Ivica Olić

DONE DEAL: Schurrle moves from Chelsea to Wolfsburg as Die Wölfe chase Bayern

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There’s a World Cup scorer and winner moving back to Germany from the Premier League, as Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle has agreed on a switch to Wolfsburg.

Still amped up by their 4-1 Friday breakdown of previously unbeaten Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg sealed the acquisition of the crafty Schurrle on transfer deadline day (reportedly for a cool $36 million).

The move is expected to clear the way for Chelsea’s big $40 million move for Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina, and rumors say La Viola could use that money to bring in replacement Davide Santon from Newcastle as the transfer chain continues to clank.

[ MORE: Kane signs Spurs extension ]

Schurrle, 24, was a roughly $75 million move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea in the Summer of 2013, and he made an immediate impact with 8 Premier League goals in his first season. His playing time has dropped off a bit since, and he has 3 goals in 14 PL appearances this season.

The winger/second striker netted thrice for Germany in this summer’s biggest tournament, with a goal against Algeria and a pair in the 7-1 win over hosts Brazil. The move is a tremendous pick-up for Die Wölfe, who remain an unlikely 8 points behind Bayern in the Bundesliga.

Wolfsburg cleared some room for Schurrle by sending Ivica Olic to Hamburg on Friday.

Bundesliga wrap: Gotze keeps Bayern first, Monchengladbach surges

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A week of play has restored a bit of order to the Bundesliga table, with Bayern Munich back on top after successive wins and SC Paderborn sinking to midtable.

There have been mixed results for American players, with Fabian Johnson dreaming of the title while Julian Green, John Anthony Brooks and Timmy Chandler are closer to the bottom than the top (and Green’s loan destination of Hamburger SV is actually on bottom).

[ MORE: Barcelona’s big win | Premier League roundup ]

With two matches to go on Sunday and another Monday, Matchday 6 isn’t over. But there’s been plenty of movement around the league after a busy Saturday.

FC Koln 0-2 Bayern Munich
Mario Gotze scored in the 19th minute for Pep Guardiola’s men, who took 21 shots compared to the hosts’ eight. Bayern won 11 corners and made 21 crosses, but it took a 66th minute own goal to cap off the scoring.

Schalke 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund’s nightmare start to the season continued by giving up two goals in the first 23 minutes. Cameroonian national teamers Joel Matip and Eric Choupo-Moting each scored for Schalke, and Pierre Aubameyang’s 26th minute goal looked to have given the visitors a boost. But there were no more goals to come, and BVB sank to 10th, now a point below their Saturday hosts.

Paderborn 1-2 Borussia Monchengladbach
Fabian Johnson did not play for the visitors, who used goals in the eighth and 14th minutes to build a lead they would hold onto despite a late tally from Jens Wemmer. Patrick Herrmann and Raffael netted for Monchengladbach, which darted up the table to No. 2.

Elsewhere

Freiburg 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen — No goals despite a 28th minute red card for the visitors and a 78th minute red for the hosts.
Stuttgart 1-0 Hannover 96 — Defender Daniel Schwaab scores his first Bundesliga goal in five seasons.
Wolfsburg 2-1 Werder Bremen — Goals from Ivica Olic and Ricardo Rodriguez lift the hosts.
Mainz 0-0 Hoffenheim — An even game ended with six saves and shared points.
Augsburg vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday finds Brooks in action.
Hamburger SV vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — It’s Green vs. Chandler on Sunday.

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 6 4 2 0 11 2 9 3-0-0 1-2-0 14
Mönchengladbach 6 3 3 0 8 3 5 2-1-0 1-2-0 12
Bayer Leverkusen 6 3 2 1 11 9 2 2-1-0 1-1-1 11
FSV Mainz 05 6 2 4 0 9 5 4 1-2-0 1-2-0 10
1899 Hoffenheim 6 2 4 0 9 5 4 1-2-0 1-2-0 10
Hannover 96 6 3 1 2 5 4 1 3-0-0 0-1-2 10
VfL Wolfsburg 6 2 2 2 10 8 2 2-1-0 0-1-2 8
FC Schalke 04 6 2 2 2 10 10 0 1-2-0 1-0-2 8
SC Paderborn 6 2 2 2 8 8 0 1-2-1 1-0-1 8
Borussia Dortmund 6 2 1 3 9 11 -2 1-1-1 1-0-2 7
Eintracht Frankfurt 5 1 3 1 7 7 0 1-1-1 0-2-0 6
FC Augsburg 5 2 0 3 7 8 -1 1-0-1 1-0-2 6
1. FC Köln 6 1 3 2 2 3 -1 0-2-1 1-1-1 6
Hertha BSC Berlin 5 1 2 2 8 11 -3 1-1-1 0-1-1 5
VfB Stuttgart 6 1 2 3 4 9 -5 1-0-2 0-2-1 5
SC Freiburg 6 0 4 2 6 9 -3 0-3-0 0-1-2 4
Werder Bremen 6 0 3 3 9 15 -6 0-1-1 0-2-2 3
Hamburger SV 5 0 2 3 0 6 -6 0-1-1 0-1-2 2

Robben dominance, Malanda miss give Bayern opening match win over Wolfsburg

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For the first 90 minutes of the new Bundesliga season, the 2013-14 version of Bayern Munich was alive and well. Dominant, sometimes oppressive in their control, the reigning German champions seemed a step better than visiting Wolfsburg, yet with one spectacularly flubbed chance late in the second half, the Wolves had a an opportunity to steal a shock point. When woodwork and a shanked rebound intervened, Bayern was left with the 2-1 win and an unduly close call.

As with so many nights before, the star man was Arjen Robben, whose dismantling of Wolfsburg left back Ricardo Rodríguez created the opening goal for Thomas Müller in the 37th minute. Just over a minute into the second half, Robben doubled that lead, converting from the middle of the penalty area for the game’s winning goal. Near full-time the cross bar prevented Robben from adding a second, but the damage had already been done.

Still, that damage nearly proved too little, starting with Ivica Olic’s response to Robben. Cutting across the field, just inside the penalty area in the 52nd minute, Olic launched a looping, left-footed shot over Manuel Neuer – a spectacular conversion that pulled Wolfsburg within one with its second shot on target. With Wolfsburg able to maintain their share of the ball (finishing the match with 45 pct. possession), Bayern looked vulnerable.

That vulnerability set the stage for the match’s defining moment, an unfortunate one for Wolfsburg’s Junior Malanda. Graced on goal by a beautiful cross, the Belgian midfielder put his initial shot off the Neuer and onto the crossbar. The follow-up has set Twitter ablaze:

The would-be equalizer was a wakeup call for Bayern, who nearly found insurance though Robben, Müller, Sebastian Rode and Juan Bernat in the match’s final moments. Even without that insurance, Bayern had enough to secure its opening game win.

With only 55 percent possession, and putting only three shots on target (to Wolfsburg’s four), there were aspects of the opener that were much different from Bayern’s oppressing performances we saw during year one under Pep Guardiola. The scoreline, and how it transpired, was very familiar.

Held early, Bayern broke through, looked in control, but ultimately left the door open. Were it not for Malanda’s vine-worthy miss, Wolfsburg may have claimed an early, eye-opening result.

Look out, German cabbies: Nicklas Bendtner is coming to Wolfsburg

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If Nicklas Bendtner put together outstanding on-field performances with the frequency he kicked up bizarre newspaper headlines off it, he’d probably still be at Arsenal.

Instead, the Danish striker is making his way to the Bundesliga, signing a three-year contract at Wolfsburg.

Bendtner, 26,  made just one Premier League appearance for Arsenal last season after New Year’s Day, and scored just two goals on the year. The controversial forward last made headlines when he took his pants off and applied himself to a taxi cab, and received a six-month ban from the Denmark team.

[ MORE: Top 5 forwards heading into the new Premier League season ]

Once one of the more promising strikers in England, the 58-times capped Dane scored 15 goals as a 20-year-old for the Gunners and added 12 the following year, five in Europe. He’s struggled since, with the exception of eight goals in a loan stint at Sunderland.

The Wolfsburg deal has also taught us some valuable information: the perfect age for a striker.

From the Associated Press:

Managing director Klaus Allofs said Bendtner was “a striker at the best age, who already was able to gather a lot of international experience in his career – which did not always run in a straight line.”

He said Bendtner, who had long been out of favor at Arsenal, will further improve Wolfsburg’s attacking qualities.

Wolfsburg, which won its only Bundesliga title in 2009, finished fifth last season.

Bendtner will give a much-needed boost to a club in need of striking power and depth behind Ivica Olic who, at 34, put in 15 goals for Wolfsburg last season.

Atletico’s Mario Suarez suffers “traumatic brain injury” in Wolfsburg friendly

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Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez was taken to the hospital following what the club has announced as a “traumatic brain injury.”

The 27-year-old went up for a header and collided with teammate Cristian Ansaldi in the 21st minute, leaving Suarez unconscious on the ground.

The club said he had regained consciousness upon his removal from the field on a stretcher, and will be kept for the time being as more tests are taken.

Video of the incident can be seen here, or here, and it appears that when Ansaldi goes up to challenge Wolfburg’s Ivica Olic for a header, Ansaldi’s hip bone or rear end clatters Suarez in the head.

The club then announced that Suarez had undergone a CT scan and will stay in the hospital in Germany for observation instead of returning to Spain with the team.

A very scary image is used as the article header for this Spanish story of the incident, as Suarez is lying on his back looking quite unconscious with concerned teammates overlooking.

Suarez made 17 La Liga appearances last season as well as five in the run to the Champions League final. The club is looking to repeat the wild success they had last year, but without a few key pieces.

The match with Wolfsburg, which they won 5-1 thanks in part to Mario Mandzukic’s first goal with his new club, was their final tune-up before the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid, which starts next Tuesday.