Karim Bellarabi

AP Photo/Matthias Schrade

Bayern unhappy with opponents’ rough style in Bundesliga

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BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich wants more protection from referees.

The defending champions lost French midfielder Corentin Tolisso and Brazilian defender Rafinha to injuries sustained in last weekend’s win over Bayer Leverkusen. Both club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have called for a reaction from the German soccer federation.

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“It can’t go on like this. Otherwise we won’t have any players after the 10th round or we won’t be able to get 11 players together,” Rummenigge said ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga match against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

Tolisso was ruled out for several months after rupturing a cruciate ligament and the medial meniscus in his right knee, while Rafinha is out for several weeks with a partial tear of ligaments in his left ankle after a bad challenge from Karim Bellarabi, who was sent off.

Bellarabi, who apologized after the match, was subsequently banned for four games and fined 10,000 euros ($11,750).

After the game, Hoeness had called for Bellarabi to be banned for “three months – for stupidity.”

Bayern already lost French winger Kingsley Coman to injury in its first home game of the season, after which Rummenigge accused Hoffenheim of playing “football in a wild-west manner.”

Bayern coach Niko Kovac said his side was “fair game” for others to target with hard challenges.

It was different when Kovac was in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt from March 8, 2016, to June 30, 2018. No side committed more fouls per game (15.4) than Frankfurt in that time.

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Contrary to Bayern’s claims, both Kicker magazine and the Bild tabloid reported that promoted teams Nuremberg and Fortuna Duesseldorf, and Wolfsburg, all were fouled more the defending champions in the opening three games of the season.

Bayern’s 36 fouls is the same as Leipzig and Stuttgart, and its average of 12 per game is marginally below the average for last season.

Bayern’s players are more relaxed about the issue after winning their opening three league games and making winning starts in the German Cup and Champions League.

“I don’t think it’s so extreme,” Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich said.

On Saturday, the team can expect committed opponents again. Schalke, which finished runner-up last season, is looking for its first win after starting with three losses.

More AP Bundesliga coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

‘Exhausted’ Bellarabi collapses in friendly, hospitalized

Photo by Juergen Schwarz/Getty Images
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Bayer Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi has been hospitalized after collapsing during the club’s Tuesday friendly versus Wuppertal.

Bellarabi, 28, carries 11 caps for Germany and has been with Bayer since 2011 aside from a loan stint with Eintracht Braunschweig.

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The club said he collapsed due to “exhaustion” and updated his status on Twitter, saying he’d remain in the hospital overnight.

Bundesliga Wrap: Leverkusen stuns BVB, Hoffenheim cruises

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It’s back! The Bundesliga began its opening weekend with some thrilling moments to go with plenty of drama. If you’re looking for a unifying thread, the closest we can offer is “goals in bunches.” Momentum swung more than a few times on Saturday.

Friday was opening day, with Bayern Munich needing an absolutely stunning miss from Wolfsburg’s Junior Malanda to settle into a 2-1 win. American ‘starlet’ Julian Green made Pep Guardiola’s 18, but did not feature off the bench.

[ WATCH: Leverkusen scores fastest goal in Bundesliga history ]

And there are matches to play on Sunday, with newly-promoted Paderborn hosting Mainz and Stuttgart dueling with Borussia Monchengladbach.

But let’s dig into the meat of the schedule with Saturday’s matches.

Hannover 96 2-1 Schalke 04
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar opened his account early in the second half, but it was more of a wake-up call to the home team than anything else. Edgar Prib and Joselu scored twice in three minutes to give Hannover the points.

Koln 0-0 Hamburg
Twenty-nine combined shots, just eight on goal, in a snoozer. Koln picks up a point in its first game since promotion.

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 SC Freiburg
Haris Seferovic made a lot of fans at his club with a 15th minute goal that would stand as the winner. American defender Timmy Chandler did not play for the hosts, playing the role of unused substitute.

Hoffenheim 2-0 Augsburg
The goals came just two minutes apart, with Adam Szalai’s 33rd minute tally met by Tarik Elyounoussi’s 35th minute marker, and Hoffenheim cruised to all three points.

Hertha Berlin 2-2 Werder Bremen
Borussia Dortmund misfit striker Julian Schieber netted twice to give new team Hertha a 2-0 lead, but Assani Lukimya and Franco Di Santo scored twice in three minutes for the visitors to salvage a point. USMNT World Cup hero John Anthony Brooks was an unused substitute for Hertha.

Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen
The fastest goal in Bundesliga history, nine seconds from the opening whistle, would’ve been enough for the visitors to walk away with all three points. Karim Bellarabi nutmegged Matthias Ginter and pushed a ball home for the win, and Stefan Kießling added a stoppage time goal to cement the win.

 

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayer Leverkusen 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 0-0-0 1-0-0 3
1899 Hoffenheim 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
Bayern Munich 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
Hannover 96 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
Werder Bremen 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
Hertha BSC Berlin 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
1. FC Köln 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
Hamburger SV 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
FSV Mainz 05 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
Mönchen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
SC Paderborn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
VfB Stuttgart 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
FC Schalke 04 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
VfL Wolfsburg 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
SC Freiburg 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
Borussia Dortmund 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0-0-1 0-0-0 0
FC Augsburg 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0-0-0 0-0-1 0

WATCH: Leverkusen scores fastest goal in Bundesliga history at BVB

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Borussia Dortmund fans have been waiting all summer for the start of their Bundesliga campaign, but only had to wait nine seconds to see their team go down 1-0.

Karim Bellarabi nutmegged Matthias Ginter and ripped home a shot inside the 18 to lift Bayer Leverkusen to an early lead at the Westfalenstadion. Ginter, 20, signed for Dortmund over the summer and just came off a World Cup win.

This was quite different than glory:

Here is a ‘sped-up’ Vine of the goal from kick-off.