Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Round 4: Review

Schalke 1 – 1 Bayer Leverkusen
S: Kuranyi (45)
B: Gekas (53)

Schalke, a team with five draws all of last year, already have three in four games this campaign, yet still remain unbeaten. At home at the Veltins Arena, they dominated play against Bayer Leverkusen, but were unable to finish off the visitors. Schalke pressured constantly and played expansive, flowing football, but squandered most of their chances until a set piece at the stroke of half from Pander to Kuranyi (get to used to that) opened the scoring. In the 21st, Mladen Krstajic went off with a knock to the knee. He was replaced by Dario Rodrigues, which was important because Rodrigues’ lack marking before and after a competent save by Manuel Neuer allowed Gekas to score his second of the season in the 64th. This game’s major theme might have well been the duel between Schalke’s Neuer and Leverkusen’s René Adler. The two young stickminders, made save after save, one more spectacular than the next to keep the score level, and leave us all wondering just which of them will be the next German #1.

Energie Cottbus 1 – 1 Nürnberg
C: Sorensen (15)
N: Wolf (85)

Cottbus figured out the solutions to their offensive woes: get a dubious penalty. The 15th minute penalty was Cottbus’ second goal all campaign. Nurnberg who has been fairly stagnant offensively themselves were able to muster a late point when Wolf headed in a Galasek corner, and should have rightfully won the game when Nicky Adler’s goal was called back because Cottbus keeper Tomislav Piplica ran into his own player, which the referee determined was a foul.

Hertha Berlin 2 – 1 Wolfsburg
H: Pantelic (38) Okoronkwo (88)
W: Dejagah (61)

Hertha controlled the game with a substantial majority of possession, but needed a last minute scorcher from substitute Solomon Okoronkwo to secure the win. The return of Marko Pantelic buoyed the home side as he opened the scoring in the 38th from a cross by Chahed. But against the run of play, Wolfsburg leveled at the hour mark, when ex-Hertha badboy Dejagah put a beautiful long range shot past the helpless Drobny.

Hannover 3 – 2 Bochum
H: Hanke (12) Rosenthal (36) Hashemian (71)
B: Bechmann (44) Maltritz (p.66)

Hannover bounced back from last round’s drubbing at the Allianz, to hand Bochum their first loss of the campaign. Hanke and Rosenthal provided an early cushion with two shots from outside the 18. Bochum proved resilient and scored at the brink of the half when Robert Enke parried a Christoph Dabrowski shot right to the charging Tommy Bechmann, who scored his 4th of the season. Bochum emerged in the second half with renewed vigor and leveled in the 66th when Stanislav Sestak was brought down in the box and Maltritz put away the penalty. But Szabolcs Huszti took over from there and ensured the home time full points, when his elegant run released Michael Tarnat who crossed to the Helicopter, Vahid Hashemian, who finished strongly. Huszti almost set Vahid up for a fourth minutes later, but as it stood, they had enough to win on the day.

Hansa Rostock 0 – 1 Dortmund
D: Fredrico (76)

The home side had 25 shots. Unfortunately only two of them were on target and both hit woodwork, the first by Victor Agali kissed both posts and still seems impossible that it was cleared. Dortmund had little creativity but found the winner when and alert Giovanni Fredrico cleaned up a ping-pong clearance in the Rostock end to secure Thomas Doll’s side their second straight win.

Duisburg 3 – 0 Bielefeld
D: Maicon (64) Ishiaku (68, 70)

This game came down to six minutes of madness, where Maicon’s opener was followed by a double by Manasseh Ishiaku. The new signing from Club Brugges, shook off two defenders for the second goal, in a display of persistence that will be unmatched anytime soon. It was a well earned three points for the newly promoted side who dominated play and sent Bielefeld to their first loss of the campaign.

Werder Bremen 2 – 1 Eintracht Frankfurt
W: Sanogo (35) Panasen (79)
F: Thurk (85)

Bremen are finding form at an opportune time with the Champion’s League just around the corner. They handed Frankfurt their first loss of the season 2-1 at the Westerstadion. Keeper Markus Pröll can only blame himself for the first goal after a poor clearance led to a one-on-one between him and Sanogo who bulled past the keeper to open the scoring. Harnik was once again a late substitution, for the ineffective Almeida, and once again his appearance sparked things for Bremen. He scored within minutes of coming on only to see it called back for off-sides. A few minutes later Petri Panasen converted a free kick to seemingly cement things. Butit was a good thing he did score as Frankfurt came storming back. They scored in the 85th minute when Michael Thurk cleaned up a desperate clearance, and they almost leveled in stoppage when Amanatidis forced Tim Weiss into a great save.

Karlsruhe 1 – 0 Stuttgart
Hajnal (54)

This intense derby, which hasn’t been played in almost 10 years, found the reigning champions of the Bundesliga and Zwei facing off for supremacy in Baden-Württemberg. Karlsruhe relied on a superb performance by keeper Markus Miller and a goal by Tamas Hajnal to defeat their local rivals and record their second win of the young campaign. A second half run by Christian Timm resulted in a cross that the Hungarian playmaker slotted home perfectly. Stuttgart will rue their missed chances and now sit in a relegation spot with the Champions League fast approaching.

HSV 1 – 1 Bayern Munich

My hopes of doing analysis on this as my Match of the Week were shot down by my poor handling of a DVR.

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