With both teams scoring seven goals and conceding none in their last two league matches, an entertaining encounter was expected to unfold at the Allianz Arena. Bayern were off to an impressive start, netting the first goal in just the fifth minute through Serge Gnabry following some quick thinking by Sadio Mané. Despite conceding their first goal in three games, Mainz didn’t look discouraged thereafter, as they continued to tussle against the hosts in a bid for an equaliser.
However, Julian Nagelsmann’s men, as dangerous as ever, inflicted a second blow via Jamal Musiala’s superbly-struck low drive from outside the box into the bottom corner that rendered the Nullfünfer backline helpless. Mainz somehow failed to pull a goal back almost immediately, with Jonathan Burkardt and Jae-Sung Lee both striking the right post within quick succession, much to the dismay of Bo Svensson on the sideline. Die Roten made the visitors pay for their missed chances just before the break through Mané, who first won a penalty before going on to score the rebound after Robin Zentner produced a wonderful save from the spot-kick. Remarkably, the first period had more drama, as Mainz then won a penalty of their own thanks to a foul by Sven Ulreich. The shot-stopper stood strong to save Burkardt’s shot, but couldn’t keep out Silvan Widmer’s rebound header from close range to make it 3-1 going into the interval.
Leon Goretzka, though, restored the hosts’ three-goal lead on the hour-mark, fantastically meeting Mané’s cross and powering home a terrific header inside the right post. With hopes of a comeback all but buried, Bayern continued to mount pressure on the visitors in the final minutes, registering a fifth goal via Mathys Tel, whose deflected edge-of-the-box shot saw its way into the left corner. Mainz did score a consolation minutes later, as Marcus Ingvartsen took advantage of a mistake by Ulreich to reduce the deficit, only to concede once again from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s tap-in at the death.
Having won the second half in five of their six away league games this term, the Nullfünfer never looked close to doing so once again, succumbing to a highly-motivated Bayern outfit in the ascendancy. Ultimately, their hopes of jumping within a point of their hosts came crashing down, as Die Roten cruise to the top of the league table, two points ahead of Union having played a game more.
Despite Leipzig’s four-match unbeaten run in the league coming into this clash, both these sides were enduring their worst start to a top flight season this century, meaning there was plenty of caution on display in the early going. With neither goalkeeper put to the sword from open play, Leipzig’s route to the opening goal came through a set play, capitalising on Leverkusen’s woeful defending to take the lead. Dominik Szoboszlai’s floated free-kick found Christopher Nkunku, who had managed to ghost into the area unmarked, and steered a wonderful header into the far corner, netting a ninth league goal of the season.
For a side that were such a dangerous attacking force en route to a top three finish last term, Die Werkself appeared a shadow of their former selves, barely laying a glove on Leipzig. That continued after the break with Die Roten Bullen looking the likelier side to find the back of the net. Nkunku’s creativity nearly unlocked the Leverkusen door, finding Timo Werner to nod across goal for Szoboszlai, forcing an impressive stop from Lukáš Hrádecký.
An increase in pressing intensity failed to translate into chance creation for Xabi Alonso’s men, and allowed Leipzig the space to put the game to bed on the counter. Amadou Haidara slipped in Werner to slot home, capping off a stellar week which saw him score the winner against Real Madrid too.
Leverkusen have now failed to win any of their last five matches since beating Schalke in Alonso's first game in charge, dropping into the bottom three, and tasting victory in just two of their opening 12 Bundesliga games.
Two sides with contrasting fortunes so far this season, it was the in-form Augsburg who found an early opener, netting after just five minutes. Florian Niederlechner, who netted in Augsburg’s last away match against FC Köln, scooped a delicate left-footed chip over Stuttgart goalkeeper Florian Müller to silence the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
An early setback wasn’t the ideal start for the hosts, yet the side from Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region took the game to Augsburg after going behind. Serhou Guirassy had never scored a headed goal before today, with the 26-year-old converting from close range following Borna Sosa’s deep cross towards the back-post.
The equaliser would eventually provide the platform for Stuttgart to go on and take the three points, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the hosts. Having peppered the Augsburg goal throughout the second half, a mix of valiant defending and wastefulness denied Die Roten a comfortable afternoon. Chances came and went for Guirassy and Luca Pfeiffer, in a match which looked to be heading towards a frustrating 1-1 draw.
Alas, just when those inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena began losing hope, full-back Anton popped up in added time to slide home a deserved winner. A superb flick from Tiago Tomás slipped Anton through on goal, with the result extending the hosts’ unbeaten record at home to Augsburg to five matches.
Thomas Letsch’s opening four games in all competitions had yielded three victories, but the recently appointed Bochum boss was well aware his squad needed to improve upon their woeful away form. However, they were up against a Wolfsburg team that started the contest in a determined fashion. Felix Nmecha fired an effort harmlessly wide before he had another strike saved by the right foot of Manuel Riemann. The 22-year-old may have spurned a couple of opportunities, but it proved to be third time lucky, as he powerfully headed home from Maximilian Arnold’s accurate cross in the 27th minute.
Moments after witnessing his brother score his first-ever Wolfsburg goal, Lukas Nmecha looked set to double the advantage when the ball arrived at his feet in the six-yard box, however, unlike his younger sibling, he was unable to beat Riemann. Unfortunately for the Bochum goalkeeper, he was only delaying the inevitable, as Wolfsburg continued their onslaught, which was duly rewarded with a second goal before half time. Patrick Wimmer teed up Ridle Baku, who guided the ball into the roof of the net to register his first goal of the season.
Wolfsburg only required 13 second half minutes to add to their tally, and there was a sense of déjà vu when Arnold’s teasing free-kick was clinically headed home by Felix Nmecha. While his brother was celebrating a memorable afternoon, Lukas Nmecha was ruing his luck. The 23-year-old thundered a shot against the post, before another effort whistled wide of the Bochum goal. With 10 minutes remaining, Jonas Wind drove the ball beyond Reimann to round off a faultless performance from the hosts, while ensuring Bochum concede four goals for a third consecutive away game in the Bundesliga
The commanding victory moves Wolfsburg five points away from the bottom three, while the visitors remain in the relegation zone after losing all six of their away league matches this season.