Match Day Roundup
Bayern Munich 0-0 Hamburger SV
I utterly detest nil-nil draws, and this one, in particular, even more so. We had 74% possession and completed nearly 600 passes to Hamburg's 139, so there really is no excuse here. If I were to describe this game in one word it would be....hmmmm, I guess I'd go with chippy. Ya, chippy.
Right from the get go, Hamburg came out hacking anything and everything that dared walk on their pitch, and the ref, for better or worse, let it all slide. Now, that may not seem like a good idea for a team playing against a crazed loon like Rafinha, but credit to them for sticking to it throughout the match. Bayern looked sloppy, disjointed, uncoordinated, disorganized, and sloppy (did I say that already?). I realize that we had just played a hard fought match against Man City, and we have ANOTHER one in 4 days against Bundesliga leading and newly promoted Paderborn, but man, against a squad like Hamburger which is in the midst of their own tailspin, you have got to come away with 3 points. There is no excuse here.
Later on in the game, there were some chances generated, and Tommy Müller had a golden opportunity that he missed just wide, but overall, this seemed like a squad of players who hadn't played together in...well, ever. Maybe it's an issue of fatigue, maybe it's an issue of over rotation by Pep, I dunno, but we had better figure it out. Pep seems to think it's fatigue....
Oh right, man of the match. In a match like this, if I were the coach, I wouldn't issue a game ball to anyone, but in this case, the efforts of Jerome Boateng should be noted. He really parlayed his fantastic performance against City into a great performance against Hamburg. Neuer was the runner up as he was in full on sweeper keeper mode, even if he DID have a gaffe in stoppage time that very nearly cost us the game. Neuer came out of his box, as he is known (nay, expected) to do to challenge a Hamburg forward pressing the counter attack. He appeared to use his hand to turn away the long range shot, which trickled wide of the net but managed to escape with just a yellow.
One last thing, I'd like to give a shout out to the DC Bayern Capitol 11, who had a surprisingly great turnout for a 0930 match time on a Saturday morning.
Bayern Munich 1-0 Manchester City
Boatank played the hero here with a stoppage time goal that gave us a well earned victory. Incredibly difficult to pick a man of the match here as Boa, Xabi, Mehdi Benatia, Neuer, Götze and Lewa all earned praise in my book. That's not to say others didn't play well; this was truly a team win.
Honestly, if we had come away from this game with a draw, I would have been very frustrated. Within 40 seconds of the game, Tommy Müller had a great chance at a goal inside the box when City keeper Joe Hart came out and clipped him, which should have been a red card and a penalty kick. Müller, however, chose not to go to ground and try to draw the call which is what probably led the ref to not show red. Good for Tommy, I guess. Like I said, the fact that we won anyway makes this all go down a lot easier.
Okay, enough stalling, my man of the match is Jerome Boateng. Even without the goal, he played a fantastic game all around. and I had him rated about even with Benatia for who impressed me the most. The goal puts him over the top. Well done Boa!
Augsburg 4-2 Werder Bremen
Werder Bremen got the scoring started early in the 3rd minute from a goal from 19 year old Davie Selke, but that only seemed to fire Augsburg up in this high flying scoring affair which saw 32 shots combined. Augsburg ripped off two straight goals in 14th and 45th minutes from Daniel Baier and Paul Verhaegh. Bremen brought it back level at 2 in the 56th from Franco Di Santo, but Augsburg pulled ahead late in 77th from Tobias Werner and sealed the deal in stoppage time from Tim Matavz to give Augsburg a well earned three points.
Freiburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin
In another back and forth affair, it was Freiburg who opened up the scoring in the 30th minute from 19 year old Marc-Oliver Kempf. However, it was Ronny who played the hero for Hertha as he not only equalized in 36th but equalized again in the 90th after Felix Klaus of Freiburg pulled them ahead in the 79th. Freiburg had fifteen shots to Hertha's seven and five shots on goal to Hertha's two, but the two that Hertha had were all they needed to escape Mage Solar Stadion with a point
Schalke 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
In a crazy match that saw Slobodan Medojevic, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler all sent off (Slobby and Prince for two yellows, Drax for a straight red) Frankfurt jumped out to an early two goal lead in the 15th minute from Alex Meier and 24th from Marco Russ. However, they could not hold off the relentless Schalke attack as they got a goal in the 40th from Eric Chuopo-Moting and Julian Draxler in the 50th to draw level. Then, the ugliness ensued as Prince, Drax and Slobs were sent off in the 61th, 71th, and 85th respectively
Stuttgart 0-2 Hoffenheim
Anthony Modeste started off the scoring in the 15th, and Hoffenheim never looked back despite completing half off the passes of Stuttgart (408 to 204) and losing the possession battle 62% to 38%. Just for poops and giggles, however, they went ahead and scored another goal in the 84th from Tarik Elyounoussi
Paderborn 2-0 Hannover
Paderborn scored two late goals in the 71th minute from Elias Kachunga and from Moritz Stoppelkamp in stoppage time to delight the home crowd and put Paderborn at the top of the Bundesliga table. That's not a misprint, Paderborn is leading the Bundesliga. Seriously. 1st place. In all seriousness, congrats to them, and to the fans of this newly promoted side. If they keep this up, they should be in the top flight for years to come
Mainz 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund's bipolar season continues to roll on in spectacular form. They lose to Leverkusen and Augsburg, then completely and utterly dominate Arsenal. They roll all over Freiburg, and now they get blanked by Mainz. Credit to Mainz, though, as they clearly weren't fazed by playing against one of the biggest names in the Bundesliga. They opened the scoring in the 66th minute from Shinji Okazaki, who now leads the Bundesliga in scoring with four goals in four appearances. Mainz also got some help from Dortmund on an own goal from Matthias Ginter in the 74th. Dortmund ripped off a whopping 20 shots and completed 474 passes with 64% possession. However, as has been proven time and time again, possession isn't everything.
VFL Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayer Leverkusen
A brace from Ricardo Rodriguez was ultimately all Wolfsburg needed to earn a statement victory over a Leverkusen side that had previously been off to a hot start. The 22 year old got the scoring off to a start at 8th minute. Josip Drmic equalized in the 26th, but Wolfsburg roared right back with three unanswered goals from Vierinha, Rodriguez's 2nd and Aaron Hunt. Somewhat of a surprising result here as Leverkusen's torrid start has very much come to a cool
Köln 0-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Did I mention how much I hate nil-nil draws? In a game that Gladbach really have no excuse to NOT win, they did just exactly that by dropping points to a team that they have no business not beating. Gladbach completed 600 passes, had 62% possession and had an 86% passing completion, yet only managed ONE shot on goal. That is just not gonna get the job done.
Champions League Roundup
Here's how the rest of Europe faired in the Champions League opening week:
Juventus 2-0 Malmo
Carlos Tevez scored a brace for Juve as Malmo, who played very stout defensively, eventually broke in the second half.
Olympiakos 3-2 Atletico Madrid
Olympiakos went up early 2-0, after Mario Mandzukic had a bit of a scare early on but credit goes to Atletico. They never quit and were in this game right until the end. Still though, a great win for Olympiakos against last seasons CL runner up.
Liverpool 2-1 Ludogorets
Liverpool's Mario Balotelli got on the board first for Liverpool as Ludogorets were giving them fits all game. Ludo then tied the game late, but a controversial stoppage time PK by Gerrard put the Scousers ahead for good.
AS Monaco 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Leverkusen's European woes continue as they fail to beat a Monaco side that they really should have beaten. Yes, Monaco is still a quality team. Yes, the game was in Monaco. But, the bottom line remains, this was a squad that lost it's two best players in Falcao and James Rodriguez. Bayer has GOT to put them away
Benfica 0-2 Zenit St. Petersburg
Benfica fell apart early as Hulk came through with a typical Hulk Smash and then in the 18th minute, the Benfica keeper was shown a straight red for a challenge just outside the penalty area. Kind of difficult for a team to come back from a 1-0 deficit with only 10 men, especially when shortly after the red, Axel Witsel headed home another goal off a corner
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal
Dortmund controlled this game from start to finish, and the score should have been a lot higher. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a couple of golden scoring chances that he whiffed on. Thankfully for Die Schwarzgelben, Ciro Immobile went on a beautiful coast to coast run, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added another just for good measure. Oddly poor performance from the Gunners as they had previously been unbeaten in their last 11 CL group stage openers, and Dortmund was severely short handed
Galatasaray 1-1 Anderlecht
Gala should be thanking their lucky stars they came out of this with a draw. Anderlecht was unfazed by the Turk Telekom Arena crowd and took the lead in the 52nd minute on a goal from Dennis Praet. The Belgian squad then held off a Gala attack that was desperate for an equalizer. Eventually in stoppage time, Burak Yilmaz came through. The Turks have got to figure out their disjointed attack if they want to advance out of this group like I predicted they would. They're making me look bad..
Real Madrid 5-1 Basel
Not much to report on this one. Basel came into this match completely outmatched against a team with the kind of fire power Real has. Bale had a spectacular goal, plus an assist on a Ronaldo goal. James had a goal off of what seemed like the 3rd rebound, and Benzema tallied one just for fun. Oh and Basel scored as well. Twice, technically
AS Roma 5-1 CSKA Moskow
An absolute disaster for CSKA as Roma got out to an early lead and just kept piling on. This one wasn't even as close as the scoreline would indicate and that, my friends, is saying something
Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Ajax
Cavani came through with an early goal for PSG off the rebound on a shot from Zlatan and this one looked to be ugly for Ajax. However, the scrappy little bunch from Amsterdam held tough and came through with an equalizer from Lasse Schone in the 74th minute. A well earned draw from Ajax, and a PSG squad that may have all the talent Qatari oil money can buy but have been in poor form recently
Barcelona 1-0 APOEL Nicosia
APOEL played Barca fairly close, but one goal was all the Catalans needed to stave off the plucky Cyprus bunch. Gerard Pique got the winner off a free kick from Messi and then put this game in cruise control
Chelsea 1-1 Schalke 04
In the shocker of the tourney so far, Schalke played a royally over matched Chelsea side (who's starting XI seemed to suggest that they were more focused on their league match against Man City this weekend) and came away with a well earned point in this game. New signing Cesc Fabregas scored a controversial early goal for Chelsea as there was a pretty clear foul during the lead up. No matter to Schalke, however. They hung in there and eventually broke through on a 64th minute goal from Huntelaar. Great draw with a quality side for Schalke.
NK Maribor 1-1 Sporting Lisbon
Maribor, making their Champions League debut, came into this came playing with nothing to lose. Playing in front of a home crowd, they held off Sporting's attack for much of the game until Nani broke through in the 80th, and all seemed lost. However, it was 18 year old Luka Zahovic who played hero with a brilliant running header in stoppage time to salvage a point for the Slovenians
Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
I'm gonna be honest. I didn't watch a second of this game, what with all the excitement from the others. But, it doesn't sound like I missed much.
FC Porto 6-1 BATE Borisov
Not to be outdone by Roma's massive thrashing of CSKA, Porto really poured it on against a severely overmatched Borisov side as they started scoring in the 5th and didn't stop until the 76th. Oh, and Yacine Brahimi had a hat trick.
Europa League Roundup
That's right, I'm going to review the Europa league as well as my super-secret-guilty-pleasure soccer team (not to mention several other Bundesliga squads) is in this competition. Try and guess who it is!
Apollon 3-2 Zurich
Zurich fought back in the second half after being down 2-0 to draw it at 2-2 before a devastating 87th own goal from Phillipe Koch did them in. Gotta feel bad for the kid.
Besiktas 1-1 Asteras Tripolis
Besiktas looked to be in control of this game after a 33rd goal from Gokhan Tore, but Tripolis got the late equalizer in the 88th to secure the draw
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Villarreal
In a game that Gladbach really should be winning, they managed to drop points at home to Villarreal. They've got to be sharper if they want to make some noise in this competition and represent the BL.
Club Brugge 0-0 Torino
Ahhhh, nil-nil draws are so easy to recap....both sides split possession fairly evenly but neither side could break through.
Dinamo Zagreb 5-1 Astra
El-Arni Soudani's hat trick was more than enough for Zagreb to make easy work over Astra.
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 0-1 Inter Milan
Dnipro nearly came away with a big upset over an Inter squad who is a favorite to win this group. But alas, it was not to be as Danilo D'Ambrosio came through with 71st goal to secure 3 points for the Nerazzurri,
Everton 4-1 Wolfsburg
A disappointing, but not unsurprising result for Wolfsburg. Everton is a quality side playing at home looking to make a statement. A statement they sure did make
Fiorentina 3-0 Guingamp
Good results so far for Serie A teams in this competition as Fiorentina cruises to a comfortable win over a very under matched side.
Kobenhavn 2-0 HJK
FCK earned an unsurprising result with two late goals over HJK to secure their standing in the group stage.
Legia Warsaw 1-0 Lokoren
The team that doesn't know that you can't play suspended players managed to eek out a win against Lokoren.
Lille 1-1 Krasnodar
A 63rd minute goal from Simon Kjaer managed to save points for Lille at home in what would have been a pretty embarrassing loss.
Metalist 1-2 Trabzonspor
I'm gonna be honest here. I've never heard of either of these two squads (such is the Europa League...) but hey, good for Trabzonspor.
Napoli 3-1 Sparta Praha
Not much of a surprise here as Napoli cruises to an expected group stage victory over Praha.
Panathinaikos 1-2 Dinamo Moscow
Well, even though they're in the Europa league, Dinamo certainly looked a lot better than their Moscow brothers CSKA. It's a good win over the Athens squad in Athens.
PAOK 6-1 Dinamo Minsk
The Macedonian side jumped all over the Belorussians and secured some strong footing in their group.
Partizan 0-0 Tottenham
Just an embarrassing draw for Tottenham. They really have not spent that Bale money very well if all they can muster against a Belgrade side they should at the very LEAST be able to score a goal against. Things just are not going well for the Spurs, but all credit is due to Partizan for earning the draw.
PSV Eindhoven 1-0 Estoril
An early 26th minute goal for PSV was all they needed to hold off Estoril.
Qarabag 0-0 Saint-Etienne
Ho-hum, another nil-nil draw...
Rio Ave 0-3 Dinamo Kyiv
Kyiv opened the scoring up early with 2 goals in the first 25th and then added a 3rd in the 70th to cruise past Rio Ave.
Salzburg 2-2 Celtic
Atoning for their embarrassing performance in the Champions League qualifying, Celtic couldn't hold off Salzburg in Austria and had to settle for a draw. Captain Scot Brown, coming back from injury, scored the go ahead goal in the 60th, but Jonathan Soriano scored the equalizer in the 78th. New Signing Wakaso Mubarak also got on the board for Celtic to open up the scoring and keeper Craig Gordon was on form, turning away shot after shot from Salzburg. All in all, a step up for Ronny Deila's squad after their recent upheaval at Parkhead.
Sevilla 2-0 Feyenoord
The defending champs are off to a great start with a 2-0 victory at home over Feyenoord who some have projected to finish 2nd in this group.
Standard Liege 2-0 Rijeka
Standard got two late goals in the 74' and the 80' to finish off the Croats at home.
Steaua Buccaresti 6-0 AaB
The Romanians managed to get 6 second half goals, with a brace from Rusescu and a hat trick from Claudiu Keseru.
Young Boys 5-0 Slovan Bratislava
Young Boys (yes, that's their actual name, they're from Bern) opened up the scoring in the 5th and didn't stop until second half stoppage time as they got 5 goals from 5 different players in an absolute undressing of the Slovaks.
Bayern News Week
Not much outside of the actual, ya know, games happened this week, but there were some interesting little tidbits.
Pep tells Man United to Go Home, You're Drunk
In a bit of a boss move, Pep pretty much said to the media that Manchester United, after being linked with just about everyone on our starting XI, could't even afford them. I gotta say, this statement makes us at Der Monday Meister smile. For seemingly the whole summer window, we had to sit here and read how all the "big" clubs (especially those who just to friggin Leicester 5-3) were going to swoop in and take our stars and frankly, we found it quite disrespectful. Good to see Pep out there reaffirming our status as one of these big clubs.
Bernat Named to Most Interesting List
Goal.com named their top 10 most intriguing players who are making their champions league debut and Bayern's own Juan Bernat makes the cut. Somewhat of a no name in the European game, it's easy to forget that he held down Valencia's midfield in the Europa League last season. Dortmund's Ciro Immobile also makes the list.
DVB To Return?
Normally, I don't do much on rumored transfers or potential signings, but this one intrigues me. Daniel Van Buyten apparently might be making his return to help shore up our back line. We are intrigued by this bit of news as DVB was always a sturdy, reliable, if not unspectacular CB for us. With the injuries we've had, he wouldn't be relied on too much minutes wise. He also has familiarity with our system and brings a good veteran presence in the locker room. Could be a good bargain basement signing.
Beer Of The Week!
After a very busy week that saw the opening of the Champions League, the Europa League as well as a good ol' fashion match day, it's easy to forget the other momentous occasion that opened up. I am talking, of course, about Oktoberfest! So, this week I am picking a beer that most all of you have probably had before, but hey. Sometimes you gotta say "when in Rome". That's right, this weeks BOTW is Hoffbrau's Oktoberfest. It does a lot of things great, and nothing spectacular. It is rich, full bodied, yet crisp and not too boozy at 6.3% so you can pound a few boots and still be able to walk. Yes, this beer has been "done" before, but it's a classic and this week, we tip our alpine hats to Hoffbrau for making another iteration of their timeless classic. Prosit!