This weekend in Bundesliga play, there was a spectacular moment for Augsburg as they beat Freiburg 4-1, and an embarrassing moment for Stuttgart as they topped Werder Bremen 2-1.
First, Augsburg moved into the top half of the table with a storming win at home on Sunday. Alfred Finnbogason scored a hat-trick, and his first was an absolute beauty. Taking a cross from Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Finnbogason turned and poked the ball inside the far post with the back of his foot. Take a bow!
The win for Augsburg was the second of the young season, putting them a point behind Wolfsburg and two back of Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen, and RB Leipzig. It was the club’s first win since beating Fortuna Dusseldorf back in late August.
While Augsburg stormed to victory, Stuttgart had to hold on late thanks to an embarrassing moment on Saturday that will end up on plenty of soccer blooper reels. With the home side up 1-0 at Mercedes-Benz Arena, Borna Sosa took a throw-in from the left sideline and went back to goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler…who wasn’t paying attention. With Zieler fixing his shin guards and socks, the ball trickled by him, not realizing it until it was too late. The ball rolled into the net to level the score at 1-1.
The goal goes down as an own-goal on Zieler as he was the closest to it when it went into the net, and it’s not possible to score – in your net or the opponent’s – on a throw-in. Thankfully for Stuttgart, Gonzalo Castro was on hand to win it in the 74th minute and save the three points.
Leicester City’s Ron-Robert Zieler and Crystal Palace’s Steve Mandanda are heading back to where they play their international ball.
Zieler, 28, made 13 appearances for Leicester after coming over from Hannover 96 last year. He’ll head back to Germany to join Stuttgart, home of USMNT winger Julian Green, for the club’s Bundesliga return.
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Zieler signed with Manchester United as a 16-year-old, but did not appear with the club.
As for Mandanda, he’s headed back to Marseille. The 32-year-old backstop made 441 appearances for Marseille and earned 24 caps for France before heading to Palace last season.
Mandanda missed six months for Palace with a knee injury and finished his lone PL season with nine starts which included three wins and two draws.
Zieler’s return to the Bundesliga makes sense with Kasper Schmeichel sticking around the King Power Stadium, but we have to wonder whether things may’ve went differently for Mandanda had he not done his knee after nine-straight starts for the Eagles. Oh well, he’ll have to settle for a return to a club where he’s a club legend.
Kasper Schmeichel was everything you’d want and more in goal last season, but now Leicester City boasts two quality goalkeepers.
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The reigning Premier League champions revealed the signing of German netminder Ron-Robert Zieler on Friday, after joining from Bundesliga side Hanover 96.
The 27-year-old completed a four-year move to join the English side, while the terms of the contract were undisclosed.
The addition of Zieler reunites the 27-year-old with several former teammates. While playing with the Manchester United academy back in 2005, the keeper played with current Foxes players Danny Drinkwater, Matty James, Danny Simpson and Ritchie De Laet.
“It feels great coming to Leicester and joining the Club after they’ve had such a great season – it’s really nice to be part of the Club now,” Zieler said upon his arrival. “I’ve been shown around the training ground and it looks very good and I’ve been to the stadium – I heard about the great atmosphere and the great fans, so my first impression is very good.”
While primarily serving as a backup to Manuel Neuer on the international stage, the German keeper was on the team’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, which went on to win the tournament.
Kasper Schmeichel is a Premier League-winning goalkeeper, just like his even-more-famous father, Peter, and no one can ever take that away from him.
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What can always be taken from the big Danish shot-stopper, though, is his starting job at Leicester City. That’s where Ron-Robert Zieler, a six-times-capped goalkeeper and 2014 World Cup winner with Germany, comes into play.
27 years old and out of contract after the expiration of his deal with Hannover, Zieler is set to become the Foxes’ first signing of the summer as Claudio Ranieri and Co. prepare to defend their PL title next season. (It’s still weird to say that, in case you were wondering.)
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Zieler arrived in Leicester on Sunday, according to Hannover’s official website, and was set to undergo a medical examination before signing a long-term contract. An established Bundesliga starter since the age of 22 (started all 34 league games each of the last five seasons), Zieler will arrive at the King Power Stadium with expectations far loftier than those of the man he’ll battle for the starting job next season, if not comparable name recognition.
With neither ‘keeper north of 30 years old as of yet (Schmeichel will turn 30 in November), it would seem that Ranieri can do no wrong in choosing either one of the combatants his no. 1 ahead of the 2016-17 season.