Bundesliga roundup: Union beat Hertha in Berlin derby, Dortmund best Leverkusen

Bundesliga roundup: Union beat Hertha in Berlin derby, Dortmund best Leverkusen
Dortmund beat Leverkusen thanks to a Marco Reus goal
Dortmund beat Leverkusen thanks to a Marco Reus goal
The Berlin derby at the start of the new Bundesliga season had a clear winner as Union put three past Hertha. Freiburg dominated Augsburg in their opening match with Mainz and Mönchengladbach also celebrating wins. The returning Werder Bremen narrowly missed out on a full point haul against Wolfsburg. Borussia Dortmund beat Leverkusen thanks to Marco Reus' goal in a match which saw Bayer goalie Lukas Hradecky sent off for catching the ball outside of the penalty area.

Bochum - Mainz 1-2

After completing their first-ever Bundesliga win against Mainz with a 2-0 victory in this fixture last season, Bochum immediately displayed confidence in front of a fully packed Vonovia Ruhrstadion. Former Mainz midfielder Kevin Stöger led the charge with an audacious 40-yard volley that almost caught Robin Zentner by surprise before Takuma Asano nearly capped a rapid Bochum counter-attack with a fierce volley that Zentner palmed away at the vital moment. 

Despite Die Unabsteigbaren’s fast start, Mainz held firm and soon found their feet in hope of extending their unbeaten run to three in all competitions. Flowing with confidence after setting up two of Mainz’s goals in a 3-0 win over Aue last time out, Karim Onisiwo contributed once more when he headed in Edimilson Fernandes’ inch-perfect cross. Undeterred, Bochum bounced back and Stöger came back to haunt his former club with a looping cross that sailed over Zentner and into the top corner before HT. 

Following a glut of chances in the first half, both Bochum and Mainz were more guarded early in the second period until Asano neatly controlled in the 05ers penalty area before snatching at his shot and firing over the crossbar. But Mainz were visibly desperate to win for just the second time in 14 Bundesliga away matches, and finished strongly as Onisiwo connected with Anton Stach’s cross to loop a header past Riemann. 

Bochum were made to rue their missed chances in the first half, and their opening day Bundesliga struggles continue, as Die Unabsteigbaren have failed to win a matchday one fixture since 2016. Away issues plagued Mainz’s 2021/22 campaign as they finished the season with the second lowest Bundesliga points on the road, but this solid performance will give Bo Svensson hope of a more positive outcome this season. 

Flashscore Man of the Match: Karim Onisiwo (Mainz 05)

Augsburg - Freiburg 0-4

Hoping to get Enrico Maaßen's arrival as new Augsburg manager off to the best possible start, the hosts were inches away doing exactly that in the tenth minute mark, when Daniel Caligiuri fired agonisingly wide after channelling his inner Lionel Messi with a mazey solo run through the Freiburg defence. 

After making the move from today's opponents to Freiburg in the summer, Michael Gregoritsch was left staring aimlessly at the ground, wondering what could have been, after firing high into the stands with the prospect of breaking the deadlock at his mercy. The visitors were left scratching their heads as to how they were not ahead, when Rafael Gikiewicz initially denied Vincenzo Grifo, before Christian Günter's low drive struck the outside of the post. 

Continuing where they left off at the conclusion of the first half, the visitors left their hosts in a state of shock in the opening embers of the second-half, after two quick-fire goals brought an eerie silence around the stadium. Former Augsburg striker Gregoritsch started off the goalmouth mania, making amendments for his earlier miss, directing Kiliann Sildillia's enticing cross into the back of the net, before set-piece mastro Grifo unleashed an unbelievable long-range free-kick past Gikiewicz to complete a sensational two minutes in front of goal. 

However, just when Freiburg thought they were on their way to a comfortable opening day success, VAR intervened to instruct referee Dankert to disallow Roland Sallai's exquisite finish for an offside in the build-up. However, a rampant Breisgau-Brasilianer were not to be denied for long, when six minutes later Matthias Ginter executed an exquisite strike into the top corner to secure all three points for Christian Streich's side. 

Never looking like being challenged by their overwhelmed hosts, Freiburg completed their rout when debutant Ritsu Doan clinically slotted beyond the grasp of a beleaguered Gikiewicz, to continue the Breisgau-Brasilianer's domestic momentum, after finishing in their highest-ever Bundesliga position (6th) since the 2012/13 campaign, last season.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Vincenzo Grifo (SC Freiburg)

Wolfsburg - Werder 2-2

After spending just one season outside the top flight, newly-promoted Werder Bremen got off to a less-than-ideal start, conceding the opening goal in the 11th minute. Against the run of play, Lukas Nmecha latched onto Patrick Wimmer’s disguised pass before delicately lifting the ball over Jiří Pavlenka.

Feeling hard done by after controlling the opening stages, Die Werderaner required only 10 minutes to find an equaliser. Niclas Füllkrug - who scored 19 league goals last term - tried his luck from range and was rewarded by hitting the jackpot as his fizzing effort found a home in the bottom corner. The away contingent had barely finished celebrating Füllkrug’s effort when Leonardo Bittencourt’s pinpoint header evaded Koen Casteels, ensuring the complexion of the contest changed in just a matter of minutes.

Two quickfire Werder goals left the hosts stunned, leaving new Wolfsburg boss Niko Kovač with work to do at HT. In a bid to instigate a response Kovač introduced Josuha Guilavogui at the break, while Jonas Wind was also summoned off the bench before the hour mark. with Werder seemingly content to hold onto their slender advantage, Die Wölfe struggled to find a way through the visitors’ defence.

The first meaningful Wolfsburg chance in the second half fell the way of substitute Jakub Kamiński, who went close to scoring on his league debut for the club, but could not find a way past the resolute Pavlenka. However, there was nothing the visitors’ goalkeeper could do to prevent Guilavogui from drilling home an equaliser with six minutes to play.

With neither team able to find a late winner, Guilavogui’s late strike ensured Wolfsburg have avoided defeat in their last five Bundesliga openers, while Werder Bremen head coach Ole Werner will be content with a point in their return to the top flight.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Leonardo Bittencourt (Werder Bremen)

B.Mönchengladbach - Hoffenheim 3-1

With new managers at the helm of both clubs for the upcoming season, a return to Europe was the aim for Die Fohlen as they kicked off the campaign in front of their home crowd. It was the worst possible start for Hoffenheim boss Andre Breitenreiter, watching defender Stefan Posch receive two yellow cards in four minutes. The Austrian was first cautioned for a poor challenge on Florian Neuhaus, before flying in late on Ramy Bensebaini moments later, leaving the referee with little choice but to produce a red card.

The hosts were in control after the sending off, but were caught out on the counter, falling behind completely against the run of play. Georginio Rutter’s low cross from the right picked out Andrej Kramarić in space, but the Croatian showed immense composure to find Robert Skov to power past Yann Sommer. 

Gladbach looked short of ideas as the interval approached, before a piece of spectacular quality levelled the contest. Ko Itakura nodded the ball into the danger area, with the ball dropping perfectly for Bensebaini to produce an incredible bicycle kick, powering his effort beyond Oliver Baumann.

The game became very open after the restart, with both sides finding joy on the counter. While Kramarić fluffed his lines at one end, Joe Scally was just inches away from putting the hosts ahead, but he saw his curled effort cannon off the bar. Alassane Plea was next to go close, as his low curled effort from the edge of the area had to be tipped round the post by Baumann.

Plea would be the man to finally find the killer pass the unlocked a very stubborn Hoffenheim rearguard. The Frenchman’s through ball found Thuram to find the bottom corner, before his delightful cross found Nico Elvedi to double the lead. Die Fohlen are now unbeaten in their first home game for a seventh successive season as Farke made the perfect start to life at Borussia-Park.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Alassane Plea (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Union Berlin - Hertha Berlin 3-1

Matching the energy of the raucous crowd inside the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, home side Union pushed to strike early in search of an opening day lead. Despite an early flurry of chances causing the Hertha backline trouble, the two Berlin clubs found themselves locked in a stalemate through the first 30 minutes of the first half. 

Finally, just past the half-hour mark the hosts capitalised on their high-energy start. Forward Sheraldo Becker picked out his strike partner Jordan Siebatcheu with an inch-perfect cross, and the American international nodded home with aplomb to silence the boisterous travelling Hertha supporters, and give Die Eisernen a first half lead in the derby at the break. 

Picking up where they left off in the first half, the high-flying home side doubled their lead just five minutes after the interval. Collecting a deft flicked ball over the top from Janik Haberer, Becker stabbed home after shaking off his marker. It quickly went from bad to worse for Die Alte Dame when Robin Knoche headed in from a corner, putting the final nail in Hertha’s coffin with over 30 minutes remaining in the proceedings. A curling strike from Dodi Lukebakio saw Hertha get on the scoresheet to spare some of their blushes, but the goal was merely a consolation for the visitors. 

With a two-goal lead intact and the clock winding down, Urs Fischer’s men took their foot off the gas and comfortably coasted to an opening day victory - a first of its kind for Union since joining the top-flight in 2019. After narrowly avoiding the drop in last season’s relegation playoff, Hertha will be stung by an opening weekend derby defeat. The loss adds to growing fear that Die Alte Dame could be facing another relegation scrap in the 2022/23 campaign. 

Flashscore Man of the Match: Sheraldo Becker (Union Berlin)

Dortmund - Bayer Leverkusen 1-0

Bayern Munich’s two nearest challengers clashed on the opening day, as both looked to prove their credentials to mount a title charge this season. Gerardo Seoane’s men needed just two minutes to create an opening, as Kerem Demirbay’s free-kick found Piero Hincapié from close range, but the Ecuadorian defender failed to hit the target.

Dortmund punished that miss moments later, as Jude Bellingham’s tackle set Youssoufa Moukoko away, and the youngster produced a brilliant pass across the six-yard box to Karim Adeyemi. The Bundesliga debutant’s shot was blocked by Lukáš Hrádecký, but the goalkeeper’s best efforts were in vain as Reus fired home the rebound.

Edin Terzić resumed control of a side that had a very leaky defence last term, so they emerged from the interval looking to put some daylight between themselves and Die Werkself. Donyell Malen’s mazy dribble down the left opened the defence before he squared to Thorgan Hazard, but the Belgian’s effort was brilliantly saved by Hrádecký.

Only Robert Lewandowski outscored Patrik Schick in the Bundesliga last term, but the Czech international squandered a huge chance to open his account and level the contest. Moussa Diaby’s beautiful cross drifted beyond the hosts’ backline, leaving Schick unmarked from close range, but his tame effort was straight at Gregor Kobel.

Only Bayern had a better away record than Leverkusen last term, but Seoane’s side failed to replicate their 5-2 success on this ground in February. A bad day got worse in stoppage time, as Hrádecký was dismissed for handling the ball outside the box, sealing a second consecutive defeat for Die Werkself.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)


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