  FSV Frankfurt	  	5    1 	1  3 	  4:6 	-2     4 
15  SV Sandhausen 	  	5    1 	1  3 	  3:7 	-4     4
----------------------------------------------------------------
16  FC St. Pauli	  	5    1 	1  3 	  4:9 	-5     4
----------------------------------------------------------------
17  1. FC Union Berlin	  	5    0 	3  2 	  3:9 	-6     3 
18  Erzgebirge Aue 	  	5    0 	0  5 	  1:12 	-11    0


1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

3.Liga, Round 9: Dynamo on top

Dresden has seized the top spot in the 3.Liga, getting a good away win at Sonnenhof-Grossaspach, so far the best of the promoted sides.

The top clash was Duisburg hosting erstwhile leaders Stuttgarter Kickers. The Zebras didn’t overly impress, but the Kickers had no clue what to do, so they can’t complain about the loss. Significant is that MSV is now living up to their role as a contender. The Kickers have been playing well, and considering that they were a relegation possibility, they have to be satisfied at least with their start, if not with this outing.

Bielefeld seems back on track after a humble start. They dominated and got the easy win against Dortmund-II.

Fortuna Köln got a critical win to at least prevent themselves from losing contact with the safety zone. Their victims were UNterhaching, who have been up-and-down. Fortuna has to be concerned about their lame attendance numbers, which is pretty amazing. everyone knows that with 1.FC Köln back in the Bundesliga, all eyes are on them. But there should be enough room for clubs like Fortuna or Viktoria (in the Regionalliga), especially in such big city (1 million +). But nobody shows up at their games, which is pretty sad.

Halle kept up their reputation as a gracious host – they’ve lost 4/5 and only have a single point. (Luckily for them, they’re a rude guest – unbeaten and the league’s best road team). This time they figured to get a win against a crap Stuttgart-B squad, but despite dominating, got kicked in the balls and lose again.

Cottbus hasn’t apparently got the message that scoring goals is a good thing. Energie lost an opportunity at Mainz-B, the worst defensive team and last place. So of course it ended 0-0, and Energie certainly didn’t help themselves.

Founding Bundesligist Preußen Münster might be a dark horse this season. They notched up a win at crap Regensburg, but it’s 3 points regardless. They’ve quietly moved into striking distance of a promotion challenge, much better than their pathetic performance last season.

A huge early season ex-GDR matchup on Sunday with Chemnitz hosting Rostock.

 	
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	Rot-Weiß Erfurt	       3:1 (1:0)   2,783
VfL Osnabrück	    -  	Holstein Kiel	       2:1 (1:1)   7,211
1. FSV Mainz 05 II  -  	Energie Cottbus	       0:0 (0:0)     893
SG Sonhf Großaspach -  	Dynamo Dresden	       1:3 (1:1)   7,329
Jahn Regensburg	    -  	Preußen Münster	       0:1 (0:0)   2,798
MSV Duisburg	    -  	Stuttgarter Kickers    2:0 (1:0)  11,533
Fortuna Köln	    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching     2:0 (1:0)   1,160
Arminia Bielefeld   -  	Borussia Dortmund II   3:0 (2:0)  10,558
Hallescher FC	    -  	VfB Stuttgart II       0:2 (0:1)   5,372
Chemnitzer FC	    -  	Hansa Rostock	       -:- (-:-)


 1  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	9    6 	1  2 	  18:11  +7   19 
 2  MSV Duisburg	  	9    4  4  1 	  14:9 	 +5   16
----------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	9    5 	1  3 	  15:11  +4   16
----------------------------------------------------------------
 4  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	9    5 	1  3 	  16:13  +3   16 
 5  Preußen Münster	  	9    4 	3  2 	  15:12  +3   15 
 6  Chemnitzer FC 	  	7    4 	2  1 	   9:3 	 +6   14 
 7  Arminia Bielefeld (A) 	8    4 	2  2 	  14:11  +3   14 
 8  Energie Cottbus (A) 	8    3 	4  1 	   8:5 	 +3   13 
 9  VfL Osnabrück 	  	9    4 	1  4 	  11:14  -3   13 
10  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	9    3 	3  3 	  14:14   0   12 
11  Hallescher FC 	  	9    3 	2  4 	  12:11  +1   11 
12  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	8    3 	2  3 	  13:13   0   11 
13  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 8    2 	4  2 	  12:13  -1   10 
14  Borussia Dortmund II 	8    2 	3  3 	  10:11  -1    9 		
15  Holstein Kiel   	        9    2 	3  4 	  10:11  -1    9 
16  Hansa Rostock   	        8    2 	2  4 	  12:15  -3    8 
17  Jahn Regensburg 	  	9    2 	2  5 	  13:20  -7    8
----------------------------------------------------------------
18  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	9    2 	1  6 	   8:12  -4    7 
19  VfB Stuttgart II 	  	8    2 	1  5 	  10:17  -7    7 
20  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N) 	8    1 	2  5 	  10:18  -8    5



A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place 
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

Euro Qualifier: Germany not impressive, but…

Germany upended Scotland 2-1 in a Euro match played in Dortmund…

The first official match since the World Cup saw Germany face Scotland in the European Group Qualifier. Although the DFB squad had played their first match against Argentina, losing 2-4, not too much can be made of that, since it was a friendly that nobody really cares about (at least in Germany. Maybe Argentina wanted this “revenge”, but whatever. Look at the scoreboard from Rio and tell me which one you like better? I thought so…)

In any case, Joggi Löw knew he would start with a re-tooling of the World Champions. Three mainstays of the national team retired. Miro Klose had a fine run, and although his all-time scoring title over Gerd Müller is somewhat misleading, he was always a model professional. Still, he was already at the end of a glorious run, so no doubt his retirement wasn’t going to cause any loss of sleep for Löw. Per Mertesacker also stepped down, but again this is not a huge loss. He’s been downhill ever since he left Bremen, and hasn’t really been outstanding in England. A fine player at an international level in the right system, but not overpowering. The huge loss was of course captain Philipp Lahm, perhaps still the best outside defender in the world. He will be hard to replace.

With Ozil and Schweinsteiger missing, Germany was also weakened, but at least Marco Reus was back. Löw only had 8 reserves, and two of them were goalkeepers. (Scotland brought 12 reserves). Perhaps he was thinking if Germany started routing the Scots, he’d give Neuer the rest of the night off at halftime. Youngsters such as Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim) and Eric Durm (Dortmund) were in the back, and were a bit shaky at times. In addition, Gladbach’s Christoph Kramer started in midfield.

Scotland has been a non-factor in European football for several years, but manager Gordon Strachan seems to have them on the right track. They fought hard and gave Germany a good match. Thomas Müller got both goals (and barely missed a third off the post) to seal the win, but the Scots have to feel good about their performance. Joggi Löw couldn’t have been too happy, but he has a lot of young talent waiting in the wings, so over the Euro Group stages, we should see some good ones emerge. Germany has invested heavily in their youth setup, and it certainly paid dividends in winning the World Cup, and they’re turning out good players.

It shouldn’t really matter too much, as everyone expects Germany to win their group. Aside from Scotland, Poland, Ireland, Georgia and – yes it’s not a joke – Gibraltar are the competition. Yep, that Germany-Gibraltar matchup figures to be a memorable one. Maybe the DFB should send Hamburger SV instead to make it interesting. The Polish team could be pretty good, but even with experimental squads the DFB should be able to get the points.

3.Liga, Round 8

A split schedule this round in the 3.Liga, as several matches will only take place after the weekend.

Stuttgarter Kickers got back on track with a solid win over Fortuna Köln, who are having quite a problem adjusting to the 3.Liga. The match was actually played in Reutlingen, but it didn’t seem to bother the hosts, who controlled the match.

Dresden got a late win against Regensburg, finally breaking down Jahn’s fierce resistance. For much of the match, Dynamo had trouble gaining control and couldn’t really pull away. In fact, it seemed unlikely at all when Teixeira got tossed after a swan dive, and the hosts were down a man. But it didn’t seem to bother them, they kept up the pressure, and were finally rewarded with Justin Eilers 2nd goal of the match.

Duisburg dominated against Osnabrück, and perhaps they have turned the corner. After a shaky start, the Zebras are beginning to look like a contender again.

Halle continues their impressive away form and keep Rostock in crisis. HFC was commanding most of the match, with Hansa too timid. They really didn’t even generate a single reasonable goal chance.

Erfurt was often in trouble of dropping a point against Kiel, but with some luck, were able to pull out the victory. The winning goal was supposed to be a cross into the box, but it flew over everybody and into the net.

Münster is back on track with a hard fought win over Wehen.

 	
Hansa Rostock	     -   Hallescher FC	     0:1 (0:0)    9,500
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   Fortuna Köln	     2:0 (1:0)    3,050
MSV Duisburg	     -   VfL Osnabrück	     3:0 (1:0)   11,764
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	     -   Holstein Kiel	     3:2 (1:1)    4,673
Dynamo Dresden	     -   Jahn Regensburg     2:1 (1:1)   21,802
Preußen Münster	     -  SV Wehen Wiesbaden   3:2 (1:1)    7,661

Tues/Wed
VfB Stuttgart II     -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II  -:- (-:-) 
Energie Cottbus	     -   SG Shf Großaspach   -:- (-:-)
SpVgg Unterhaching   -   Arminia Bielefeld   -:- (-:-)
Borussia Dortmund II -   Chemnitzer FC	     -:- (-:-) 	


 1  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	8    5 	1  2 	 15:9 	+6    16 
 2  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	8    5 	1  2 	 15:10 	+5    16
----------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Chemnitzer FC	  	7    4 	2  1 	  9:3 	+6    14
----------------------------------------------------------------
 4  MSV Duisburg	  	8    3 	4  1 	 12:9 	+3    13 
 5  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	8    4 	1  3 	 13:12 	+1    13 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	7    3 	3  1 	  8:5 	+3    12 
 7  Preußen Münster	  	8    3 	3  2 	 14:12 	+2    12 
 8  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	8    3 	3  2 	 13:11 	+2    12 
 9  Hallescher FC	  	8    3 	2  3 	 12:9 	+3    11 
10  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	7    3 	2  2 	 13:11 	+2    11 
11  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	7    3 	2  2 	 11:11 	 0    11 
12  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	7    2 	4  1 	 11:10 	+1    10 
13  VfL Osnabrück	  	8    3 	1  4 	  9:13 	-4    10 
14  Borussia Dortmund II	7    2 	3  2 	 10:8 	 =2   9 
15  Holstein Kiel	  	8    2 	3  3 	  9:9 	 0    9 
16  Hansa Rostock	  	8    2 	2  4 	 12:15 	-3    8 
17  Jahn Regensburg	  	8    2 	2  4 	 13:19 	-6    8
----------------------------------------------------------------
18  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	8    1 	1  6 	  6:12 	-6    4 
19  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	7    1 	1  5 	 10:18 	-8    4 
20  VfB Stuttgart II	  	7    1 	1  5 	  8:17 	-9    4



A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place 
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

BUNDESLIGA, Round 2

Pep Guardiola’s evil plan of renaming the club to “Bavaria Munich” and transfer them to La Liga seems to be working. The latest Spanish import is Xavi Alonso, who went straight into the starting eleven as they faced Schalke on the road. A huge match, especially since Schalke had a shaky start. Bayern was clearly better in the first half and probably should have decided the match. I don’t know that Robert Lewandowski could be any more unpopular in Gelsenkirchen: first a Dortmund hero (strike one), now with Bayern (strike two) and he scored the opening goal (strike three). Bayern were cruising. Luckily for Schalke they took their foot off the gas and began to tiki-taka around. Of course, it’s after the World Cup, so that means it’s time for Neuerisms. The Bayern ran way out of goal and his clearance sucked, but Ayhan missed the open net from 50 meters as his shot was inaccurate. Ironically it was Xavi who gave Schalke their goal, an lucky clearance that looked to bounce off Höwedes hand (albeit unintentional hand ball). Further irony is that the Spaniard was actually one of the better players on the pitch. Overall a fair result, as nothing really happened in the 2nd half and both teams seemed content with a split.

Bayer Leverkusen is the leader, but it was not without a struggle. The Aspirins figured to beat Hertha without breaking a sweat, but instead found themselves in a fierce battle. They eventually were able to get the edge thanks to their constant attacking waves. Berlin played well and provided a test for Leverkusen, but could not hold them off. The highlight was probably Karim Bellarabi’s game ending goal: a perfect volley across the box into the corner off a perfect high cross from Calhanoglu.

Dortmund showed some decent form after their opening loss, as they dominated Augsburg and looked to have a nice crushing away win. However they fell apart in the dying minutes and were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, desperately holding on and getting the win.
BVB did get a bit of good news, as apparently Folk hero Shinji Kagawa is coming back. The Japanese midfielder never fit in at Manchester United and the Neons swooped in and picked him up – for 50% of what they had sold him for. If he can reach his old form with Dortmund, that would be a huge boost.

Wolfsburg and Frankfurt battled to a draw, but the match was more influenced by mistakes rather than sterling play. The VWs began to exert some pressure, but Eintracht were good for their point.

Bremen and Hoffenheim divided the points. The guests were the better team in the first half, and probably should have have extended their lead and gained control. Instead they failed, and Werder came roaring back in the 2nd period. Overall, quite entertaining and the end result was fair.

Köln has Stuttgart’s number. They hadn’t lost in Stuttgart in 18 years, and shockingly continue the run with a solid away win. The promoted side was disciplined and well organized, whereas VfB ran around aimlessly and rarely threatened. A solid away with for Köln, who need to grab points when they can to lay a foundation for avoiding relegation.

Shocking result in Hamburg. HSV is back to their last season’s tricks as they absolutely stunk up the joint and got rolled at home. By who? SC Paderborn!! SCP gets their first ever Bundesliga victory, and they had an easy time doing it. HSV was horrible and deservedly get spanked.

Mainz and Hannover were pretty even. The hosts were better early, but seemed to run out of gas, giving the 96ers control of the game as the match wore on. But they weren’t too sharp in their finishing, so no goals.

Freiburg and Gladbach gave us a rather timid match. The visitors showed nothing at all, and SCF didn’t start to press until later in the match. Rather disappointing, since both sides are known for rather attacking football. Not surprising that this one ended scoreless.

Total attendance this weekend 348,151 (avg 38,683), sellouts in Augsburg, Freiburg and Schalke.

FC Augsburg	     -   Borussia Dortmund	2:3 (0:2)   30,660 *

                    0:1  Reus (11., Großkreutz)
                    0:2  Sokratis (14., Reus)
                    0:3  Ramos (78., H. Mkhitaryan)
                    1:3  Bobadilla (82., Baba)
                    2:3  Matavz (89., Baba)
 
Bayer 04 Leverkusen  -   Hertha BSC	        4:2 (0:1)   27,890

                    0:1  Jedvaj (24., own goal, Schieber)
                    1:1  Jedvaj (50., Castro)
                    1:2  Schieber (60., N. Schulz)
                    2:2  Spahic (62., Calhanoglu)
                    3:2  Brandt (74., Bellarabi)
                    4:2  Bellarabi (86., Calhanoglu)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	2:2 (1:1)   27,528

                    1:0  Naldo (15., direct freekick)
                    1:1  S. Jung (23., own goal, Inui)
                    2:1  Arnold (79., De Bruyne)
                    2:2  Kadlec (86., Ignjovski)

Werder Bremen	     -   TSG Hoffenheim	        1:1 (0:1)   38,900

                    0:1  Roberto Firmino (19., Rudy)
                    1:1  Galvez (59., di Santo)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   1. FC Köln	        0:2 (0:2)   55,000

                    0:1  Osako (22., D. Halfar)
                    0:2  Ujah (33.)
 
Hamburger SV	     -   SC Paderborn 07	0:3 (0:1)   54,553

                    0:1  Kachunga (29., Koc)
                    0:2  Vrancic (68.)
                    0:3  Stoppelkamp (87., Brückner)

FC Schalke 04	     -   Bayern München	        1:1 (0:1)   61,973 *

                    0:1  Lewandowski (10., Rode)
                    1:1  Höwedes (62.)

1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   Hannover 96	        0:0 (0:0)   27,647
 
SC Freiburg	     -   Bor. Mönchengladbach   0:0 (0:0)   24,000 *



 1  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	2    2 	0  0 	  6:2 	+4    6 
 2  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	2    1 	1  0 	  5:2 	+3    4
--------------------------------------------------------------- 
 3  TSG Hoffenheim	  	2    1 	1  0 	  3:1 	+2    4
---------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Köln (N)	  	2    1 	1  0 	  2:0 	+2    4
 5  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	2    1 	1  0 	  3:2 	+1    4 		
 6  Bayern München (M, P)	2    1 	1  0 	  3:2 	+1    4
 7  Hannover 96	  	        2    1 	1  0 	  2:1 	+1    4 
 8  Borussia Dortmund	  	2    1 	0  1 	  3:4 	-1    3 
 9  Werder Bremen	  	2    0 	2  0 	  3:3 	 0    2 
10  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	2    0 	2  0 	  2:2 	 0    2 
11  Bor. Mönchengladbach	2    0 	2  0 	  1:1 	 0    2 
12  VfL Wolfsburg	  	2    0 	1  1 	  3:4 	-1    1 
13  FC Schalke 04	  	2    0 	1  1 	  2:3 	-1    1 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        2    0 	1  1 	  0:1 	-1    1 
15  Hertha BSC	  	        2    0 	1  1 	  4:6 	-2    1
16  VfB Stuttgart	  	2    0 	1  1 	  1:3 	-2    1
---------------------------------------------------------------
17  Hamburger SV	  	2    0 	1  1 	  0:3 	-3    1 
18  FC Augsburg	  	        2    0 	0  2 	  2:5 	-3    0
	

1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga