3.Liga, Round 11: Midweek results

The top match was in Chemnitz, and Energie Cottbus rained on the parade with a stubborn away win.
Drama in Osnabrück: Wehen scored twice in injury time to win the match. The home side was pressuring for most of the game, but the visitors held firm and then ended up stealing the points in what probably should have been a draw.

Münster was probably the big loser of the round, as they got embarassed at Mainz-II. They had been looking like they were going places, but were rudely slapped silly by one of the league’s doormats.

A big eastern derby in Halle, the first in over a decade with Dresden, so a pretty decent crowd for HFC. It was a tense match that ended with a fair division of points.

Fortuna Köln continues their improvement, getting their third win in a row, and giving themselves a small cushion. Rostock is right back into trouble.

Speaking of trouble, Regensburg seems to be the worst off. Jahn was outplayed at home by Kiel in a match that has relegation implications, since both sides have looked vulnerable. As a result, Holstein should be quite happy with the points.

VfL Osnabrück	     -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	1:3 (0:1)    7,132
1. FSV Mainz 05 II   -   Preußen Münster	4:0 (0:0)      774
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   SpVgg Unterhaching	3:0 (2:0)    2,200
Chemnitzer FC	     -   Energie Cottbus	0:1 (0:1)    6,285
SG S-hof Großaspach  -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	1:1 (1:0)    1,202
Jahn Regensburg	     -   Holstein Kiel	        0:2 (0:0)    2,615
MSV Duisburg	     -   Borussia Dortmund II	2:1 (0:0)   11,080
Fortuna Köln	     -   Hansa Rostock	        1:0 (1:0)    2,293
Arminia Bielefeld    -   VfB Stuttgart II	3:0 (1:0)    8,635
Hallescher FC	     -   Dynamo Dresden	        1:1 (1:1)   12,466	


 1  Chemnitzer FC	  	11    6  3  2 	  14:5 	 +9 	  21 
 2  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	11    6  3  2 	  20:13  +7 	  21
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Stuttgarter Kickers 	11    6  2  3 	  19:12  +7 	  20
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Arminia Bielefeld (A) 	11    6  2  3 	  22:16  +6 	  20 
 5  MSV Duisburg 	  	11    5  5  1 	  17:11  +6 	  20 
 6  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	11    6  2  3 	  19:14  +5 	  20 
 7  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	11    5  4  2 	  12:7 	 +5 	  19 
 8  Preußen Münster 	  	11    5  3  3 	  18:17  +1 	  18 
 9  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	11    4  4  3 	  17:15  +2 	  16 
10  Hallescher FC 	  	11    4  3  4 	  15:13  +2 	  15 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	11    4  2  5 	  13:18  -5 	  14 
12  Holstein Kiel 	  	11    3  4  4 	  12:11  +1 	  13 
13  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	11    4  1  6 	  11:12  -1 	  13 
14  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	11    3  3  5 	  15:20  -5 	  12 
15  Hansa Rostock 	  	11    3  2  6 	  16:20  -4 	  11 
16  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 11    2  5  4 	  14:19  -5 	  11 
17  VfB Stuttgart II 	  	11    3  2  6 	  11:20  -9 	  11
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N) 	11    2  3  6 	  15:20  -5 	  9 
19  Borussia Dortmund II 	11    2  3  6 	  12:18  -6 	  9 
20  Jahn Regensburg 	  	11    2  2  7 	  13:24  -11 	  8


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 4: Life signs in Hamburg?

All-hail the Zinn-mann! HSV’s interim coach Joe Zinnbauer made his debut, against Bayern München, couldn’t be worse. But despite being dominated by the champs, Hamburg showed fight and determination that has been absent for almost two years and managed to hold on for a scoreless draw. Perhaps if Bayern had been a little more exacting, it still would have been a loss, but overall, you can’t say that HSV didn’t deserve a point. München still seems a bit uninterested in the league and it doesn’t seem like Guardiola has added anything. In fact, even the fired HSV coach Mirko Slomka could be doing fine at Bayern, with the squad that they have.

Leverkusen went down in flames at Wolfsburg. Things started out badly, as Donati committed a stupid foul and got sent off, so the VWs basically had a man advantage for the whole match. Although the Aspirins were OK for about 30 minutes, eventually the Wolfsburg pressure took over and Luserkusen got over-run.

Paderborn is the early sensation as they continue their nice start. I’m sure it will come crashing to end at some point, but every point now is one critical one against relegation. That said, they were an equal against Hannover, and Stoppelkamp ended up scoring a Bundesliga record goal-of-a-career: In the closing minutes, with SCP clinging to a lead, a 96er free kick into teh box was headed out. Near teh top of the box, Stoppelkamp chested down, then booted the ball downfield: 83 meters into the net!!

Dortmund was flat at Mainz, and have to worry about their injury list, which just receoved another member: Henrikh Mkhitaryan went down, and the Neons will be missing their Armenian playmaker for weeks. The team was rather lame and tentative against an active Mainz squad, and the hosts won the “Shinji” battle: Mainz’ Okazaki was one of the deicding players, whereas Dortmund’s Kagawa was largely lame like the rest of Dortmund. Forward Adrian Ramos missed a couple of sitters, and Ciro Immobile missed a penalty, so what do you expect? Mainz took their chances and run out deserved winners.

Freiburg must be kicking themselves for letting the hardfought match against Berlin end in a draw. Their problem was they had no defense against Ronny, as the Brazilian seems to be back in favor at Hertha, and he answered with two direct freekicks, the second coming 6 minutes into injury time.

Augsburg has righted their shaky start with another win, a hard fought duel with Bremen. The Fuggers were on their back foot, but eventually they gained the upper hand and pressed Werder back.

Schalke seemed to be undoing everything they gained midweek at Chelski. They were falling apart at home to Frankfurt, and looked for yet another crap result. But they gathered things in the 2nd half and fought back to get a point, and had some winning chances as well.

Stuttgart is definitely in criis, as they were outplayed at home by Hoffenheim, who really didn;t have to work that hard for the win, as they just waited for the incompetent VfB side to fall over.

Gladbach dominated most of the action in the Rheinderby, but Köln did enough to hold them off, and the game ended scoreless.

Total attendance 342,253 (avg 38,028), sellouts in Hamburg, Paderborn and Köln

 	
SC Freiburg	  -   Hertha BSC	     2:2 (1:1)   23,600

                 1:0  Kempf (30., Schmid)
                 1:1  Ronny (36., direct freekick)
                 2:1  Klaus (79., Guedé)
                 2:2  Ronny (90. + 6, direct freekick)

FC Schalke 04	  -   Eintracht Frankfurt    2:2 (1:2)   61,798

                 0:1  Meier (15.)
                 0:2  Russ (24.)
                 1:2  Choupo-Moting (40., Hand penalty)
                 2:2  Draxler (50., Choupo-Moting)

FC Augsburg	  -   Werder Bremen	     4:2 (2:1)   29,044

                 0:1  Selke (3., Garcia)
                 1:1  Baier (14., Halil Altintop)
                 2:1  Verhaegh (45. + 3, penalty, Bobadilla)
                 2:2  di Santo (56., penalty Bartels)
                 3:2  To. Werner (77., Caiuby)
                 4:2  Matavz (90. + 3, To. Werner)

VfB Stuttgart	  -   TSG Hoffenheim	     0:2 (0:1)   44,000

                 0:1  Modeste (15., Rudy)
                 0:2  Elyounoussi (84., Volland)

Hamburger SV	  -   Bayern München	     0:0 (0:0)   57,000 *

SC Paderborn 07	  -   Hannover 96            2:0 (0:0)   15,000 *

                 1:0  Kachunga (71., Hünemeier)
                 2:0  Stoppelkamp (90. + 3, Hünemeier)

1. FSV Mainz 05	  -   Borussia Dortmund	     2:0 (0:0)   34,000

                 1:0  Okazaki (66., Jairo)
                 2:0  Ginter (74., own goal, Jairo)

Sunday
VfL Wolfsburg	  -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen    4:1 (2:1)   27,811

                 1:0  Rodriguez (8., penalty, Junior Malanda)
                 1:1  Drmic (29., Bellarabi)
                 2:1  Vieirinha (45., Rodriguez)
                 3:1  Rodriguez (63., De Bruyne)
                 4:1  Hunt (81., Junior Malanda)

1. FC Köln	  -   Bor. Mönchengladbach   0:0 (0:0)   50,000 *


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

Bochum was the most impressive squad this weekend, as they ripped FSV Frankfurt away. Their win vaults them to the top, and they have to be considered one of the obvious candidates for promotion.

Ingolstadt will be kicking themselves for not getting the win at 1860. The Schanzer dominated this Bavarian clash and created enough chances to win, but were left with egg on their face as they surrendered a draw. perhaps too much time in an Oktoberfest Bierzelt…

Karlsruhe has announced their intention of returning to the Bundesliga after years in the wilderness. They crushed a horrible Nürnberg squad, who are officially in crisis now. FCN showed nothing whatsover, and KSC wrapped up the game in the 1st half, and if they hadn;t taken their foot off the gas pedal (including missing a penalty), it could have got real ugly.

In another top attraction, Greuther Fürth finally got the better of Kaiserslautern. The Cloverleafs were the better side, but they had a hard time imposing that upon the visiting Devils. In the end they got the deserved win and get back on track.

A tense match in Berlin. An old line ex-GDR club that has always bucked authority is Union Berlin, and they’ve been off to a poor start – but still with some of the most dedicated fans in the country. Facing Rasenballsport Leipzig, and artificial creation of RedBull money who have been flying high. This was obviously was going to be a tense match. It started off with a surreal environment, with Union fans all dressed in black and silent for the first 15 minutes, a protest against teh capitalist carpetbaggery of the Rasenbulls. A tense, tough match developed, and in the end Union was victorious, getting a critical win and stopping the Redballsportlers fine start.

Braunschweig brought Darmstadt their first defeat in a hard fought match. The hosts were solid defensively and some luck up front. Darmstadt was strong, but lacked some of the bite they had shown in previous matches. They might have got a point, but really needed to finish off one of their few chances to do so.

Düsseldorf upended a stubborn Heidenheim to move into contention. Fortuna could be a serious threat if they can continue to grind out points. Heidenheim gave a good account of themselves, but in the end were not rewarded with anything but a moral victory.

A critical bottom match, and Erzgebirge Aue finally jump started their season. The miners were all over St.Pauli, kicking their ass back to Hamburg. Pauli looked horrible, and although it took a while, Aue finally showed that they have some skills and that they’re not quite ready to give up this season. It’s pretty hard to understand what St.Pauli is heading for, as they expected to challenge for promotion, and already that could be impossible.

Total attendance was 145,900 (avg 16,211)

 	
Eintracht Braunschweig	-   SV Darmstadt 98	  2:0 (1:0)   21,805
 
                       1:0  Nielsen (34., Zuck)
                       2:0  Kruppke (90. + 4)

VfR Aalen	        -   SV Sandhausen	  0:1 (0:0)    5,112

Erzgebirge Aue	        -   FC St. Pauli	  3:0 (1:0)    9,400

                       1:0  Löning (41., Könnecke)
                       2:0  Benatelli (56., Löning)
                       3:0  Kortzorg (69., Benatelli)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth	-   1. FC Kaiserslautern  2:1 (0:1)   13,115

                       0:1  Ring (11., Matmour)
                       1:1  Stiepermann (57.)
                       2:1  Weilandt (82., Zulj)

1860 München	        -   FC Ingolstadt 04	  1:1 (1:1)   21,800

                       0:1  P. Groß (16., Morales)
                       1:1  Okotie (20., Rama)

FSV Frankfurt	        -   VfL Bochum	          1:5 (1:1)    5,677

                       0:1  Losilla (29.)
                       1:1  Kapllani (41., Balitsch)
                       1:2  Gregoritsch (57., Sestak)
                       1:3  Terodde (64., Hand penalty)
                       1:4  Terodde (79., Tasaka)
                       1:5  Sestak (84., Terodde)

Karlsruher SC	        -   1. FC Nürnberg	  3:0 (3:0)   19,944

                       1:0  Yamada (9., Micanski)
                       2:0  Yabo (20., G. Krebs)
                       3:0  Yabo (40., Yamada)

Fortuna Düsseldorf      -   1. FC Heidenheim      3:2 (2:1)   27,681

                       1:0  Benschop (23., Bellinghausen)
                       1:1  Niederlechner (37., Strauß)
                       2:1  Benschop (42., Liendl)
                       2:2  Niederlechner (68., Schnatterer)
                       3:2  Pohjanpalo (82., Liendl)

1. FC Union Berlin	-   RB Leipzig	          2:1 (0:0)   21,366

                       1:0  Polter (70., Köhler)
                       1:1  Poulsen (77.)
                       2:1  Polter (83., Schönheim)



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


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 10: Things tighten up

Things definitely tightened up a bit, as the favored teams generally were held in check.

Dresden missed a chance and must be kicking themselves. They dominated against Mainz-II, but wasted chances and then got kicked in the balls and surrendered a draw in injury time. A bitter result, as they had the points in the bag. But their fans deserved better: Dynamo should have put this one to bed long ago.

Unterhaching was on the verge of a needed victory, but Duisburg pulled out a point on a free kick by Janjic in the last minute.

Kickers Stuttgart and Osnabrück also battled to a hard fought draw, in a “colorful” match (7 yellow cards).

Finally a home win for Rostock, and somewhat of a surprise, as it was against Bielefeld, who have been stalking the leaders. But Hansa showed great will and organization, perhaps their best match of the season.

Fortuna Köln got an important road win against BVB-II, and have jumped out of the relegation zone.

An impressive effort by Preußen Münster, who overpowered newcomers Sonnenhof Großaspach. The home side led early, but after 25 minutes a deliberate handball not only awared the guests a penalty, but Preußen were down a man. No bother, as they controlled the match and deservedly garb the win, which leaves them in a promotion spot.

Cottbus were stunned at home by Halle, although perhaps “stun” is not correct, since HFC has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with when they visit. (Too bad for them they suck at home). So Energie was basically just beaten down and was unable to hold on to their lead.

Total attendance 64,359 (avg 6,436)

 	
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   MSV Duisburg	        1:1 (0:0)    2,200
Stuttgarter Kickers   -   VfL Osnabrück	        1:1 (0:0)    2,835
Dynamo Dresden	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	1:1 (1:0)   23,211
VfB Stuttgart II      -   Chemnitzer FC	        0:0 (0:0)      720
Hansa Rostock	      -   Arminia Bielefeld	4:2 (2:0)   10,000
Borussia Dortmund II  -   Fortuna Köln	        0:2 (0:0)    1,067
Holstein Kiel	      -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	0:0 (0:0)    3,945
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      -   Jahn Regensburg       2:0 (0:0)    4,983
Preußen Münster	      -   SG S-hof Großaspach	3:1 (1:1)    7,385
Energie Cottbus	      -   Hallescher FC	        1:2 (1:0)    8,013


 1  Chemnitzer FC	  	10   6 	3  1 	  14:4 	 +10   21 
 2  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	10   6 	2  2 	  19:12  +7    20
-----------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Preußen Münster 	  	10   5 	3  2 	  18:13  +5    18
-----------------------------------------------------------------
 4  MSV Duisburg 	  	10   4 	5  1 	  15:10  +     17
 5  Stuttgarter Kickers 	10   5 	2  3 	  16:12  +4    17 
 6  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	10   5 	2  3 	  19:16  +3    17 
 7  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	10   5 	2  3 	  16:13  +3    17 
 8  Energie Cottbus (A) 	10   4 	4  2 	  11:7 	 +4    16 
 9  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	10   4 	3  3 	  16:14  +2    15 
10  Hallescher FC 	  	10   4 	2  4 	  14:12  +2    14 
11  VfL Osnabrück 	  	10   4 	2  4 	  12:15  -3    14 
12  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	10   3 	3  4 	  15:17  -2    12 
13  Hansa Rostock 	  	10   3 	2  5 	  16:19  -3    11 
14  VfB Stuttgart II	  	10   3 	2  5 	  11:17  -6    11 
15  Holstein Kiel 	  	10   2 	4  4 	  10:11  -1    10 
16  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	10   3 	1  6 	  10:12  -2    10 
17  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 10   2 	4  4 	  13:18  -5    10
-----------------------------------------------------------------
18  Borussia Dortmund II 	10   2 	3  5 	  11:16  -5    9 
19  Jahn Regensburg 	  	10   2 	2  6 	  13:22  -9    8 
20  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N) 	10   1 	3  6 	  11:20  -9    6


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 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