Bundesliga, Round 6

Details to follow…

Bayern München keeps their clean vest, but it wasn’t easy. Bayern dominated against hosts Bremen, but was unable to make it stick. Werder wasn’t particularily impressive, but managed to hold off the leaders till near the end. However subs by coach Jupp Heynckes – bringing on Manzukic and Shaqiri – proved to be the deciders, along with a nice blast from Luis Gustavo. Werder can’t really complain, as they showed only grit, never really being equal in the match.

Eintracht Frankfurt continues to amaze, and they pulled out a hard fought battle with Freiburg. Veteran Alex Meier, who I think is one of the most underrated attacking midifielders in the Bundesliga, was the match winner. On his first goal, he took the ball on left, spun aronud and blasted from the top of the box into the net with his right. Then he won the match with a solid header. Once again Eintracht demonstrated team will and hustled to the win. Freiburg put in a solid performance, but it wasn’t enough.

The battle of the Borussen turned lopsided after an early level playing field. In the usual packed Signal Iduna, Dortmund attacked furiously, but Gladbach was keeping pace. However ex-Gladbacher Marco Reus was brilliant, and when he opened the scoring for the Neons, the Horsies basically fell apart. Dortmund jumped all over them like rabid dogs, and it cut ugly as they ripped apart a collapsing Gladbach squad. After a couple of thrown away results, Dortmund served notice that they still have a fearsome bite.

Schalke became the first club to score on Düsseldorf, and the Blues seemingly had the game won. However, Fortuna shocked everyone – perhaps even themselves and their fans – by rising to the occasion and fighting back. Once again the hero is Dani Schahin, who like in Fortuna’s great victory at Augsburg, brought Düsseldorf a result. A great effort by the home side, but Schalke has to be kicking themselves for dropping points.

Leverkusen had an easy time against a harmless Greuther Fürth. The Aspirins toyed around and then wrapped up the match after about an hour, boring the fans with worthless kickabout for the remaining 30 minutes. With efforts like these, Fürth might as well get those season passes from Deutschebahn for the 2.Liga city tour next season.

Hamburg continues to elogize Rafael van der Vaart – OK, maybe wife Sylvie’s frequent lingerie shows – but they’re getting better and dumped Hannover in a Nord-derby. Actually, although HSV grabbed the lead with another vdv assist, it was brilliant form of GK Rene Adler that kept HSV ahead. The 96ers were dominant throughout the 2nd half, but were unable to convert.

Nürnberg choked, giving up a goal in the opening seconds through sleeping, and Stuttgart gladly accepted. VfB then proceeded to play a solid match, and come away with a deserved and surprisingly easy win. Perhaps FCN decided that their decent early season form would make things too easy for the fans, so they’ve embarked upon a sucking streak. First win for Stuttgart, perhaps they’ve stabilized.

Wolfsburg attacked most of the day against Mainz, but the visitors kept a clean head in front of goal and scored on their chances. The VWs basically stunk, and a good win for Mainz.

Horrible match in Hoffenheim, both teams deserving to lose on principal. I suppose Augsburg could be semi-happy, since they got an away point. The “highlight” of this was…wait, there were two highlights. In the 84th minute, Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel couldn’t take it anymore, so to get out early and beat traffic, he insulted the ref and got sent out. Not to be outdone, Sejad Salihovic liked that idea, so he went beserk and chopped down a Fugger and got his ass sent off too. If this had been eastern Germany, at least the fans might have rioted, but this is Hoffenheim-wine-and-cheese-stadion, so no such show of emotion.


Fortuna Düsseldorf   -    FC Schalke 04   	 2:2 (0:2)    54,600

                    0:1  Huntelaar (13., Höwedes)
                    0:2  Matip (20., Fuchs)
                    1:2  Schahin (47., Voronin)
                    2:2  Schahin (77., Levels)

Bayer Leverkusen     -    SpVgg Greuther Fürth	 2:0 (0:0)    25,798

                    1:0  Sam (50., Schürrle)
                    2:0  Sam (62., Carvajal)

Werder Bremen	     -    Bayern München	 0:2 (0:0)    42,100

                    0:1  Luiz Gustavo (81., T. Müller)
                    0:2  Mandzukic (83., Shaqiri)


1. FC Nürnberg	     -    VfB Stuttgart  	 0:2 (0:1)    43,018

                    0:1  Ibisevic (1.)
                    0:2  Harnik (75., Ibisevic)


1899 Hoffenheim	     -    FC Augsburg	         0:0 (0:0)    22,000

Hamburger SV	     -    Hannover 96   	 1:0 (1:0)    57,000

                    1:0  Rudnevs (20., van der Vaart)

Borussia Dortmund    -    Borussia M'gladbach	 5:0 (2:0)    80,645

                    1:0  Reus (35.)
                    2:0  Subotic (40., Blaszczykowski)
                    3:0  Reus (70., M. Götze)
                    4:0  Gündogan (79., Blaszczykowski)
                    5:0  Blaszczykowski (85., Gündogan)

Eintracht Frankfurt  -    SC Freiburg	         2:1 (0:0)    49,300

                    0:1  M. Kruse (50., Freis)
                    1:1  Meier (68., Oczipka)
                    2:1  Meier (73., Oczipka)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -    1. FSV Mainz 05	 0:2 (0:2)    23,795

                    0:1  Junior Diaz (27., Ivanschitz)
                    0:2  Szalai (37., Ivanschitz)




 1  Bayern München	  	6 	6   0   0     19:2   +17    18 
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	6 	5   1   0     16:8   +8     16 
 3  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)    6 	3   2   1     16:8   +8     11
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	6 	3   2   1     12:7   +5     11
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Hannover 96	  	        6 	3   1   2     14:9   +5     10 
 6  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	6 	2   4   0      6:2   +4     10
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Bayer Leverkusen	  	6 	3   1   2      9:7   +2     10 
 8  Werder Bremen	  	6 	2   1   3      9:10  -1     7 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	6 	2   1   3     10:12  -2     7 
10  Hamburger SV	  	6 	2   1   3      8:10  -2     7 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	6 	2   1   3      6:8   -2     7 
12  1. FC Nürnberg	  	6 	2   1   3      7:11  -4     7 
13  Borussia M'gladbach	  	6       1   3   2      7:12  -5     6 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        6 	1   2   3      8:10  -2     5 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	6 	1   2   3      5:12  -7     5
----------------------------------------------------------------------
16  VfL Wolfsburg	  	6 	1   2   3      2:10  -8     5
----------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	6 	1   1   4      2:10  -8     4 
18  FC Augsburg	  	        6 	0   2   4      2:10  -8     2

2.Liga, Round 8

A hard fought clash in K-town, as both Kaiserslautern and Braunschweig remain undefeated. Level of play was quite good, and after taking the lead, FCK was pushed back by Braunschweig and weren’t able to raise their game to hold onto the lead. Good result for the visitors, who continue their stay at the top.

1. FC Köln may have been sucking, but a couple of things have happened. 1) They seem to have figured things out, and they’ve started stabilizing their free-fall. 2) They’re still a big club and hence a huge draw in the lower league. So a Paderborn sold-out match, and a good Köln performance to boot. The visitors were pressed by Paderborn, but showed solid organization and flexibility. Köln dominated at the start and presented the hosts with lots of problems, especially when moving forward. In the 2nd half Paderborn got back in the game, but the ex-Bundesligist raised their game and take home deserved points.

Union is another squad that seems in recovery. The Berliners won a hotly contested eastern derby with Cottbus, who themselves have been in fine form. The decisive moment was in the 71st minute, Union hanging on to a lead, and GK Haas stopped Cottbus’ Sanogo’s penalty. Overall, it was a deserved Union win, as they showed better attacking formation and discipline in defense.

Aalen is in great form, and here-to-fore sensation FSV Frankfurt is being brought back down to earth. Despite having more of the possession, Frankfurt looked way too clumsy, and Aalen was quick and decisive. So they kicked the Bornheimer’s ass and get a deserved win.

It was just a walk in the Biergarten for 1860, as they demolished a hapless Sandhausen side. The Lions could have scored double digits, but they basically scored a few and decided to relax. Probably their easiest win in ages.

Another disastrous outing for St.Pauli, Regensburg dominated and kicked their ass. The Paulistas fired their coach last week, so maybe they should un-fire him and can some players instead. They sucked. Jahn was considered an outsider to stay up, but they looked solid and confident, and even managed to attract a few fans. Good for them.

A Sachsen-derby in Dresden, and Dynamo gets the win, which they needed after some crap outings. They were the better side, jumped out in the 1st half, but didn’t go for the jugular. Erzgebirge has mostly sucked, and it took a long time, but they realized that Dynamo was dicking around too much and got back into the match very late in the 2nd half. Luckliy for the riot police, Dresden woke up and proceeded to pay more attention and got the finisher right at the end.

Bochum continues to be crap. Their fans should probably storm the club house or something. They continue to look listless and uninterested. Ingolstadt was having an easy time, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if they had coasted to the win. The hosts finally got their act together and scored late, preventing an embarrassing result.

Monday night sees Duisburg host Hertha. Hertha seems to have figured out the 2.Liga, and the Zebras have stunk, so you’d figure a Berlin win. But MSV showed some signs of life in the last outing, so maybe they’ll do something. Anything…


SC Paderborn 07	       -    1. FC Köln	         1:2 (0:1)    15,000

                      0:1  Ujah (18., Brecko)
                      1:1  Zeitz (53., Ornatelli)
                      1:2  Chihi (69., Bröker)

VfR Aalen	       -    FSV Frankfurt	 3:0 (1:0)     5,841

                      1:0  Dausch (19., Cidimar)
                      2:0  A. Hofmann (51., Traut)
                      3:0  Valentini (88., A. Hofmann)

Jahn Regensburg	       -    FC St. Pauli	 3:0 (2:0)    12,183

                      1:0  Sembolo (24., Hein)
                      2:0  J.-P. Müller (44.)
                      3:0  Sembolo (55., Kotzke)


1860 München	       -    SV Sandhausen	 4:0 (3:0)    19,100

                      1:0  D. Halfar (10., Lauth)
                      2:0  Stoppelkamp (20., D. Halfar)
                      3:0  Bierofka (24., Volz)
                      4:0  Lauth (46., Volz)

1. FC Union Berlin     -    Energie Cottbus	 3:1 (1:0)    16,750

                      1:0  Terodde (35., Mattuschka)
                      1:1  Adlung (50., Sörensen)
                      2:1  Quiring (55., Terodde)
                      3:1  Jopek (90. + 2, Silvio)

1. FC Kaiserslautern   -    Eint. Braunschweig	 1:1 (1:0)    33,025
 
                      1:0  Dick (25.)
                      1:1  Ademi (75.)

Dynamo Dresden	       -    Erzgebirge Aue	 3:1 (2:0)    29,161

                      1:0  Bregerie (24., Fiel)
                      2:0  Bregerie (28., Fiel)
                      2:1  Sylvestr (83., Rau)
                      3:1  Jänicke (89., Bregerie)

VfL Bochum	       -    FC Ingolstadt 04	 1:1 (0:1)    12,017

                      0:1  Caiuby (9., Eigler)
                      1:1  Brügmann (85., Gelashvili)


Monday:
MSV Duisburg	       -    Hertha BSC	Berlin   -:- (-:-) 	


 1  Eintracht Braunschweig	8     6   2   0      13:3   +10    20 
 2  Energie Cottbus	  	8     5   2   1      14:8   +6 	   17
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  1860 München	  	8     4   4   0      13:3   +10    16
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern (A)	8     4   4   0      14:9   +5 	   16 
 5  VfR Aalen (N)	  	8     5   0   3      12:8   +4 	   15 
 6  Hertha BSC Berlin (A)	7     4   2   1      11:8   +3 	   14 
 7  FSV Frankfurt	  	8     4   2   2      12:10  +2 	   14 
 8  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	8     3   3   2      10:10   0 	   12 
 9  SC Paderborn 07	  	8     3   1   4      14:11  +3 	   10 
10  Jahn Regensburg (N)	  	8     3   0   5       8:7   +1 	   9 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        8     2   3   3       5:9   -4 	   9 
12  Dynamo Dresden	  	8     2   2   4      11:12  -1 	   8 
13  1. FC Union Berlin	  	8     2   2   4      11:13  -2 	   8 
14  1. FC Köln (A)	  	8     2   2   4       6:9   -3 	   8 
15  FC St. Pauli	  	8     1   3   4       4:10  -6 	   6
---------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SV Sandhausen (N)	  	8     1   3   4       7:14  -7 	   6
---------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	8     1   2   5       4:11  -7 	   5 
18  MSV Duisburg	  	7     0   1   6       3:17  -14    1

3.Liga, Round 12

This was a weekend for Westfalen teams, as Münster, Osnabrück and Bielefeld all got wins to strengthen their positions at the top.

Offenbach hasn’t hit their stride yet, but they served dramatic notice of what they’re capable of. The Kickers stormed the München suburbs and kicked leaders Unterhaching in the ass. Basically KO applied the punch in the first half and then coasted.

Münster hardly impressed, but struggled to beat tail-end Dortmund II. This was enough to propel the Eagles into the top spot.

Osnabrück got a huge inw in Rostock. Hansa had been improving lately and climbing. Indeed, the hosts controlled most of the first half, but neglected to take the lead. The visitors came out much improved and determined after the restart and jumped all over Rostock, getting a deserved win.

Darmstadt players will probably want ot shoot themselves after their loss to Bielefeld. The struggling Hessen side was the stronger side, creating a lot of chances. However, Arminia defended and had ice in their veins when it came to converting. Result is a big win for Bielefeld and a bitter defeat for the Lilies.

Wehen’s draw mania continues. Only leaders Münster have lost fewer games! But the villagers can’t win either – nobody has fewer wins, and they’ve battled to 9 draws already.

Saarbrücken lifted themselves out of the relegation mire with a win in Potsdam. Babelsberg probably deserved a draw, as they were the more active squad in the 2nd half, reversing Saarbrücken’s dominance in the first. But you have to score, and the visitors did…

Heidenheim stopped their recent poor form with a hard fought win over Halle. The hosts had their hands full though, and it wasn’t until late in the match they were actually able to finish off the pesky visitors.

Another smackdown for Burghausen, as they rolled over troubled Erfurt.

Aachen got a huge away win in Chemnitz to stop their disastrous 4 loss streak. This should give Alemannia hope, as they showed spirit in coming back and winning despite going down a goal with only 10 minutes left.


Hansa Rostock	     -    VfL Osnabrück	        0:3 (0:0)    8,500
SV Babelsberg 03     -    1. FC Saarbrücken	0:1 (0:0)    2,262
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	     -    Wacker Burghausen	0:3 (0:1)    4,300
1. FC Heidenheim     -    Hallescher FC	        3:1 (0:0)    6,100
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -    VfB Stuttgart II	0:0 (0:0)    2,903
SV Darmstadt 98	     -    Arminia Bielefeld	1:3 (0:1)    5,100
Chemnitzer FC	     -    Alemannia Aachen	1:2 (0:0)    4,800
Preußen Münster	     -    Borussia Dortmund II	1:0 (0:0)    7,224
SpVgg Unterhaching   -    Kickers Offenbach	0:3 (0:2)    2,450

Wednesday:
Stuttgarter Kickers  -    Karlsruher SC    	-:- (-:-) 


 1  Preußen Münster	  	12    8   3   1     23:8   +15 	  27 
 2  VfL Osnabrück	  	12    8   1   3     16:7   +9 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	12    8   1   3     24:18  +6 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Arminia Bielefeld	  	12    7   3   2     20:13  +7 	  24 
 5  1. FC Heidenheim	  	12    6   3   3     23:19  +4 	  21 
 6  Wacker Burghausen	  	12    6   1   5     17:14  +3 	  19 
 7  Kickers Offenbach	  	12    5   3   4     19:14  +5 	  18 
 8  Hansa Rostock (A)	  	12    5   3   4     16:18  -2 	  18 
 9  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	12    5   1   6     16:19  -3 	  16 
10  Chemnitzer FC	  	12    4   3   5     13:14  -1 	  15 
11  VfB Stuttgart II	  	12    4   3   5     13:14  -1 	  15 
12  Karlsruher SC (A)	  	11    3   5   3     14:9   +5 	  14 
13  Hallescher FC (N)	  	12    3   5   4     10:12  -2 	  14 
14  Alemannia Aachen (A)	12    3   4   5     14:19  -5 	  13 
15  Stuttgarter Kickers (N)	11    3   3   5     14:13  +1 	  12 
16  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	12    1   9   2     13:14  -1 	  12 
17  SV Babelsberg 03	  	12    3   2   7     9:16   -7 	  11
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SV Darmstadt 98	  	12    2   4   6     11:18  -7 	  10
-------------------------------------------------------------------- 
19  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	12    2   3   7     11:22  -11 	  9 
20  Borussia Dortmund II (N)	12    1   4   7     9:24   -15 	  7

Was ist den mit den Hoppers los?

“What’s up with the Hoppers?” might be a question you’d be asking yourself. Perhaps a little background is in order. In the early 1990s, TSG Hoffenheim was an unknown club kicking about in the 7th division or so. However, as it turns out, things were about to change rapidly. Dietmar Hopp, co-founder of business management software giant SAP (and if you’ve ever dealt with SAP, you’d know it’s a giant…although mostly of the pain-in-the-ass variety) and one of Germany’s richest men, decided he wanted to “help”. Now if Hopp been a simple egomaniac, he could have done what others have done and just bought himself an EPL club. Then, when tired of his toy, just flush it down the toilet like Portsmouth or perhaps soon to be Chelski and ManCity. But this being Germany, you can’t do that. By law, nobody can have more than 50% of the shares. In fact, there’s the “50+1″ rule which basically means that the majority owners must be the regular club members – one man, one vote. All you have to do is join the club, and voila!, you’re an owner. (In modern day, it’s a bit more complicated, but the basic tenet is still true).

Now Hopp actually had another motive, since despite Hoffenheim being close to SAP HQ in Walldorf, it was the club he had actually kicked for when he was a boy. So that automatically makes him better than most of the scumbags that have invested in EPL clubs. Anyway, Hopp started pumping money into the club, building state-of-art facilities, spending massive amounts in youth programs and of course funding expensive player transfers. For the members, it must have been like a fairy tale. They were still largely ignored elsewhere until 2008, when they popped in the Bundesliga and led until winterbreak. Fans around Germany rose in anger from the “moneybags”, but things began to quiet down when Hoffenheim proved to be not that good and basically ended mid-table…where they’ve generally been since.

Now the story takes another twist. Hopp has been quite vocal that the club can’t rely on his money forever, and indeed, many of the high priced players have been sold-on. He’s also expressed disappointment that despite all the youth investment, none of the youth players have made it into the main squad. At the same time, various sources have accused Hoffenheim of a violation of the 50+1 rule, basically seeing Hopp’s undue influence in the club as basically ownership. (For those who speak German, there’s an interesting series of articles in “Die Zeit”, e.g. http://www.zeit.de/sport/2012-09/hopp-hoffenheim-tsg-bundesliga) that outlines how he used a golf-club and some shell company to funnel money). From Hopp’s standpoint, he’s invested some 240 million, and although he says he doesn’t regret it, if he had to do it all over, he might do some things differently, especially with regards to the professional squad. Officially, he doesn’t run the club, but you’d certainly have to be naive to say he’s not in charge.

Another shadow hanging over Hoffenheim is the player agent firm Rogon. (No relation with Rogaine). Something like 10 players are represented by this firm, and this has raised a lot of suspicion. For one thing, Rogon has often been involved in somewhat scandalous situations, like Waldhof (1997-2001), Kaiserslautern (2002), Schalke (until 2007). Rumours of kickbacks, forced sale and purchases have abound. (FCK president Jürgen Friedrich went to jail for tax-evasion likely related to that period). Some see the sale of players like Luis Gustavo as forced by Rogon, which collected massive sell on fees. Also, sometimes clubs are forced by Rogon to bring in other worthless players on “package” deals to get the one they want. The other criticism is that the represented players form a clique in the squad that is detrimental. Who knows whether this is all true. But of course the newly appointed manager is none other than Andreas Müller, who was the boss at Schalke when Rogon was rampant there…

So what does it mean for Hoffenheim’s future? The club still has money, but obviously will not be spending like a drunken sailor. They’ve appeared to at least built somewhat of a following, as they’re in a region that generally hasn’t had any decent teams. If managed correctly, they still have enough talent to hang around the Bundesliga. However it’s very clear that they are no threat to “buy the title”. Perhaps Hopp’s dream of having some home grown youth players in the squad will come true. (Although other clubs accuse Hoffenheim of stealing their talents, I guess Hopp just can’t win, hehehe).

 

Bundesliga, Round 5: Englische Woche

The “English Week” (so called as in the older days the Germans noticed that the old English top flight often played mid-week, which impressed the Germans so much that they decided to try it themselves once in a while.) Anyway, this round re-affirmed some of the trends noticeable on the previous Saturday. Bayern is strong, Frankfurt remains impressive, Dortmund still shaky, and the crap teams are perhaps recovering.

Bayern München continues their perfect start, as they had no problems with a lame Wolfsburg squad, who could have easily been beaten by twice the score. Ex-Wolfsburg Mario Mandzukic must have enjoyed his double. Felix Magath is clearly failing at VW-Stadt. They should probably fire his ass, since he’s not going to repeat the achievements of his first stay, but he’ll continue to spend tons of money.

A wild shootout in Dortmund between sensational Frankfurt and champions Dortmund. The Neons came out solid and looked like they had the match won by halftime. Eintracht threw caution into the wind and stormed back, as Dortmund’s defense continues to look shaky. Probably a fair result based on Eintracht’s effort, but like the loss in Hamburg, Dortmund must feel they should have gotten more out of this one.

Schalke was not impressive against Mainz. In fact, the visitors controlled large segments of the match. Of course, they did squat, and although struggling at times, at least the Blues remembered to score some goals.

Düsseldorf still hasn’t allowed a goal, and they knocked hosts Fürth out in the first half with a couple of goals. The Greuther completely fell asleep and Fortuna kicked them in the nuts. In the 2nd half, the hosts improved their play immensely, pressuring Düsseldorf back, but clearly it’s going to take somebody more competant than the Greuther to score against a well organized Fortuna squad.

Hamburg looks recovered. The return of favorite Rafael van der Vaart has had the hoped for effect, and HSV has raised their game immensely. They totally outplayed a confused Gladbach, and had the match won, but they fell asleep in injury time and gave up a bitter goal. Still, after their early season sucking, HSV seems to have turned the corner, and should be a tough opponent going forward. Gladbach seems without ideas and needs a kick in the ass.

Another squad might have woken up as well. Hoffenheim gets another win, and their bad start is only a memory. They also may have found their own mini-Kagawa, as Takashi Usami becomes the latest Japanese player to start making a name for himself in the Bundesliga. The host Stuttgarters were embarassingly bad, so Hoffenheim shouldn’t crow too much. Still, for embattled coach Markus Babbel, htings look quite rosy compared to only two matches ago…

It was apparently Nürnberg’s turn to deliver a stinker, and boy, did it reek. It’s just what the doctor ordered for host Hannover, coming off a embarassing performance at Hoffenheim. Nürnberg gifted the 96ers goals, and the hosts happily accepted, kicking der Club in the ass. Another fine match for Hungarian Szabolcs Hustzi.

Bremen looked crap against Freiburg, and was losing to boot. Last year they probably would have folded and given up several more goals and gotten disgraced. But so far, this year’s Werder is a different beast, much more discplined. Bremen fought back in the 2nd and were rewarded with the lead. Freiburg might have deserved a draw, playing decently, but they wasted their chances, so perhaps they deserve to lose.

It takes a good supply of Bayer products like Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer to watch Luserkusen. Could they be any more uninspired? They don’t really seem to care. But they’re playing an incompetant side in Augsburg, so they needed to generate only a couple of chances and score, and it’s over. FCA runs around a lot, but they can’t score, and in the Bundesliga, that means you’re probably going down. It shouldn’t really be a surprise, as this (even last year) is basically a decent 2.Liga squad. I still can’t figure
out Leverkusen though. They show once in a while that they’re capable of clever football, but most of the time it seems like they could give a crap.

 	
Bayern München	       -   VfL Wolfsburg	3:0 (1:0)    71,000

                      1:0  Schweinsteiger (24.,Ribery)
                      2:0  Mandzukic (57., Shaqiri)
                      3:0  Mandzukic (65., Lahm)

FC Schalke 04	       -   1. FSV Mainz 05	3:0 (1:0)    59,116

                      1:0  Farfan (21., penalty, Höwedes)
                      2:0  Holtby (81., Fuchs)
                      3:0  Pukki (89., Draxler)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth   -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	0:2 (0:2)    16,573

                      0:1  O. Fink (26., J. van den Bergh)
                      0:2  Ilsö (33.)

Eintracht Frankfurt    -   Borussia Dortmund	3:3 (0:2)    51,500

                      0:1  Piszczek (25., Hummels)
                      0:2  Reus (28., Piszczek)
                      1:2  Aigner (49., Inui)
                      2:2  Inui (51., Aigner)
                      2:3  M. Götze (54.)
                      3:3  Anderson (73., Oczipka)

Borussia M'gladbach    -   Hamburger SV	        2:2 (1:2)    46,233

                      0:1  van der Vaart (23., Westermann)
                      1:1  Stranzl (39., Nordtveit)
                      1:2  Rudnevs (45., Badelj)
                      2:2  Alvaro Dominguez (90. + 1, Arango)

VfB Stuttgart	       -   1899 Hoffenheim	0:3 (0:1)    41,720

                      0:1  Usami (5.,)
                      0:2  Joselu (47., Roberto Firmino)
                      0:3  Johnson (58., Usami)

Hannover 96	       -   1. FC Nürnberg	4:1 (2:0)    36,200

                      1:0  Stindl (21., Huszti)
                      2:0  Huszti (29.)
                      3:0  Ya Konan (52.,)
                      4:0  Ya Konan (64., Huszti)
                      4:1  Chandler (73., Feulner)

SC Freiburg	       -   Werder Bremen	1:2 (1:0)    23,000

                      1:0  Schmid (36.)
                      1:1  Akpala (48., Arnautovic)
                      1:2  Hunt (59., de Bruyne)

FC Augsburg	       -   Bayer Leverkusen	1:3 (0:3)    25,211

                      0:1  Kießling (7., Castro)
                      0:2  Wollscheid (39., Toprak)
                      0:3  Schürrle (44.)
                      1:3  Werner (51., Baier)


 1  Bayern München	  	5 	  5   0   0     17:2   +15    15 
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	5 	  4   1   0     14:7   +7     13
 3  Hannover 96	  	        5 	  3   1   1     14:8   +6     10
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	5 	  3   1   1     10:5   +5     10
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	5 	  2   3   0 	 4:0   +4     9 
 6  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	5 	  2   2   1     11:8   +3     8
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7   Werder Bremen	  	5 	  2   1   2 	 9:8   +1     7 
 8  Bayer Leverkusen	  	5 	  2   1   2 	 7:7 	0     7 
 9  1. FC Nürnberg	  	5 	  2   1   2 	 7:9   -2     7 
10  Borussia M'gladbach	  	5 	  1   3   1 	 7:7 	0     6 
11  1899 Hoffenheim	  	5 	  2   0   3 	10:12  -2     6 
12  SC Freiburg	  	        5 	  1   2   2 	 7:8   -1     5 
13  VfL Wolfsburg	  	5 	  1   2   2 	 2:8   -6     5 
14  Hamburger SV	  	5 	  1   1   3 	 7:10  -3     4 
15  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	5 	  1   1   3 	 4:8   -4     4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	5 	  1   1   3 	 2:8   -6     4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
17  VfB Stuttgart	  	5 	  0   2   3 	 3:12  -9     2 
18  FC Augsburg	  	        5 	  0   1   4 	 2:10  -8     1

2.Liga, Round 7

1. FC Köln finally got their first win, a tough one against surprising FSV Frankfurt. Köln was the dominant side, and FSV was too passive. Perhaps they were expecting that their hosts would suck and they’d be able to waltz home with a point. Köln has sucked a lot, but occasionally shown their talent and played good football. Their main problem seems to be that their strikers couldn’t hit the side of a barn. Perhaps this is what Köln needs to get their engine started. Even though they remain in a relegation spot, half the teams in the 2.Liga look crap, and a couple of wins could get them out of the mess.

Leaders Braunschweig had a suprisingly difficult time with crap-place Duisburg. The Zebras defended well and Eintracht, although dominant from the start, was unable to create many chances. However a defensive lapse with 10 minutes left ruined the Zebras hope. A nice floating cross from the left side found Pfitzner unmarked, 1-0. Then the dam broke and the Duisburgers took another couple of shots up the ass.

Cottbus remains on track, with a hard fought victory over Paderborn. Energie was the better side and deserved the win.

Hertha BSC won without really trying in an eastern showdown with Dresden. An earkly own goal gave the Berliners the lead, and Dynamo was too incompetant to mount anything, Hertha GK Thomas Kraft could have gone to the pub during the match and still come back to a clean sheet. Minimal football on display, but points for Hertha, and they’re in contention.

A solid performance by 1860 as they won easily in the Bavarian derby at Ingolstadt. The Schanzer have been up and down, so the Müncheners showed who’s boss and maintain the bragging rights.

St.Pauli continues to suck, and lost for the first time at home with a horrid performance against Aalen. In fact, the visitors wasted a penalty in injury time, not that they needed it. The Paulista board took immediate action and fired coach Andre Schubert, so let’s see how they the look in the next few matches. Great points for promoted Aalen.

Regensburg got both their goals with seconds left in each half and get their first raod win. Otherwise nobody cared about the match in Sandhausen.

In a battle of pathetic sides, Union seemed to have things under control and on the way to an important win. After all, Aue can’t score goals, and this was no exception. But despite the 1-0 lead, the Berliners got greedy and decided to score another one, except they kicked it into their own net, and voila, draw.

On Thursday, Kaiserslautern had a relatively easy time with a lame Bochum squad. The hosts did nothing, so FCK happily took the lead and extended it, coasting to the win. Pathetic performance by Bochum, clearly going nowhere again.


1. FC Köln	      -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:1 (0:0)    32,000

                     1:0  Strobl (46., Bigalke)
                     2:0  Chihi (82., Ujah)
                     2:1  Verhoek (90., M. Görlitz)
 
FC St. Pauli	      -   VfR Aalen	        0:1 (0:1)    20,092

                     0:1  B. Hübner (45. + 1, Aydemir)

Energie Cottbus	      -   SC Paderborn 07	2:1 (0:0)     8,419

                     1:0  Farina (67., Sanogo)
                     1:1  P. Hofmann (74., Bertels)
                     2:1  Stiepermann (80., Farina)

SV Sandhausen	      -   Jahn Regensburg	1:2 (1:1)     2,400

                     1:0  Pischorn (37., Achenbach)
                     1:1  J.-P. Müller (45. + 1, Djuricin)
                     1:2  Wießmeier (90.,  Hein)
 
Hertha BSC Berlin     -   Dynamo Dresden	1:0 (1:0)    45,747

                     1:0  Bregerie (5., own goal, Ronny)

Eintr. Braunschweig   -   MSV Duisburg	        3:0 (0:0)    19,115

                     1:0  Pfitzner (80., G. Korte)
                     2:0  Merkel (83., Kruppke)
                     3:0  Kruppke (87.)

FC Ingolstadt 04      -   1860 München	        0:2 (0:1)    14,139

                     0:1  Stoppelkamp (32., D. Halfar)
                     0:2  Vallori (74., Bülow)

Erzgebirge Aue	      -   1. FC Union Berlin	1:1 (0:1)     7,500

                     0:1  Terodde (7., Mattuschka)
                     1:1  Schönheim (83., own goal, Könnecke)

Thursday:
VfL Bochum	      -  1. FC Kaiserslautern	1:2 (0:1)    13,202 

                     0:1  Fortounis (36., Dick)
                     0:2  Idrissou (65., Micanski)
                     1:2  Tasaka (84.)



 1  Eintracht Braunschweig	7     6   1   0 	12:2   +10    19 
 2  Energie Cottbus	  	7     5   2   0 	13:5   +8     17
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  1. FC Kaiserslautern (A)	7     4   3   0 	13:7   +5     15 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  FSV Frankfurt	  	7     4   2   1 	12:7   +5     14
 5  Hertha BSC Berlin (A)       7     4   2   1 	11:8   +3     14 
 6  1860 München	  	7     3   4   0 	 9:3   +6     13 
 7  VfR Aalen (N)	  	7     4   0   3 	 9:8   +1     12 
 8  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	7     3   2   2 	 9:9    0     11 
 9  SC Paderborn 07	  	7     3   1   3 	13:9   +4     10 
10  VfL Bochum	  	        7     2   2   3 	 4:8   -4     8 
11  Jahn Regensburg (N)	  	7     2   0   5 	 5:7   -2     6 
12  SV Sandhausen (N)	  	7     1   3   3 	 7:10  -3     6 
13  FC St. Pauli	  	7     1   3   3 	 4:7   -3     6 
14  Dynamo Dresden	  	7     1   2   4 	 8:11  -3     5 
15  1. FC Union Berlin	  	7     1   2   4 	 8:12  -4     5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1. FC Köln (A)	  	7     1   2   4 	 4:8   -4     5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	7     1   2   4 	 3:8   -5     5 
18  MSV Duisburg	  	7     0   1   6 	 3:17  -14    1

3.Liga, Round 11

Midweek action saw the top clubs win, a couple give indications that they might be moving up.

Defensive midfielder Stefan Thee scored twice as leaders Unterhaching had to fight off a challenge from a determined Saarbrücken side.

American Mathew Taylor had a double as Münster keeps the pressure on the leaders. Aachen continues their disastrous campaign, playing well to a point, wasting chances, and then losing.

Osnabrück holds on to 3rd, but had a hard time against a determined Darmstadt squad. The visitors packed the defense a dared VfL to attack, and the hosts did so, albeit rather clumsily. Only a late goal managed to keep all the points in Osnabrück.

Bielefeld looked tired and bored as they trudged to a soul-less draw against Chemnitz.

Rostock has now won 3 on the trot, and is within striking distance. Czech forward Ondrej Smetana has contributed 4 goals in 3 games to get Hansa on track.

Burghausen bitch-slapped Heidenheim and pulling the visitors back into the pack of followers.
Wehen has played 5 draws in a row, getting the point at Halle, who’ve been unable to win for five.

Karlsruhe won forcefully against Erfurt, but it’ not clear whether KSC has the ability to move up and contend. They had looked on the verge a couple of weeks ago, but then got their faces slapped silly. RWE is struggling in a grim relegation battle.

 	
VfB Stuttgart II       -   Hansa Rostock	0:2 (0:1)     1,065
Hallescher FC	       -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	1:1 (0:0)     6,422
Borussia Dortmund II   -   SV Babelsberg 03	0:0 (0:0)       310
Alemannia Aachen       -   Preußen Münster	1:2 (0:0)    12,206
Arminia Bielefeld      -   Chemnitzer FC	0:0 (0:0)     5,871
Wacker Burghausen      -   1. FC Heidenheim	4:1 (2:0)     2,300
VfL Osnabrück	       -   SV Darmstadt 98	1:0 (0:0)     7,700
Karlsruher SC	       -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	3:0 (0:0)     9,965
Kickers Offenbach      -   Stuttgarter Kickers	3:0 (1:0)     5,845
1. FC Saarbrücken      -   SpVgg Unterhaching	2:4 (1:2)     3,089


 1  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	11 	 8  1  2    24:15  +9 	  25 
 2  Preußen Münster	  	11 	 7  3  1    22:8   +14    24
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  VfL Osnabrück	  	11 	 7  1  3    13:7   +6 	  22
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Arminia Bielefeld	  	11 	 6  3  2    17:12  +5 	  21 
 5  1. FC Heidenheim	  	11 	 5  3  3    20:18  +2 	  18 
 6  Hansa Rostock (A)	  	11 	 5  3  3    16:15  +1 	  18 
 7  Wacker Burghausen	  	11 	 5  1  5    14:14   0 	  16 
 8  Kickers Offenbach	  	11 	 4  3  4    16:14  +2 	  15 
 9  Chemnitzer FC	  	11 	 4  3  4    12:12   0     15 
10  Karlsruher SC (A)	  	11 	 3  5  3    14:9   +5     14 
11  Hallescher FC (N)	  	11 	 3  5  3     9:9    0 	  14 
12  VfB Stuttgart II	  	11 	 4  2  5    13:14  -1 	  14 
13  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	11 	 4  1  6    15:19  -4 	  13 
14  Stuttgarter Kickers (N)	11 	 3  3  5    14:13  +1 	  12 
15  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	11 	 1  8  2    13:14  -1 	  11 
16  SV Babelsberg 03	  	11 	 3  2  6     9:15  -6 	  11 
17  SV Darmstadt 98	  	11 	 2  4  5    10:15  -5 	  10
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Alemannia Aachen (A)	11 	 2  4  5    12:18  -6 	  10 
19  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	11 	 2  3  6    11:19  -8 	   9 
20  Borussia Dortmund II (N)	11 	 1  4  6     9:23  -14 	   7

WSV: another close one

A hard fought win that keeps Wuppertal in 3rd place in the Regionalliga West. The Schalke U23 side came out strong and had the early lead, but Knappmann once again got WSV going. His diving header gave Wuppertal the lead, and they were able to build things out a little after the restart. Despite Schalke converting a penalty, it was the home side that pressed harder and were closer to another score. Schalke’s GK looked in fine form as he prevented another WSV goal. Overall, a decent performance.

Wuppertaler SV     - 	FC Schalke 04 II     2:1 (1:0)
	
                  1:0 Knappmann (30.) 	  
                  2:0 Landers (49.) 	 
                  2:1 Langlitz (64., Elfmeter) 

Attendance: 1,1610, Stadion Am Zoo

WUPPERTAL:

Semmler - 
Schumacher, Schlieter, Wiwerink, El Hammouchi    - 
Reichert - 
Landers, Boztepe, Moosmayer, Quotschalla - 
Knappmann       

Subs:

Abel (72., Boztepe)
Wassinger (78., Knappmann)
Meier (88., Landers)	

Trainer: Bruns

SCHALKE II:

Oswald - 
Langlitz, Sabah, Uaferro , Hertner    -
Moritz, Erdmann    - 
Klingenburg, Torres, Caillas - 
Türpitz  

Subs:

Ernst(46., Klingenburg)
Max (58., Türpitz)
Pas. Schmidt(82., Hertner)

Trainer: Trares

Bundesliga, Round 4

Crappy teams get better…

Frankfurt continues to astound, setting a new record for best start ever for a promoted club. Key to the victory was the Japanese duel between Frankfurt’s Inui and Nürnberg’s Kiyotake. Both played well, but Inui was perhaps the deciding factor in Frankfurt’s win. On balance, a deserved win for Eintracht, but a decent performance by Nürnberg, who at least seem to have proved they’re an OK squad.

Bayern München had an easy win at Schalke. The hosts were way too passive and hardly challenged the leaders. Not what you’d expect from Schalke, but there you have it. Since the Blues were basically comatose, Bayern had a Spaziergang and leisurely waltzed around before putting Schalke to the sword with a double early in the 2nd half. Bayern is off to a fine start, but they did the same last season.

Hamburg got on the board with an outstanding performance against champions Dortmund. This was the Neons first Bundesliga loss in 31 matches – and ironically Dortmund had been chasing HSV’s 36 match record from the 1980s. HSV has stunk early in the season, but they looked like a revived squad. They got off to a dream start with an early goal by the Korean midfielder Son. Dortmund equalized, but HSV continued to play well and soon were up by two. From that point on, Dortmund dominated, pulling a goal back. The Neons bombarded the HSV goal, but GK Rene Adler was brilliant. The return of hero Rafael van de Vaart continues, as the Dutchman picked up another 2 assists. This is the type of victory that could turn HSV’s season around. For Dortmund, perhaps some worries about defense, but overall not a huge loss.

Hoffenheim is another stinker that got healthy. The Kraisgauers faced Hannover, and the 96ers have been impressive so far – hadn’t lost an “official” match (league, Cup, Euro) yet in the new season. meanwhile, the Hoppers have probably been the worst side, leading patron Dietmar Hopp to consider investing his zillions in something more stable, like Greek government bonds. And sure enough, the Hoppers kicked themselves in the balls as Delpierre suffered an own goal. The 96ers were laughing with glee and headed off to the pub. But lo and behold, Hoffenheim woke up from their slumber and furiously attacked the Hannover goal, equalizing immediately. And for the rest of the match, they pressed the 96ers back, and finally in the closing stages were able to grab their first win, sending hannover home like a dog with it’s tail between it’s legs. A loss probably would have cost Markus Babbel his job, but this performance shows that there might still be some life in the Hoppers…

Stuttgart also did well. VfB continues at the bottom, but they at least get a moral victory, and the way they’ve sucked, I’m sure they’ll be happy with that. They looked well on their way to another crap result, as Werder was all over them and jumped to a 2-0 lead. They should have sailed home, but VfB roused from their slumber and fought back, grabbing an earned point.

Wolfsburg undoubtedly expected to kick Greuther Fürth’s ass, but instead struggled. Especially in the 1st half the promoted side ran rings around the VWs, and had a deserved lead. Ivica Olic equalized late, but that was rather fortunate, since they had been outplayed. Wolfsburg woke up in the 2nd half (undoubtedly Felix Maggot threw a temper tantrum in the locker room), and came out strong, pressing the visitors into defense. But Greuther Fürth held off and grabs a deserved road point.

Düsseldorf seems to want to ride a grim defense to salvation…Fortuna hasn’t given up a goal yet! They are like a 1970s Serie A squad. Once again, they were largely outplayed by their opponents, but they defended stoutly and fought for every ball. Freiburg had the upper hand, but didn’t have the skills standpoint

Leverkusen hosted a Rhein derby with Gladbach, and has to be disappointed with splitting the points. The visitors didn’t seem much interested in playing, and did the minimal necessary. They grabbed a blitz lead and then took the afternoon off. The Aspirins quickly equalized and then chased their tail for the rest of the match as they tried to get the win. No luck, but largely their own incompetance. Fair result.

Mainz jumped out to an early lead against Augsburg and seemed to be cruising. FCA then threw caution into the wind in the 2nd half, and should have pulled equal. But they were incompetant in converting their many chances, and thus take the “red lantern” bottom spot. Some times you have to score goals, and the Fuggers have a major problem there. Mainz hasn’t been overly impressive, but the get the points.

 	
1. FC Nürnberg	     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	1:2 (0:1)    45,033

                    0:1  Hoffer (25., Anderson)
                    0:2  Inui (60., Lanig)
                    1:2  Polter (76., Kiyotake)

FC Schalke 04	     -   Bayern München	        0:2 (0:0)    61,673

                    0:1  Kroos (55., T. Müller)
                    0:2  T. Müller (58.)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	1:1 (1:1)    25,522

                    0:1  Pogatetz (27., own goal, Grün)
                    1:1  Olic (42., Kahlenberg)

1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   FC Augsburg	        2:0 (2:0)    28,463

                    1:0  Ivanschitz (10.)
                    2:0  Szalai (25., N. Müller)

Hamburger SV	     -   Borussia Dortmund	3:2 (1:0)    57,000

                    1:0  Son (2., van der Vaart)
                    1:1  Perisic (46., Lewandowski)
                    2:1  Ilicevic (55., van der Vaart)
                    3:1  Son (59.)
                    3:2  Perisic (60., Piszczek)

Fortuna Düsseldorf   -   SC Freiburg	        0:0 (0:0)    26,862
 
Bayer Leverkusen     -   Bor. M'gladbach	1:1 (1:1)    27,640

                    0:1  Herrmann (3., Arango)
                    1:1  Kadlec (12., Reinartz)

Werder Bremen	     -   VfB Stuttgart	        2:2 (2:0)    40,172

                    1:0  de Bruyne (23., Petersen)
                    2:0  Junuzovic (34., Petersen)
                    2:1  Harnik (50., Traoré)
                    2:2  Cacau (81., Niedermeier)

1899 Hoffenheim	     -   Hannover 96	        3:1 (1:1)    23,575

                    0:1  Delpierre (26., own goal, Rausch)
                    1:1  Johnson (27., Delpierre)
                    2:1  Salihovic (82., Volland)
                    3:1  Williams (90. + 2, Volland)



 1  Bayern München	  	4 	4   0   0    14:2  +12 	  12 
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	4 	4   0   0    11:4  +7 	  12 
 3  Hannover 96	  	        4 	2   1   1    10:7  +3 	  7
 4  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	4 	2   1   1     8:5  +3 	  7
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04	  	4 	2   1   1     7:5  +2 	  7 
 6  1. FC Nürnberg	  	4 	2   1   1     6:5  +1 	  7
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	4 	1   3   0     2:0  +2 	  6 
 8  SC Freiburg	  	        4 	1   2   1     6:6   0 	  5 
 9  Borussia M'gladbach	  	4 	1   2   1     5:5   0 	  5 
10  VfL Wolfsburg	  	4 	1   2   1     2:5  -3 	  5 
11  Werder Bremen	  	4 	1   1   2     7:7   0 	  4 
12  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	4 	1   1   2     4:5  -1 	  4 
13  Bayer Leverkusen	  	4 	1   1   2     4:6  -2 	  4 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	4 	1   1   2     2:6  -4 	  4 
15  Hamburger SV	  	4 	1   0   3     5:8  -3 	  3
-------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1899 Hoffenheim	  	4 	1   0   3     7:12 -5 	  3
-------------------------------------------------------------------
17  VfB Stuttgart	  	4 	0   2   2     3:9  -6 	  2 
18  FC Augsburg	  	        4 	0   1   3     1:7  -6 	  1