You’d be forgiven for having missed that there was any football going on outside of the big game at Westfalenstadion this weekend. Not only was Der Klassiker a huge early season test for both sides, it proved to be one of the most entertaining matches of the Bundesliga season so far.
But there was some football going on elsewhere in the league too, so I suppose we should talk about that instead. One of the results that jumps out from this weekend was Bayer Leverkusen’s first game with Xabi Alonso in charge. The match went about as well as the Spaniard could have possibly hoped, with Leverkusen running out 4-0 winners against Schalke.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how Alonso gets on as Leverkusen manager. He’s always felt like the kind of player that would be able to make the move into management successfully, and there was a lot of hype about him at Real Sociedad, so his first shot at the top job comes with quite a bit of attention. If this win against Schalke is anything to go by, he’s going to do just fine.
Hoffenheim 1-2 Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 Schalke
Augsburg 1-1 Wolfsburg
Mainz 1-1 RB Leipzig
VfL Bochum 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Bayern Munich
Borussia Monchengladbach 5-2 FC Köln
Hertha Berlin 2-2 Freiburg
VfB Stuttgart 0-1 Union Berlin
While We Were All Distracted, Union Kept on Winning
A 2-2 draw between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund didn’t really help either’s efforts to keep up the chase for the top spot in the Bundesliga. Both teams are now on 16 points, sat in third and fourth respectively, and four points off the league leaders Union Berlin. I keep waiting for the Union Berlin dream start to end, not so much because I want it to, but because it doesn’t feel like they can keep defying the odds like this. But yet another close win means that they will be able to stay above Borussia Dortmund even if they lose next weekend.
While Union Berlin kept up their winning ways, Freiburg were unable to do the same. Freiburg had to come from behind to claim a point against Hertha Berlin, leaving them in 2nd place on just 18 points. In a rather entertaining turn of fate, Union Berlin will face Borussia Dortmund next weekend, while Freiburg are up against Bayern Munich. This will be a huge test for both club’s hopes of claiming a top four spot this season, and dare I say it... a run at the title?
How long can Union Berlin and Freiburg actually keep this up? And are either of them actually contenders for the title?