Maybe we should’ve seen it coming when Bayern had to go 120 minutes to get its deserved UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla, but we didn’t.
And perhaps dropped points by Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig, and Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday should’ve served as a knowing wink.
But we did not expect Bayern Munich, on the precipice of a world record winning streak, to lose for the first time in 32 matches (though the 4-1 scoreline didn’t really tell the story and still sees Bayern with a plus-5 goal differential after two weeks. Crying laugh face emoji).
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Now, instead of thinking Bayern would go wire-to-wire in winning another Bundesliga title, we get to watch the Bavarians spend at least a week finding their way back to the top.
What we’re saying is, Bayern, thanks. The league might’ve been ready to concede after two weeks, but it sure didn’t want to do it.
Jokes aside, the loss puts a different spin on Wednesday’s German Super Cup between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.
For BVB, it’s a chance to say something both about its 2-0 loss to Augsburg but also its place in the 2020-21 landscape.
For Bayern, it’s the expectation that all that travel and a bit less rest than their rivals isn’t a thing.
Kickoff is at 2:30 pm ET.
— Tyler Adams didn’t have the ball much on a 40-touch day over 90 minutes, and that’s usually a sign that he wasn’t at his best. Adams saw a yellow card and only won three of 10 duels for RB Leipzig.
— Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent assisted the first goal of Niclas Fullkrug’s hat trick against Schalke and went 87 minutes. He put three shots on target and had three key passes in addition to his assist. He converted both of his dribbles but was also debited with a “big chance missed” via SofaScore.
— John Brooks saw a yellow card and racked up eight clearances as Wolfsburg was fortunate to get a point off of Freiburg.
— Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler was an unused sub.
— Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna went 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Augsburg. The 17-year-old was typically tidy in passing, registering three key passes and drawing four fouls,
— Bayern’s Chris Richards was an unused sub in the loss to Hoffenheim.
— Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo got his first Bundesliga win under his belt in a 4-1 defeat at Mainz.
— U.S. eligible Norwegian youth international Julian Ryerson had three clearances and a shot off target in 17 minutes off the bench for Union Berlin.
Two mainstays change managers
Schalke and Mainz suffered through rough ends to the 2019-20 season but gave their managers some time to fix things.
By some time, we mean two weeks.
Schalke parted ways with ex-USMNT striker and Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner on Sunday after a 3-1 loss to Werder Bremen followed up an 8-0 shellacking at the hands of Bayern Munich on Opening Day.
A day later, Mainz said goodbye to Achim Beierlorzer after a 4-1 loss to newly-promoted Stuttgart backed up an opening 3-1 loss at RB Leipzig.
In both cases, expected heavy defeats to big sides were followed up by losses to clubs who were either in the second division or faced a playoff to avoid heading to 2.Bundesliga.
Schalke’s been in the top flight for more than 30 years but hasn’t won in 18 league matches, Wagner finishing 12-12-16 with the blue side of the Revierderby.
Beierlozer went 9-14-13 with a minus-4 goal differential in less than a full season with Mainz, but the club’s three wins in five to finish the 2019-20 are already a distant memory. The club worked hard to become a top-flight fixture over the past decade-plus and wasn’t about to risk dipping into a deep hole.
Despite their standings in Germany, both will have a lot of work to do to avoid a relegation fight.
Player of the Week
When Andrej Kramaric signed for Leicester City from Croatian side Rijeka in 2014-15, the only question seemed to be whether he’d be a decent scorer or a star after bagging 28 goals in a 30-game half season.
Instead, Kramaric scored four times — two in Cups — and even featured in a U21 Premier League match for the Foxes before moving to 1899 Hoffenheim.
The Germans got the full force of Kramaric’s talent. He’s scored 77 times with 30 assists in 153 appearances, twice breaking the 15-goal mark and now scoring an absurd seven times in three matches so far this season.
A brace in the German Cup against Chemnitzer wasn’t an eyebrow-raiser but a hat trick against Koln served as an appetizer to his two-goal day running an attacking midfield for Hoffenheim against Bayern. Wow.
It’s his second week in our Team of the Week and first as Player of the Week. Let’s see how high Hoffenheim can fly.
As for Leicester, they only went and won the Premier League with another center forward who adapted to a tougher league (Whatever happened to that Vardy guy, anyway?)
Team of the Week
Rode (Eintracht) — Guilavogui (Wolfsburg) — Pieper (Arminia)
Samassekou (Hoffenheim) — Wamangituka (Stuttgart)
Kramaric (Hoffenheim) — Kamada (Eintracht) — Caligiuri (Augsburg)
Kalajdzic (Stuttgart) — Fullkrug (Bremen)
- Kramaric gets a lot of the love for Hoffenheim’s win but 24-year-old Diadie Samassekou had five interceptions, four tackles, and five clearances in helping hold down Bayern and snap their streak.
- Gikiewicz had his fair share of big performances for Union Berlin the past few seasons, but his six-save clean sheet for Dortmund was good, good stuff.
- Wolfsburg center back Josuha Guilavogui was a monster in the draw with Freiburg, posting seven clearances, three blocked shots, and five interceptions.
Hertha Berlin 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 RB Leipzig
Augsburg 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Union Berlin
Arminia 1-0 Koln
Mainz 1-4 Stuttgart
Schalke 1-3 Werder Bremen
Hoffenheim 4-1 Bayern Munich
Freiburg 1-1 Wolfsburg
Matchday 3 schedule
Union Berlin v Mainz — 2:30 pm ET Friday
Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen — 9:30 am ET Saturday
Koln v Borussia Monchengladbach — 9:30 am ET Saturday
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim — 9:30 am ET Saturday
Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg — 9:30 am ET Saturday
Werder Bremen v Arminia — 9:30 am ET Saturday
RB Leipzig v Schalke — 12:30 pm ET Saturday
Wolfsburg v Augsburg — 9:30 am ET Sunday
Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin — Noon ET Sunday
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