Here’s RB Leipzig: Tied atop the Bundesliga table after three matchdays and perhaps unlucky not to be 3-0 following xG wins in three matches.
Granted Leipzig has hosted and beaten two dogs in Mainz and Schalke — both have changed coaches — and drawn Bayer Leverkusen away, but the convincing nature of their wins gives hopes that the post-Timo Werner era will be alright.
The club’s run to the Champions League semifinals put a positive spin on a season that sputtered after the coronavirus pause; Julian Nagelsmann’s men only lost one of nine matches when the Bundesliga returned but also drew four including dropped points against Paderborn and Fortuna Dusseldorf.
They also sold Timo Werner, which perhaps wasn’t a massive deal when you consider that Leipzig brought almost everyone else back including the top performers of last season: Christopher Nkunku, Dayot Upamecano, Nordi Mukiele, Marcel Sabitzer, and Marcel Halstenberg.
Leipzig added Turkish Super Lig leading scorer Alexander Sorloth and Salzburg star Hee-chan Hwang, also landing Justin Kluivert on loan just on Deadline Day.
Now Bayern also managed to smash the transfer window, too, with Leroy Sane’s big price tag joined by additions of Bouna Sarr, Marc Roca, and a loan for Douglas Costa, but its sale of metronome Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool is a question mark.
A match-up with fellow hot starters Augsburg comes after the break, then it’s Hertha Berlin, Gladbach, and Freiburg. No easy ones in there but reason to think 9-12 points should arrive in the points column.
Leipzig isn’t anyone’s darling in Germany due to its status as a big money, quick riser through the league system, but there’s little doubt that there’s a load of talent in the squad that survived the transfer window. And as long as mastermind Nagelsmann remains with Leipzig, there’s hope for a title fight.
— Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna set up two Erling Haaland goals and another for Emre Can as the 17-year-old kept putting his name in Player of the Week consideration for BVB.
— Bayern’s Chris Richards made his first Bundesliga start at right back and assisted one of Lewandowski’s four goals in the bonkers affair between the champs and Hertha Berlin. Richards had three key passes over his 65 minutes, passing at 90 percent and completing all three of his crosses.
— Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo got a result for the second-straight week as his promoted side drew Bayer Leverkusen at home.
— Tyler Adams did not play for RB Leipzig with a minor back injury.
— Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent went 81 minutes with one key pass but just 27 touches as the hosts had very little of the ball but managed a 1-0 draw over new boys Arminia.
— John Brooks of Wolfsburg (see Team of the Week below for stats) was exceptional in a scoreless draw with unbeaten Augsburg. Wolfsburg has allowed one goal in the four matches he played this season, bowing out of the Europa League at AEK Athens with Brooks on the bench.
— Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler played three minutes late in a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim.
— U.S. eligible Norwegian youth international Julian Ryerson went 21 minutes with two clearances, an interception, and a tackle in Union Berlin’s big win over Mainz.
Player of the Week
Robert Lewandowski was named UEFA Champions League Player of the Year at midweek and responded by staking Bayern Munich to a 2-0 lead over Hertha Berlin, then scoring two more deadlock breakers in the win.
Yep, that’s four goals. Don’t need to tap too many other letters on this ol’ keyboard to justify the POTW nod, do we?
Team of the Week
Can (Dortmund)—Brooks (Wolfsburg)—Schlotterbeck (Union)—Halstenberg (Leipzig)
Nkunku (Leipzig) — Cunha (Hertha) — Reyna (Dortmund)
Haaland (Dortmund) — Lewandowski (Bayern)
- Wolfsburg has now allowed just one goal in three Bundesliga outings and its center back depth is so good that Josuha Guilavogui went from last week’s Team of the Week at CB to defensive mid. That works when USMNT back John Brooks and Maxence Lacroix are bossing things behind him. Brooks was slightly better, hitting 11-of-17 long balls with five clearances, two interceptions, and two tackles.
- Union Berlin’s 20-year-old Freiburg loanee Nico Schlotterbeck was the stat collector of the week in a 4-0 shutout of Mainz, racking up six tackles and five interceptions while winning 10-of-14 duels and passing at 89 percent.
Union Berlin 4-0 Mainz
Kolk 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach
Stuttgart 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Hoffenheim
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Freiburg
Werder Bremen 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld
RB Leipzig 4-0 Schalke
Wolfsburg 0-0 Augsburg
Bayern Munich 4-3 Hertha Berlin
Matchday 4 schedule
Mainz v Bayer Leverkusen — 9:30 am ET Oct. 17
Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund — 9:30 am ET Oct. 17
Augsburg v RB Leipzig — 9:30 am ET Oct. 17
Hertha Berlin v Stuttgart — 9:30 am ET Oct. 17
Freiburg v Werder Bremen — 9:30 am ET Oct. 17
Arminia v Bayern Munich — 12:30 pm ET Oct. 17
Borussia Monchengladbach v Wolfsburg — 2:30 pm ET Oct. 17
Koln v Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 am ET Oct. 18
Schalke v Union Berlin — Noon ET Oct. 18
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