Bundesliga roundup: Werder's incredible comeback, Leverkusen nightmare continues

Bundesliga roundup: Werder's incredible comeback, Leverkusen nightmare continues
Werder Bremen took all points from BVB after quickfire extra time
Werder Bremen took all points from BVB after quickfire extra time
Dortmund looked to continue their hot start to the Bundesliga season, making it three for three, but Werder Bremen had other plans - BVB led 2-0 just before extra time, but three quick goals made it 3-2 for Werder! Leverkusen, on the other hand, keep finding surprising new lows after a 3-0 loss to Hoffenheim. What else happened in the bunch of games that kicked off at 3.30?

Bayer Leverkusen - Hoffenheim 0-3

Hoping to continue their momentum after coming from two goals down to defeat VfL Bochum, the visitors were ahead at the BayArena with less than 10 minutes on the clock as a consequence of a moment of utter brilliance from Christoph Baumgartner. The Austrian extravagantly flicked the ball past the returning Lukáš Hrádecký to add another goal to his trademark Bundesliga goalscoring portfolio. 

Leverkusen were looking to avoid defeat in their opening three games in the league for the first time in the club’s history but struggled to get a foothold in the opening embers as Patrik Schick began to display his frustration. Without a victory on their travels across their previous five league encounters, the visiting Die Kraichgauer supporters were left in dreamland ten minutes before HT, when Ozan Kabak’s determined demonstration of purposefulness down the right-hand flank led to Andrej Kramarić clinically heading home to double Hoffenheim’s lead. Things almost went from bad to worse for the hosts six minutes before HT when Robert Skov thought he had added a third for Hoffenheim, only for VAR to bring a frustrating conclusion to the visitors’ celebrations, disallowing the goal due to a foul in the build-up.

Possessing the lowest goalscoring conversation rate in the Bundesliga, with only a solitary goal from 32 attempts before this week's fixtures, the hosts were left wondering when their misfortune would end as Schick’s goalbound strike was inadvertently blocked by his teammate, Sardar Azmoun. With the momentum that the side who had scored the opening goal in Hoffenheim’s first two league matches had subsequently gone on to claim victory, the visitors remained relatively untroubled by Leverkusen.

With the contest approaching its conclusion, Georginio Rutter’s workmanlike performance was finally rewarded when the French forward curled a stunning strike past Hrádecký into the top left-hand corner. The convincing victory registered André Breitenreiter's first H2H managerial success over Leverkusen. At the same time, it will come as a surprise to many that Leverkusen are decaying at the bottom of the Bundesliga without a league victory this season.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Georginio Rutter (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)

Borussia Dortmund - Werder Bremen 2-3

Looking to build on their flying start to the Bundesliga campaign with two wins from two games, Dortmund made a fast start against newly-promoted Werder Bremen, looking threatening on the break on numerous occasions. Despite a spell of nearly 20 minutes in which the home side found it difficult to create big chances, the opening goal finally came with nearly the final kick of the half. Cutting in onto his left foot, Julian Brandt connected with his strike with just enough venom to send the ball fizzing into the bottom corner, giving Dortmund a lead at the break.

Bremen grew into the game quickly in the second half as it became more stretched, but the visitors struggled to find the final ball in the Dortmund box, and were made to pay for their wastefulness, as the home side killed them off with just under 15 minutes remaining. After the ball found its way out to Raphaël Guerreiro from a corner, the full-back arrowed a low, driving shot into the bottom corner of the net past the outstretched hand of the keeper to double the hosts’ lead.

Hope was rekindled for the away side with two minutes remaining thanks to a thunderous strike from Bremen newcomer Lee Buchanan, who caught a ricocheted ball with the outside of his foot and sent it flying into the roof of the net. Buchanan’s strike appeared to be only a consolation goal, but in dramatic fashion Bremen came roaring back in the dying minutes.

In an effort to equalise, Amos Pieper sent a curling cross into the Dortmund box where Niklas Schmidt darted in between the home defenders to head home, appearing to snatch a late point for Ole Werner’s men. Dramatically, Bremen then stunned the home crowd only two minutes later, as Scotland international Oliver Burke was played in behind the Dortmund backline and arrowed the ball into the back of the net to gift the travelling fans a legendary come-from-behind victory.

The late drama not only opened Bremen’s winning account this season, but snapped the club’s 12-game losing streak in the Bundesliga, which dated back to 2021.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Oliver Burke (Werder Bremen)

Augsburg - Mainz 1-2

Fresh off the back of a three-match unbeaten run to start the season, Mainz confidently controlled possession early on in the hope of striking first, especially after the 05ers had opened the scoring and won in their last two away matches. But, for all their possession, Mainz couldn’t break down a solid Augsburg side hoping to end their three-match losing streak at home and Fuggerstädter went close through Arne Maier’s dipping free-kick that Robin Zentner kept out.

Mainz continued to look dangerous and Karim Onisiwo fired his third goal of the season past Rafał Gikiewicz after a neat one-two with Angelo Fulgini and Onisiwo. Conceding appeared to shock Augsburg into life as the hosts equalised immediately when Felix Uduokha raced into the area, cut back to Ermedin Demirović and the midfielder backheeled past Zentner from close range to open his Augsburg account in spectacular fashion.

The goal gave Augsburg new found momentum in the second period, but, much like their opponents in the first half, Fuggerstädter couldn’t create any clear chances. Mainz nearly punished the hosts when Carlos Gruezo conceded a penalty mid-way through the half before Gikiewicz, who made nine saves in Augsburg’s win over Bayer Leverkusen last time out, was heroic once again, holding on to Aarón Martín Caricol’s low spot kick.

Possibly content with a point, neither side showed a willingness to push forward for the winner until Mainz’s Jae-Sung Lee rose highest to head in Martin’s cross in the last minute. Augsburg will be bitterly disappointed with shipping a goal late on and their run of losing after conceding first extends to six league matches. Meanwhile, Mainz will be delighted as they recovered from Martin’s penalty blunder to make it three wins from four to start the 2022/23 season.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Rafał Gikiewicz (Augsburg)

Stuttgart - Freiburg 0-1

Although they have drawn their opening two Bundesliga matches, Stuttgart conceded the first goal in both of those contests, so it was perhaps unsurprising to see Freiburg take the lead in the 11th minute. The hosts failed to deal with Kiliann Sildillia’s cross from the right flank, which presented Grifo with the chance to sneak in at the back post to score his 50th league goal - across the topflight and the 2. Bundesliga - in a Freiburg shirt.

The hosts responded well to falling behind, as they began to pressurise the Freiburg defence and they went agonisingly close to finding an equaliser ten minutes before the HT. Borna Sosa’s inch-perfect cross found the head of Konstantinos Mavropanos, whose effort was beaten away by the outstretched Mark Flekken.

After ensuring his side took a lead into the break, Flekken - who was enjoying a fine afternoon after making a costly mistake against Borussia Dortmund last time out - was on hand to keep Stuttgart at bay after the restart, standing tall to save Sosa’s driven effort. As the contest hit the hour mark, the visitors continued to comfortably fend off Stuttgart attacks, which began to frustrate the hosts, demonstrated by centre-back Waldemar Anton firing the ball harmlessly over the bar from a desperate long-range effort.    

In a bid to find a late equaliser, Pellegrino Matarazzo introduced Luca Pfeiffer and Lilian Egloff - who were both celebrating their birthdays - however Freiburg were in no mood to hand out gifts as they continued to spoil the party, holding firm to claim a narrow 1-0 win. Consecutive away clean sheets and six points from a possible nine will please Christian Streich, while the man in the opposing dugout will be disappointed with a winless three-game start to the Bundesliga season. 

Flashscore Man of the Match: Mark Flekken (SC Freiburg)

Wolfsburg - Schalke 0-0

An attritional start to the game saw Wolfsburg struggle to create chances. Niko Kovač’s men looked comfortable in possession, but had to wait till the half-hour mark for an effort on goal. Full-back Paulo Otávio found space on the edge of the area and rifled an effort on target, but Alexander Schwolow tipped it over the bar. 

The visitors looked comfortable in defence, and quick-thinking from Simon Terodde earned Frank Kramer’s men a penalty on the stroke of HT. The striker got a toe on the ball before Mickey van de Ven could clear it, bearing the brunt of his strike and earning a spot-kick on VAR review. Terodde stepped up from 12 yards, but his awful effort was comfortably stopped by Koen Casteels. The drama wasn’t over there though, as the Belgian goalkeeper had left his line in making the save, so the penalty would be re-taken. Not phased by his earlier miss, Terodde shot again but with the same result - Casteels making a tremendous save to send the sides in level at the break.

The interval failed to change the pattern of a turgid game, with Die Wölfe continuing to control possession, without really threatening Schwolow in the Schalke goal. The fans inside the Volkswagen Arena had a rare moment of enjoyment when Josuha Guilavogui turned home from a free-kick, but the Frenchman was offside, and the visitors could breathe a sigh of relief.

Attacking quality remained at a premium, with defences fairly on top as the game ended in a stalemate. Both are now winless in their opening three games, with Wolfsburg failing to beat a newly-promoted side in their two home fixtures.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg)


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