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Looking Around the League: The Rhine Derby Ends in a Draw

And Wolfsburg Manager Mark Van Bommel has gotten the sacked.

1. FC Köln v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Bundesliga table is starting to look awfully familiar: Bayern are in first, Dortmund are in second, and a cast of characters including Leipzig, Leverkusen, and more are competing for the rest. If there’s one surprise at the top of the table, it’s that Christian Streich’s SC Freiburg are hanging around in third place.

In other news, we officially had our first sacking of the season this weekend. The unlucky winner this year was Wolfsburg’s Mark Van Bommel, whose side has suffered a stunning reversal of fortune over the last month. Despite winning their first four games of the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg followed it up by losing their next four matches. Their underlying numbers have collapsed as well, and combining Wolfsburg’s recent performances with their losses in the Champions League, Wolfsburg had plenty of reason to be disappointed with him. That being said, it does seem rash to fire a manager only nine games into the season.

Here’s a roundup of all the Bundesliga action this season:


Mainz 4-1 FC Augsburg

RB Leipzig 4-1 Greuther Fürth

Arminia Bielefeld 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

Wolfsburg 0-2 SC Freiburg

Bayern Munich 4-0 TSG Hoffenheim

Hertha Berlin 1-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach

FC Köln 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen

VFB Stuttgart 1-1 Union Berlin

VFL Bochum 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt


The Rhine Derby Ends in a Draw

In terms of cultural impact, the biggest match of the weekend involved Bayer Leverkusen and FC Köln. Leverkusen is a small city that borders the larger German city of Cologne, so these clubs have cultivated a local rivalry, even though by fanbase, Köln are a much bigger club.

Leverkusen were looking for a bounceback performance from their pitiful loss to Bayern Munich last weekend, and their efforts were quickly rewarded. Patrik Schick continued his torrid start to the season with a goal in the 15th minute. Karim Bellarabi would follow up less than three minutes with another goal, and it looked like Leverkusen were going to turn it into a rout.

Things turned around in the second half, though, with a brace from none other than FC Köln legend Anthony Modeste leading the charge. I swear, the year will be 2050 and Modeste will still be scoring goals for Köln. In this case, Modeste scored a brace to draw the game level in the second half.

Few other results were particularly notable. Bayern Munich continued their dominance with a win against Hoffenheim, Freiburg put the final nail in Mark Van Bommel’s Wolfsburg tenure and continued their strong form this season, and RB Leipzig continued their recovery with a win against Greuther Fürth, this season’s dedicated doormats in the Bundesliga.

The table is starting to take shape! With a massive injury to Erling Haaland just announced, it will be tough for BVB to stick in the title chase. But for now, they’re right up there at the top.

Your Thoughts?

Do you think Mark Van Bommel deserved his canning?