Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Round 3 Review

Bochum 2 – 1 Hamburg

B: Sestak (45) Imhof (83)
H: van der Vaart (pen 86)

Hamburg failed to finish their chances again. This time they were punished for their failure by a resolute Bochum side. While the tempo of the game was dictated by Hamburg, who owned possession at 61%, it was a late first half injury time goal from newcomer Stanslav Sestak, who mopped a poor challenge by Nigel de Jong, which opened the scoring in this affair. Hamburg’s failure to convert was compounded in the second half, when Vincent Kompany was sent off wrongly for a mild indiscretion in the middle. The game stagnated at that point. It was finished off in the 82nd, when Canadian Daniel Inhof, who had just entered the game, unleashed a scorcher into the right hand corner of the net. A makeup call for the Kompany sending-off gave Hamburg a late life line, but Bochum was able to retain the lead and go top of the table for a few hours.

Leverkusen 3 - 0 Karlsruhe

K: Franz (19 og)
L: Friedrich (27) Gekas (35)

While goalkeeper Markus Millar was prone to some baffling errors early in this contest, he proved invaluable to Karlsruhe, who was lucky to escape with just a three goal deficit. 30 shots to 5 was the final tally and Tranquillo Barnetta and Bernd Schneider were able to control the midfield. An early own goal by Maik Franz was followed shortly by a clean up by Friedrich of ping-pong defending by Karlsruhe, and shortly thereafter by last year’s Bundesliga’s top scorer Theofanis Gekas’s first goal for his new club.

Bayern Munich 3 – 0 Hanover 96

B: Toni (28) van Bommel (69) Altintop (86)

Want to know who was the most impressive person in this game? It was 96 keeper Robert Enke. Yes he was on the losing end of a thoroughly deserved 3 nil score line, but he was fantastic. This score could well have been 15-0 if not for his refusal to quit.

But the first chinks in the armor are starting to show at Bayern. First Lucio is starting to inch forward in attack more than he should. Hitzfeld either needs to reiterate his desire that Lucio remember he is not an attacking mid or face a future where an overwhelmed DeMichelis is facing off against counter attacking machines such as Stuttgart and Schalke. Meanwhile, Luca Toni left with a thigh injury which depletes Bayern’s striking corp even further, leaving an untested 19 year old Sandro Wagner to fill the gap while Toni, Klose and Podolski recover from injury. While Bayern’s formidable midfield can handle scoring in the near future, the lack of a first-rate stiker may make it easier for trainers to move a central defender up to counterbalance Ribery, Altintop and Schweinsteiger.

Borussia Dortmund 3 – 0 Energie Cottbus

D: Kringe (44) Klimowicz (70, 84)

Cottbus, whose attacking woes continue, took charge of this affair early; however, their lack of flair and finishing allowed Dortmund to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Without the worries of their backline hindering them, Thomas Doll’s side was able to carve apart Cottbus defense with Argentine Klimowicz providing the late death-knell with two fine strikes.

Stuttgart 1 – 0 Duisburg

S: Gomez (34)

Everybody's favorite Spanish German returned from his pre-season injury and lifted the holders to their first victory of the season with a composed goal when surrounded by three defenders in the 34th minute. It was a rather tepid affair that bogged down in the midfield and showed little lack of initiative.

Arminia Bielefeld 2 - 0 Hertha Berlin

AB: Masnanidis (52) Wichniarek (90)

A stagnant first half gave way to a more robust second; and, Bielefeld was able to take advantage of two defensive errors by the visitors to go second in the table. In the 52nd minute, the referee caught a back-pass to the keeper and awarded an indirect kick from six yards. Kucera slotte the ball to Masnanidis who blasted home the decider. A late tip in of a ball that was bound for the next after bad positioning by Jaroslav Drobny led to Wichniarek's 3rd goal in 3 games.

Frankfurt 1 - 0 Hansa Rostock

F: Meier (3)

For a team that is sponsored by a company called Kik, Hansa Rostock seems to do little of it. Eintracht scored an early goal off a corner kick by Alexandre Meier to get a deserved win. It is their best start to a season since 1999.

Nurnberg 0 - 1 Werder Bremen

F: Harnik (69)

Werder registered their first win of the season at Nurnberg. While the cup holders are severely lacking creativity at the moment, Bremen seemed to find a possible solution to their striker situation. Injuries have hit Bremen hard in the midfield and up-front. But a game with little initiative was changed when listless Markus Roseborg was subbed off for newcomer Martin Harnik in the 61st minute. His impact was immediate as Bremen started to gel offensively and the game opened up. He scored within eight minutes of his debut and missed several chances afterwards.


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